Install on Windows

Overview

This short tutorial outlines the steps to install Actin UR on Windows. It takes about 30 minutes. If you need help, please send an email to support@energid.com.

This installation assumes that you know your way around Windows and are comfortable using the console program cmd.exe

Part 1 - Install and Configure

1.1 Download the Actin UR Installer for Windows

Energid staff can provide you with a download link and an activation code. Without a code, you can run a trial of Actin UR for 30 days.

1.2 Run the Installer which is the downloaded exe file. Something like:

ActinURDevKitL-1.5.0-b5-Win64-vs2015.exe

In the example file above, this is the installer for Actin UR Development Kit, v1.50 for Windows 64 bit and Visual Studio 2015. Your installer maybe a little different depending on version, operating system and compiler.

The installer will place Actin UR in this folder by default: C:\Energid\ActinURDevKitL-1.5.0-b5-Win64-vs2015

1.3 Set an environment variable for ACTIN_UR_HOME.

You can do this one of two ways:

Permanent (recommended):

System Environment variable. Add ACTIN_UR_HOME to point to you installed folder.

Temporary

open the cmd.exe console create the environment variable:

> set ACTIN_UR_HOME="C:\Energid\ActinURDevKitL-1.5.0-b5-Win64-vs20"

1.4 Activate Trial Licenses

Open the license tool in the bin folder under %ACTIN_UR_HOME%

C:\%ACTIN_UR_HOME%\bin\licenseTool.exe

Add these licenses:

  • Actin SDK
  • Actin UR Runtime

You can click Activate Trial for each one, or enter the license activation code provided by Energid and click Activate.

1.5 Create a Project

You can create projects for Actin UR which are specific to your model of robot. You should have python3 installed to run the create script In this example, we are creating the Projects folder in the C:\Energid folder, which is where the default installation is located. First, make sure that you have the environment variable for ACTIN_UR_HOME defined.

Open a cmd.exe window:

> cd \Energid
> md Projects
> cd Projects
> python3 create_project.py UR5e UR5Demo

This will create an Actin RCF project for the UR5e robot in the folder C:\Energid\Projects\UR5Demo.

1.6 Create Project Shortcuts on your Desktop

You can create desktop short cuts to these two batch files within the project:

  • run_rcf.bat
  • run_viz.bat

ActinRCF is the back end runtime, which controls the robot and runs the simulation. ActinViz is the graphical front end for visualization and running scripts. It connects to ActinRCF using over gRPC. In our example, these are running on the same computer. But you could setup ActinViz to run on one computer and ActinRCF on a separate deployment computer.

You can also just create the shortcuts by hand on your desktop:

ActinRCF : shortcut to C:\Energid\Projects\UR5Demo\run_rcf.bat ActinViz : shortcut to C:\Energid\Projects\UR5Demo\run_viz.bat

Here is a zip file that contains a batch file and an icon file. Place the contents of the zip file in your project folder and run. It will create two desktop icons. Note: If you desktop is buried in your OneDrive folder, then you'll have to edit the path within the .bat file to match the path to your Desktop folder.

CreateDesktopShortcuts.zip

1.7 Set the Project Robot IP Address

Edit robot IP address in the file workspace.json. There are two possibilities:

a) enter the IP for the computer running URSim (default is 127.0.0.1 - the localhost). b) enter the IP for the UR Robot

1.8 Set a Static IP for your EtherNet Port

Your computer will communicate with the robot over a dedicated ethernet port. The connection should be direct. Please do not connect to the robot over WiFi or through a router. The direct connection will ensure reliable communication between Actin and your UR Robot(s).

In our example, we set the IP address to match the robot in a previous step (192.168.1.42). For our computer running Actin, we'll assign IP 191.26,1.100.

With the robot on, make sure that you can ping the robot IP address.

Part 2 - Run and Test

2.1 Put the UR Teach Pendant in "Remote" Mode

Using the teach pendant for the UR robot, place the teach pendant in remote mode. Actin cannot take control of the robot unless the teach pendant is in Remote Mode.

2.2 Start Actin RCF

Using either your desktop short cut, or the run_rcf.bat file in your project, start the ActinRCF runtime. This will bring up a console window with log messages, like this.

If your console window opens and closes quickly, it's mostly likely reporting a fatal error. You can run RCF from the console (cmd.exe) to inspect the error. A common problem is that ActinRCF may already be running.

If ActinRCF started up successfully, you can minimize the console window.

2.3 Start Actin Viz

Using either your desktop short cut, or the run_viz.bat file in your project, start the ActinRCF runtime. This will bring up a console window with log messages, like this. You should see Actin Viz as a graphical window, like this:

Notice the connection icons at the bottom and the Connect button at the stop. In the following steps, we'll connect to Actin RCF (the runtime) and then to the robot.

2.4 Connect to RCF and the Robot

Click the Connect button. This will establish a link between Actin Viz and Actin RCF.

Click on the hardware connect tab at the top of the screen.

You will click three buttons, one after annother - waiting for confirmed (green) status between each step.

a) Connect - creates a connection between Actin RCF and your UR Robot b) Power - powers up the robot, releases the brakes (take 5-15 secs, depending on robot model) c) Control - passes control of the robot to the Actin internal controller.

Watch this short video to see how to connect to the RCF and the the UR Robot

2.5 Test Free Drive

If you are connected and have control of the robot, then you can test Free Drive.

In Actin Viz, click the Free Drive button (upper right). Manually move the robot end effector (gently grab the robot wrist end and move with both hands). You should see the graphical rendeing of the robot match the physical robot moving in Free Drive.

2.6 Test Jogging

First switch from Free Drive to Servo Mode (you can't jog while in Free Drive). Next, select the Jogging tool, then click on the View tab. This will match jogging movement directions to your camera view.

Click and hold the arrows for up, down, left, right. You should see the robot moving slowing (jogging).

Here's short video demonstrating jogging:

2.7 Run a Motion Script

In this section, you'll select and run the script SimpleMotion.ecs.

These scripts are writtin in EcScript, the robot scripting language developed by Energid. This is a simple example of executing some linear and circular moves. EcScript supports many more types of motion and planning.

  • Click on the Script Editor tab
  • Open the script SimpleMotion.ecs
  • Click on the Model Tab
  • Change to Simulation Mode (we always test in Simulation mode first!)
  • Click the run button.
  • You should see the graphical robot move.

Once that works, you can test in Servo mode. We suggest you turn the speed down to 50%.

  • Turn the speed down to 50% using the speed slider.
  • Click the Run button, to the right of the speed slider.

You should see the UR robot move and the graphical display match the motion.

A short video to demonstrate running motion scripts.

Well Done!

You have completed the installation, configuration and run/test of Actin UR. To lear more, follow the tutorials on this training site. Within Actin Viz, click on the Help tab to find more resources to learn about controlling robot motion with Actin.