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I program a robot

Neither engineer. Nor a computer scientist. But a Robotic Native. How do you become one? With playful solutions, such as a building block robot from OrangeApps. With the KUKA.Sim 4.x software, it can be programmed offline just like a real 6-axis industrial robot.

Carolin Hort
November 30, 2022
Reading Time: 2 min.

Programming movements into an industrial robot - which is actually an immobile machine - sounds very exciting on the one hand. On the other hand, it is very complex. What you have to be able to do... What it costs... And how do you get an industrial robot in the first place? 

The solution is provided by KUKA together with OrangeApps. The two Augsburg-based companies have joined forces: OrangeApps offers a robot made of clamping modules that - with the right programming - behaves like its larger colleagues. The company is thus targeting educational institutions and training companies. KUKA has the matching software that allows the little fellow to be programmed like his orange KUKA colleagues in the production halls of this world. 

The programming of the building block robot corresponds to that of a large industrial robot

The connection to the world of KUKA robot programming is created by a software plug-in from OrangeApps for KUKA.OfficeLite, the virtual robot controller from KUKA. With KUKA.OfficeLite, the robot can be operated and programmed like a real KUKA robot. All this in the KUKA system software KR C4 and KR C5.

The small robot made of terminal blocks can be programmed just like its larger colleagues.

Learning to program on a simulated robot  

You don't even necessarily need the real building block robot for this. The KUKA.Sim 4x software can also simulate such a robot - so you program a digital twin. This opens up many possibilities.

"This is particularly exciting for schools and universities: Not every student needs their own robot, their own hardware, to learn how to program. The software - and perhaps a building block robot - is enough to make the whole thing visible in the real world and thus even more tangible. But that has no influence on the programming processes and the knowledge you take away from it," says Marco Patzelt, Business Development Manager for Simulation at KUKA.

The KUKA.Sim 4x can be used to simulate the building block robot - so not every workstation necessarily needs its own table-top robot.
The figure shows the real product, the simulation in the KUKA.Sim 4x software and the digital twin.  

The advantage: This means that educational institutions, which previously had to forgo the acquisition of a robot cell for financial reasons, can also offer robot programming courses.

A great example can be found in Schönebeck at Teutloff-Schulung und Schweißtechnische Bildung gGmbH. There, there is a fully equipped classroom of building block robots that are programmed with the virtual KUKA controller.

At TEUTLOFF in Schönebeck, there is a fully equipped room of building block robots that can be programmed with the KUKA.Sim 4x in the same way as real industrial robots. 

In addition to universities and training companies, customers from industry are also using the robots in desk format to teach how to handle the technology in a playful way and to reduce any fear of contact. 

So will there be more robotic natives in the future?

Marco Patzelt: "That is our goal. We want to enable as many people as possible to prepare for a working day with new technologies. Because in the coming years, more and more people will be working with robots. We are shaping this development and are therefore offering courses to schools and educational institutions in particular, such as robot programming analogous to "real industrial robots"."

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