Research on Industrial Robot Monitoring Technology Based on PC SDK

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Research on Industrial Robot Monitoring Technology Based on PC SDK

Research on Industrial Robot Monitoring Technology Based on PC SDK

Xie Kunpeng

Tianjin University of Technology and Education Institute of robotics and intelligent equipment Tianjin, China

Liu Chaohua

Tianjin University of Technology and Education Institute of robotics and intelligent equipment Tianjin, China

Qi Yuming

Tianjin University of Technology and Education Institute of robotics and intelligent equipment Tianjin, China

Zhou Hongchao

Tianjin University of Technology and Education Institute of robotics and intelligent equipment Tianjin, China

Abstract Around the ABB Industrial robot monitoring technology problem, study elaborated the composition and the application function of PC SDK development Interface Class Library based on Net platform, compared and analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of two development environment (virtual environment and real environment) of the robot Monitoring system under PC SDK. Besides, programmed a ABB robot local multi-machine monitoring system using C # language in the virtual development environment. Finally, connected the virtual controller, and verified the usability of the monitoring system. Some functions of the PC SDK were also realized.

Keywords Industrial Robot, PC SDK, C#, Monitoring System


    With the rapid development of modern industry, industrial robots are utilized widely in all walks of life. Currently, many companies are still reading the relevant information from the teaching device to monitor the robot state. Asthis kind of monitoring method needs technical personnel to record, a lot of technical personnel is wasted. Thus, development of remote monitoring system robot is imperative to solve this problem; and how to acquire the robot operation information locally is the key technology. At present, the monitoring system development technology mainly adopt PLC[1,2,3],communication protocol[4,5,6,7,8] (establish the communication between the Controller and PC), or the industrial Internet of Things technology [9] through the external sensor to obtain the robot state information. Despite

    the easy applicationstrong interface and good anti-jamming

    ability, PLC still have its limitations such as less information can be acquired (4-8)Using communication protocols to achieve the acquisition of robot state information always needs its own design,which increased the difficulty of monitoring

    This paper is supported by

    the key technologies R&D program of Tianjin(18YFZCSF00600).

    system development. XIE, et al first adopted the industrial Internet of things technology to get robot state information, however, this method need to use external sensors to assist, which lead to a higher design cost. Compared with the above 3 methods, the ABB brand of industrial robots might be the better candidates to realize remote monitor due to its advantages of low development difficulty without designing communication protocols, high development efficiency and cost savings of system development. At present, foreign scholars have used the PC SDK to verify the high-frequency communication algorithm[10], reducing the controller delay[11].However, the previous study did not introduce the PC SDK clearly, so this paper gives a detailed description about the function of PC SDK in the first section. Furthermore, this paper puts forward a new set of ABB robot local multi-machine monitoring system combining with the PC SDK. Lastly, the paper defines the feasibility of this new monitoring system.

  2. PC SDK

    The PC SDK is a two-time development interface (API) reserved by ABB Industrial robots and is available. NET language call dynamic link library, through the API can establish the robot controller and PC-side application of Ethernet communication between the PC-side robot information reading and automatic mode of data modification, program control and other functions.

    1. Development environment and development mode

      The PC SDK has two kinds of development methods under virtual environment and real environment, in the virtual environment, it is necessary to connect the virtual controller established by Robotstudio simulation software to develop and debug the application, and the real environment needs to connect the true controller. Compared with the two development methods, the development method in the virtual environment is more convenient, the PC SDK can realize the communication between the virtual controller and the PC application, and the real environment needs the Ethernet communication with the real controller with the PC interface

      Communication module installed. Regardless of the development method, the PC SDK version used in PC applications must be compatible with the Robotware version used by the controller. The two development environment configurations are shown in Figure 1:


      RobotStudio RobotWare Visual Studio

      PC SDK library dll file reference

      Software development and debugging

      Virtual development environment


      PC SDK

      PC Interface Visual Studio Real controller

      PC SDK library dll file reference

      Software development and debugging

      Real development environment

      Fig. 1. Two development methods

    2. PC SDK class library composition and implementation functions

      The PC SDK class libraries are organized in the following domains:

      1. Controllers

        The classes used to access robot controller functionality together make up the Controller API (CAPI).

      2. ConfigurationDomain

        The Configuration domain namespace enables access to the configuration database of the controller. Using this domain you can read or write the value of a configuration parameter to the configuration database of the controller.

      3. Discovery

        To create a connection to the controller from a PC SDK application it has to make use of the Netscan functionality of the Discovery namespace. A NetworkScanner object must be created and a scan call must be performed.

      4. EventLogDomain

        Event log messages may contain information about controller status, RAPID execution, the running processes of the controller, and so on.

      5. FileSystemDomain

        The File System Domain namespace enables to create, save, load, rename, and delete files in the controller file system. It is also possible to create and delete directories.

      6. Hosting

        This is the main entrypoint for a host into the CAPI internal functions. It can be used to extend and alter the inner workings of the API.

      7. IOSystemDomain

        IO System Domain is a robot system uses input and output signals to control processes. Signals can be of digital, analog, or group signal type. Such I/O signals are accessible using the SDK.

      8. Messaging

        The Messaging domain of the PC SDK can be used to send and receive data between a PC SDK application and a RAPID task.

