Animating Robots Instead of Programming Them | andyRobot + KUKA

Animating Robots Instead of Programming Them | andyRobot + KUKA

Robot Animator is a plugin for Autodesk
Maya that enables users to animate real robots the same way they animate
characters in animation. I’m a classically trained computer animator
and when I first met robots in the mid 90s there was a definite correlation
between what I do as a computer animator and what folks are doing programming
robots – there was this correlation and I wondered if I could jump from being a computer
animator, extolling motion onto 3D CAD wireframes to make them seem organic or
add the dimension of time. So once we were able to do Robot Animator, it made
the computer animator now a robot animator, so that’s what we called it “Robot Animator.” We have a little piece of technology, EntertainTech,
that makes it very easy for Andy’s application to plug into our controller and give him a
time-based functionality, so we actually with that create a path table, which is joint moves
rather than point-to-point moves of the robot which we can move the robot very
synchronously and very smoothly so we can plug in lighting systems, sound,
and other peripheral devices into the robot program when it’s developed out of
animation, to synchronize the complete effect. This is a KUKA KR 10 AGILUS robot. It’s comprised of
six axes, which means six areas that it rotates in. And what KUKA has done here
is what’s called biomimicry It’s mimicking my arm and how my arm moves. I have
six axes in my arm, and this robot also has six axes. This is axis one. This is axis two. Right here is axis three. Axis four. Axis five is like my wrist, and axis six
is also like my wrist, like this here. So what the robot’s doing with these six axes
it’s trying to come to a solution like my arm is If I want to reach out and pick up a mug, I’m not thinking,
“four degrees, twelve degrees, six degrees” individual axes, I’m just thinking where
my hand is going. And my brain is calculating the math
to keep my wrist straight. It’s called inverse kinematics. Inverse kinematics is
different than forward kinematics. In forward kinematics, I’m rotating
individual axes at one time. Now this may be something that might be useful –
doing programming in forward kinematics but our program, Robot Animator, employs
inverse kinematics, which comes from computer animation and how they make characters
squash and stretch when they walk. What I want to do is we’re going to go over to
Robot Animator and I’m going to show you how inverse kinematics works in
Robot Animator. This is Robot Animator. It’s a plugin
that runs inside Autodesk Maya, and it creates a panel inside Maya that’s
specific to robot programming. So here I have a KUKA KR 10 AGILUS, and I’m going to
demonstrate to you how inverse kinematics moves. So you can see I can just grab the nose of
the robot and move it around. See how it’s pulling the robot wherever I want to go? So it’s calculating all of the different six
axes, their rotations, automatically based on how I rotate the nose of the robot. So this again is inverse kinematics. So when I program something, I’m just pulling
them around and setting keyframes So you can see it’s calculating all of those moves just
based on how I’m rotating the nose of the robot You’re going to see robots as much
of a part of motion pictures, as much as a part of TV, as much
as a part of any type of live entertainment just the way computer animation is,
just totally proliferated everything in entertainment in a way
that you just accept now. Robots will become part of the vocabulary of
stagecraft from Broadway, to television, to motion picture production – you name it. I think there’s a lot of opportunities out there and all that technology is coming forward right now,
and it’s all leading to ease of use. Robots have traditionally been, you know,
you need to go have training, you need to maybe have an engineering degree
to work on a robot With what we’re doing with Andy, it’s just so simple. If you know how to animate you can program a robot and it just opens the door for a
whole realm of new applications.

6 thoughts on “Animating Robots Instead of Programming Them | andyRobot + KUKA”

  1. Awesome idea, I look forward to know more about this concept and how to develop organic programing, keep up with the good work

  2. Human arms have 7 degrees of freedom, not 6, the missing one being an additional degree at the base (shoulder). Also humans don't roll the hand independent of the lower arm (unlike this robot arm).

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