PF400 Robot

Configuration Overview

  • TeachBlockGripForce: Force used to grip teach block ( since the teach block is often heavier than a regular plate)
  • GripperOpenClearance: The distance to open around an object/plate in order to release the grip of the object and also to prepare for the grip of the object. Normally this can be 10mm which gives an approximate clearance of 5mm either side.

PF400 Teach App

The teach application allows the user to define a path of locations that allow plates to be picked/placed from plate set downs.

Starting the teach application: Enter the Device Manager and open the robot with a double click from the list of devices on the left hand side.

Then enter the Teach Application tab under the robot tab as shown below. Click on the teach application start button which is shown in the following image.

You will now see a warning that the gripper is going to home. Click OK to accept this warning. The gripper will then open to the fully open position as part of its home routine.

When the gripper home routine is complete, both the robot and the gripper will be in “zero torque” mode. This means that that all axes are easily moved by hand (without needing to press the brake release button).

First fit the teach block as shown below and then click OK.

The gripper fingers should rest between the cone set screw and the step in the teach block as shown below. Please ensure that the teach block is the correct way up as shown in the image below.

Teach App Main Window

The following screen show shows the main window of the teach application.

Teach App Toolbar

From this screen the following toolbar buttons are available

Create a new location. This is used when a system is setup for the first time or when a new instrument or plate position is added to a system.

Deletes either a full location, or a point within the location path.

Lock the grip on the teach block (allows the teach block to be re fitted after being removed)

Release the grip on the teach block (allows the teach block to be removed)

Change to Manual Mode (Zero Torque). The robot will be free to move by hand.

Change to Jog Mode. The robot will be movable by the jog control buttons only. Allows fine adjustment of the teach positions.

Help - opens the default browser to this page

Location Parameters

Taught locations consist of the following parameters:

  • Name - must match the name of an instrument location in Revolution
  • Grip Profile - Either Landscape or Portrait.
  • Path Points - A set of points consisting of the following
    • SetDown - this is the final position at which the plate is picked/placed. This is the most critical path point to teach accurately.
    • ZApproach - this is normally vertically above the SetDown. Take care to ensure that this is high enough so that the skirt of the plate will be clear of obstacles when moving into and out of this position
    • WayPoints - each location path can have 0-N WayPoints which should bring the robot via a safe path to the ZApproach position from a common central safe region in front of the robot.

The location path points forms a path of points into and out of a plate set down. For example, if a location path has 2 WayPoints the robot will move in the following sequence to move to a setdown:

  • WayPoint 2
  • WayPoint 1
  • ZApproach
  • SetDown

The highest WayPoint of a location must be taught at a location that ensures it can safely move to any other “highest” WayPoint of any other location path. In practice this is very simply done by ensuring that all “highest” WayPoints are in a common region in front of the robot at a similar (safe) height.

The following images shows examples for each path point:

Z Approach
Z Approach
Way Point 1
Way Point 1
Way Point 2
Way Point 2

Teaching Positions

Teaching a position requires the robot to be moved to the desired position. This can be done either by hand in the Manual Mode, or by “jogging” in the Jog Mode. Generally, it is recommended (but not enforced) to teach SetDown positions in the Jog Mode to ensure accuracy. All other positions can generally be taught in Manual Mode

Re-teaching Positions When re-teaching already taught positions the software will show an icon next to any position that is close to the current robot position. This provides a clear visual indication to help ensure that the position being adjusted physically matches the robot position. The software will show green/yellow icons as shown below:

A green icon is shown on any position that is within 10mm and 2.5deg of the current robot position:

A yellow icon is shown on any position that is within 50mm and 5deg of the current robot position.

Jog Mode Jog Mode can be enabled by clicking this toolbar button :

When Jog Mode is enabled, the jog controls will be enabled as shown below.

The jog buttons use a world coordinate system as shown here:

Teaching Plate Stacks

Teaching plate stacks is very similar in principle to a normal plate setdown, however, extra care should be taken to ensure the accuracy of the teach locations to help ensure that plates enter and exit the stacks as central as possible.

Stacks require the top and bottom of the stacks to be tought. The bottom position is taught as the Setdown path position and the top is taught as ZApproach.

Setdown - bottom teaching position

Ensure the teach block is pushed to the back of the stack and roughly equal clearance on both sides.

ZApproach position

Teach the Z Approach position so that the under side of the teach block has roughly 20mm of clearance to the front of the stack. Ensure that the teach block is pushed into the back of the stack (without causing the stack to move on its base).

Final Approach position

The final approach position is taught with the teach block base above the front of the stack, as shown here.

PF400 robot web console

The PF400 robot has a web console. Assuming the robot is configured with the default IP address the following link will open the web console.

PF400 Finger Replacement

Tools required:

  • 0.89mm Hex - for grub screw on Precise Automation manufactured finger
  • 1.27mm Hex - for grub screw on UK Robotics manufactured finger
  • 2mm Hex - for screws holding finger to gripper assembly
  • Loctite thread lock or similar. Medium hold. EG Loctite 243