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I've got Robotics API library, a demo program and a robot. I want to develop an app for it. The best solution is offline development on some kind of simulator. I'm completely new in such tasks - is there any IDE for this? Or a way do deliver byte-code to machine? Thanks in advance!

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you add more specific information? what robotic arm? what API? what platform for an app? what do you want it to do? $\endgroup$ – Mark Omo Jun 30 '15 at 2:28
  • $\begingroup$ What kuka are you using? $\endgroup$ – Andrew Hundt Jul 15 '15 at 14:42
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If it's your first time, better off try with a simulator to check that your program doesn't break the robot's constraints or security configurations. The most powerful simulator I came across is "V-REP", which is free for educational purposes.

V-REP is the Swiss army knife among robot simulators: you won't find a simulator with more functions, features, or more elaborate APIs.

The robot simulator V-REP, with integrated development environment, is based on a distributed control architecture: each object/model can be individually controlled via an embedded script, a plugin, a ROS node, a remote API client, or a custom solution. This makes V-REP very versatile and ideal for multi-robot applications. Controllers can be written in C/C++, Python, Java, Lua, Matlab, Octave or Urbi.

V-REP is used for fast algorithm development, factory automation simulations, fast prototyping and verification, robotics related education, remote monitoring, safety double-checking, etc. http://www.coppeliarobotics.com/index.html

and answering @ben:

I don't think there is any sort of IDE, the way VisualStudio or Arduino have IDEs. However, I do know that Kuka does have some fancy work-cell simulation and analysis software. This kind of thing is for laying out large industrial floor plans and optimizing efficiency.

In fact, KUKA's latest robots "LBR iiwa" come with a sophisticated Eclipse-based IDE called "KUKA Sunrise.Workbench.", you program your 7 DoF robot's arm directly with Java and Kuka's complete API. And you still can program the robot with the control pendant (They call them SmartPAD) or C++ by communicating via a UDP interface called FRI (Fast Research Interface Library).

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any resources on how to communicate with the LBR iiwa via FRI? The interfaces seem woefully underdocumented. Also, are you sure the robot can be programmed via FRI? It's been my understanding that it's only meant for I/O. $\endgroup$ – FvD Aug 5 '15 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ The only resource I have is the PDF file KUKA provided, and it doesn't give much information on the programming paradigm or the mechanism. $\endgroup$ – El Zo Aug 6 '15 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ For now, I communicate with the LBR iiwa via UDP (ports from 30.000 to 30.010) and it's working fine, either to control the robot or receive data ( AxisAngles, Torques Values, etc.). FRI as Kuka's representative told me, it's more for overlaying movements than for fully control the robot's movements. I asked a question on FRI here on SO, the only guy I came across who worked with FRI is @Andrew Hundt. you can find his answer here: robotics.stackexchange.com/questions/7760/… $\endgroup$ – El Zo Aug 6 '15 at 14:20
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In school (about 8 years ago) I did some work with a Kuka KR 5 sixx robot arm. I remember there being 2 different APIs. One was pretty high-level and you could specify joint configurations, waypoints, etc. through XML over TCP at some slow rate (maybe 10 Hz). They also provided a more powerful low-level interface, but I forget the specifics of that. I don't remember Kuka allowing you to put code on their control box. Both of these interfaces were over Ethernet.

I don't think there is any sort of IDE, the way VisualStudio or Arduino have IDEs. However, I do know that Kuka does have some fancy work-cell simulation and analysis software. This kind of thing is for laying out large industrial floor plans and optimizing efficiency.

Remember that by far most of the Kuka robots in existence are "programmed" using the control pendant. People writing "real" code to move the robot is not their normal use-case.

But if Kuka gave you the API, shouldn't you know about this kind of stuff? Or at least have a contact at Kuka. Why are you asking us here?

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RoboDK offers a driver that sits on the KPC. You can write your code in most high-level languages like Python, for example. Point the local RoboDK application towards your IDE of choice, import RoboDK library into your project, and use RoboDK, well documented, API to run online debug from your python IDE.

https://robodk.com/doc/en/RoboDK-API.html#RoboDKAPI

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