Reclaiming the revolution: Page 2 of 3

June 20, 2019 //By Nigel Smith
Until recently, the Industrial Revolution was largely associated with drastic engineering efforts that transformed Britain’s industry. Two centuries later, we are experiencing another shift in global manufacturing, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

 Simplified programming

To reach this market, industrial robots must become more accessible, in relation to both cost and user experience. According to TM Robotics’ Global Robotics Report 2018, simple programming was one of the most important features for end-users when choosing a robot. In fact, 79 per cent of respondents named this as a top five consideration.

Currently, there are over 1,500 different programming languages in the world. Even for the most proficient robot engineer, learning every potential robot programming language is an impossible and impractical task. For new automation users, such as the small to medium-sized market, this can be incredibly daunting.

BASIC and Pascal are the basis of several industrial robot languages and tend to be the first any budding robot programmer begins to learn. BASIC, standing for Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, is relatively simple, but can also be considered outdated for today’s demanding robotic applications.

Simple programming may be a top priority, but today’s end users also don’t want to compromise on robot ability — particularly for their first robotic investment. Therefore, a balance needs to be struck. Toshiba Machine’s controllers, for example, are programmed in SCOL. This is a programming language that is similar to BASIC, but with more advanced features.

In fact, Toshiba Machine’s latest robot programming software, TSAssist, has been designed around usability. By opting for intuitive screen design and customisable operator panels, beginners find it easy to understand. TSAssist is compatible with any of TM Robotics’ industrial robots, including the extensive SCARA, Cartesian and six-axis ranges.

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