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PCs take control of robots

01 October, 2001

PCs take control of robots

The Dutch PC-based controls specialist, Nyquist Industrial Control, has developed a prototype robot controller to demonstrate that PC-based motion controls can perform as well as dedicated high-end robot controllers, at a lower price and with more flexibility.

In the prototype, Nyquist uses its technology to supervise the movements of a standard Daihen welding robot. The robot`s original mechanics, motors, encoders and cabling have been kept. Nyquist`s software calculates motion profiles in 3D, and synchronises the movement of the robot axes to follow the required path.

Nyquist suggests that, unlike dedicated robot controllers, the PC-based system can be adapted easily to different requirements by tweaking a few software parameters. It is also possible to add other interpolated or synchronised axes, and to link the controller to other PC-based systems, such as CAD stations. Product data could thus be exported directly from a CAD system to the robot controller.

The Dutch company says its development will allow robot manufacturers to move from closed, proprietary controllers to open systems, and will allow them to sub-contract their control systems. They will then be able to focus on their key expertise - developing robots.

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