      9. MotionDomain

        The MotionDomain namespace lets you access the mechanical units of the robot system.

      10. RapidDomain

        The Rapid Domain namespace enables access to RAPID data in the robot system. There are numerous PC SDK classes representing the different RAPID data types. There is also a UserDefined class used for referring to the RECORD structures in RAPID.

      11. UserAuthorizationManagement

    In the robot controller there is a system controlling user access: the User Authorization System(UAS). If thisfeature is used each user needs a user name and a password to log on to a robot controller via RobotStudio. If the controller connection for any reason is lost, you need to log on again.


    Using the development mode of the virtual environment to develop the monitoring application, the virtual workstation of IRB120 robot is built by using Robotstudio 5.15 simulation software to simulate the real robot working scene, and the virtual controller and PC communication can be realized. The IRB120 robot virtual workstation is shown in Figure 2: The workstation is able to control the robot with the I/O signal to carry out the conveyor.

    Fig. 2. IRB120 Robot Virtual workstation

    Because the virtual controller is Robotware 5.15, create a new application under the X86 platform. NET Framework2.0 Framework, add a DLL file that references PC SDK 5.15, add a namespace, and complete the communication between the virtual controller and the PC. and using the Networkscanner class to monitor the controller on the communication network to test whether the virtual controller and PC-side communication is established successfully. Figure 3:pc SDK

      1. dll file, Figure 4:pc SDK 5.15 version of the PC development platform diagram.

        Fig. 3. DLL file

        Fig. 4. PC development Platform

  4. MULTI-ROBOT MONITORING SYSTEM Based on the PC SDK in the virtual development

    environment, this paper develops a local multi-machine

    monitoring system for ABB IRB120 models, and the initial interface of the system is shown in Figure 5:

    Fig. 5. Initial interface

    The multi-machine monitoring system includes the following functions:

        1. Scan all robot controller information on the same network. As shown in Figure 6:

        2. Select the robot to be monitored according to the controller information in the scan result and create a monitoring window.

          Fig. 7. Monitoring window 1

          Fig. 8. Monitoring window 2

        3. Obtain the monitored robot information, such as IPAddress, System name, robotware version number, etc., as shown in Figure 7, 8.

        4. Always get the working state of the robot, such as the coordinate value of the TCP point, the rotation angle of the six axes, the I/O input status.As shown in Figure 9:

          1 2




          6 5

          Fig. 6. Network scan Results

          Fig. 9. Running status information

          1 2


          Fig. 10. Program page

          The function in Figure 9 is described as:

          1: Switching between the world coordinate system, the base calibration system, the workpiece coordinate system, the tool coordinate system, and the custom coordinate system.

          2: The running speed ratio of the robot.

          3: Input signal status value of the robot workstation. 4: Connection status of the robot controller.

          5: The operating mode of the robot. 6: Robot system time.

          7: X, Y, Z are the coordinate values of TCP in different

          coordinate systems, Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 are the direction quantities of the robot in different coordinate systems, and Rax_1, Rax_2, Rax_3, Rax_4, Rax_5, Rax_6 are robots 1 to 6-axis joint rotation angle value.

        5. always acquire the mechanical unit, work task and routine of the current operating system of the robot, and view the text content of the routine program in the form of text, and can control the start and stop of the routine program. As shown in Figure 10:

    The features in Figure 10 are:

    1: Display all mechanical units, Task, Module, Routine, Tool, workobject information in the controller.

    2: Show module text content.

    3: Some operations on the routine. among them: :Update the information in 1.

    :View routine text content.

    :Save the module file from the controller to the local computer.

    :In automatic mode, start the routine program that is selected in 1.

    :Stop the 1 current routine program in automatic mode.


    The experimental verification of the multi-machine monitoring system was carried out using the established IRB120 robot virtual workstation (shown in Figure 5) in Section 3. The current pose of the robot in the virtual workstation is shown in Figure 11:

    Fig. 11. Pose

    The current TCP coordinate value and the direction vector value result of the robot, as shown in Figure 12 and 13:

    coord:Base coord:Word coord:WorkObject

    Fig. 12. TCP point coordinates and direction measures in the controller

    coord:Base coord:Word coord:WorkObject

    Fig. 13. TCP point coordinates and direction magnitude in the monitoring


    The current rotation angle value of the robot's 6 joints, as shown in Figure 14:

    Controller Monitoring System

    Fig. 14. Figure 14 1 to 6 axis joint rotation angle value

    Query the current I/O system input signal value of the robot in the RoubotStudio simulation I/O module, as shown in Figure 15:

    The multi-machine monitoring system monitors the current I/O input signal in the robot status information as shown in Figure 16:

    Fig. 15. Control system signal

    Fig. 16. Monitoring system signal

    The robot routine is queried in the controller, and the result is shown in Figure 17:

    Multi-machine Monitoring System Monitor the current robot routine information as shown in Figure 18:

    Fig. 17. Routine in the controller

    Fig. 18. Program monitoring results


The practicability of the PC SDK secondary development interface reserved by control system of ABB IRB120 robot based on the .Net platform was confirmed in this study. And a set of local multi-machine monitoring system for IRB120 industrial robot is designed.This system realized the local monitoring of IRB120 robot, and lays a practical foundation for the development of ABB Industrial robot remote Monitoring system in the future.


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