Electrical and Computer Engineering Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 11-1-2019




Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology

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This paper presents an open-source software interface for the integration of a Kuka robot with peripheral tools and sensors, KUI: Kuka User Interface. KUI is developed based on Kuka Fast Research Interface (FRI) which enables soft real-time control of the robot. Simulink Desktop Real-Time™ or any User Datagram Protocol (UDP) client can send real-time commands to Kuka robot via KUI. In KUI, third-party tools can be added and controlled synchronously with Kuka light-weight robot (LWR). KUI can send the control commands via serial communication to the attached devices. KUI can generate low-level commands using data acquisition (DAQ) boards. This feature enables rapid prototyping of new devices for the Kuka robot. Type II Reflexxes Motion Library is used to generate an online trajectory for Kuka LWR and the attached devices in different control modes. KUI is capable of interfacing a broad range of sensors such as strain gauges, compression load cells, pressure sensors/barometers, piezoresistive accelerometers, magnetoresistive sensors (compasses) using either a DAQ board or through the connection interface of amplified bridges. Sensors data, as well as all robot parameters such as joint variables, Jacobian matrix, mass matrix, etc. can be logged during the experiments using a separate stable thread. All these capabilities are readily available through a multithreaded graphical user interface (GUI). Three experimental case studies are presented to demonstrate the capabilities of the software in action. KUI is freely available as open source software under GPL license and can be downloaded from https://github.com/mahyaret/KUI.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.