RoboDK, a leading Canadian-European robot programming software company, has released the design and assembly instructions of the TwinTrack Probe. Available from September 2023, the cost-effective tool allows users to easily record complex paths in RoboDK with an off-the-shelf HTC VIVE tracker and a simple 3D printed tool.

As the robotics market continues to evolve and more businesses are turning to robotic automation, there is a move away from traditional programming methods. Users don’t want to have to manually move (or “jog”) a robot into position to laboriously program every point, or even model parts in CAD software. They want to record robot trajectories quickly and easily to put the robots into production faster.

With the new TwinTrack Probe users can program their robot simply by moving the probe by hand and recording their complex paths with ease. This allows the robot to mimic the operator skills.

The design and assembly instructions of the probe are made publicly available so it can be customized to better mimic human skills. The device includes 2 buttons to have better control over the teaching process.The combination of an off-the-shelf tracker and a 3D printed, open-source tool makes the solution incredibly accessible for any business that wants to increase their automation efficiency.

The main challenge with industrial-grade accurate measurement systems is their restrictive price tag. While accuracy can be up to 0.1 mm, using such systems requires extensive knowledge and experience, only available from specific vendors.

Olivier Allard, Software Developer at RoboDK, explains “Traditional methods to teach robots by demonstration require very expensive metrology systems, dedicated support, and training. The price tag of this hardware can be over one hundred thousand dollars, which is far more expensive than a robot itself. We wanted to find a cost-effective solution for applications not requiring accuracy to make it more accessible for everyone.”

The new TwinTrack probe can be built with less than 2000 EUR, including the measurement hardware required from HTC and Valve. With the new probe, RoboDK aims to bring the benefits of off-the-shelf and affordable measurement technology to its customers, without the restrictive price tag and allowing to customize the hardware for each manufacturing application.

RoboDK specializes in creating solutions that remove the need for costly, vendor-restrictive hardware. The RoboDK programming software already supports over 900 robot models from over 70 brands, and this continues to grow.

The TwinTrack Probe can achieve an accuracy of 5mm, which is suitable for many robotic tasks including painting, dispensing, and pick and place. By programming the trajectories in the real environment, the tool helps users compensate for any accuracy error between their simulation and the real objects.

The team is also working to make the system even easier to adopt by creating comprehensive step-by-step setup guides for users looking to construct their own probes.

These initiatives reflect RoboDK’s commitment to empowering users with valuable resources and fostering a culture of innovation and knowledge exchange.

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