Giant robot arm

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Yaskawa Motoman K10S

robot in sudoroom
humans bringing the robot to sudoroom
as it was found

an image describing the six axes of a six-axis robot robot homed position pose

You can even make the robot arm paint for you!

what is it for?

It's a six-axis CNC machine that is rated to move 10 kilograms around in any orientation, with 1mm accuracy.

software for communicating with the robot from a regular computer

Use motofile and motocommand while the REMOTE button on the robot is lit up. To enable the REMOTE button, you must enable remote operation first

Your computer must be connected to the robot over an RS232 serial cable. motofile lets you send job files to the robot, and motocommand lets you tell the robot what to do, as if you were pressing buttons on the control panels.
motomove can move the robot directly (without loading a job file) but it is poorly supported in the robot's firmware and was never considered complete by the manufacturer (they moved onto the MRC control system development for this) so use it with caution.


enabling relative job function and the communications option

Ben says:

"If I remember, press OP2, enter the magic code 24.#4.#2 then set these:

set SD079 to 1 for relative job (x,y,z coordinates)

set SD110 to 1 for data communication (remote mode)

and reboot the robot."

hardware used to get it to even turn on without errors

Getting the robot working if it has forgotten its purpose

  • There is a battery inside the connector compartment of the robot arm, and another next to the computer boards on the door of the control cabinet. If the batteries go dead or are disconnected, the robot will act stupid and refuse to boot up with some dumb error screen.
  • There is a switch inside the control cabinet on the edge of the CPU1 card which puts it into MAINT mode (switch up) or PARAM mode (switch down), normally the switch is in the middle. Hard-power cycling the robot is how you reboot it. picture of switch location close-up picture of switch
  • There is a button behind the small hinged cover on the main control panel, which is for rebooting after the arm has been moved out of range, so you can manually bring the arm back into position.
  • Homing the robot is easy compared to getting the robot to be in the mood to be homed, especially after replacing the memory batteries. Don't be like this guy: the PDF mentioned therein: MotomanERChomePosition.pdf
  • after the robot is working, you will have to remind it that you paid for all the deluxe options, like rectangular coordinates and remote access serial stuff. The "magic code" is 24.#4.#2 and the instructions for entering it are above, recounted by Ben.
  • If the robot wakes up to a MAKE ABS DATA error it's probably having trouble communicating with some of the position encoders on the motors. The ABSolute position encoders are backed up by a battery and they can get into a state where they don't work right, that's what's described in the previous links is to get them to cooperate.
  • The controller wants to see eight position encoders. Six are on the six motors of the robot, the 7th is the giant heavy motor/gearbox assembly on the floor, and the 8th is simulated by an arduino hanging by the wires from the circuitboard inside the cabinet. I really need to clean up that wiring, and replace the 7th motor with the dual-encoder emulator arduino code branch

Electrical components



Coordinate conversion and 3d model

Cool Projects

Drawing with the Robot Arm Project

Substack and Jake went ahead and hacked the robot (see the blog post ). now you can upload simple drawings and get it to draw for you.

painting with the SudoRoom Robot arm <3 it's so good to learn from other people!

15:25 <@Rab> No small matter unfortunately, unless you get really imaginative on the CAM side and utilitize the robot's axes of movement in very simple ways. 15:27 <@Rab> I think it'll probably need to be somebody's brilliant custom CAM because open-sores CAM is pretty seriously limited, and more than 3-axis commercial CAM is insanely expensive. 15:28 <@Rab> PyCAM might be a start, that's what I'll use if I do anything 3D. 15:38 <@Rab> Autodesk Fusion 360 includes Autodesk's 3+2 CAM, which is probably the best and most usable CAM you'll find anywhere for zero dollars. But fuck that proprietary cloud shit. 15:42 <@Rab> CAM is one of those software applications which is so hard, anybody skilled enough to do it right also wants to get paid. That's a direct challenge to Sudo Room BTW. 15:45 <@Rab> You could join ##linuxcnc on feenode and see if anybody has any ideas.