ABB’s block programming focuses on simplifying YuMi installations

ABB Wizard Easy Programming for YuMi cobot
ABB’s Wizard Easy Programming is based off Blockly. | Credit: ABB

ABB launched a block-based programming interface called “Wizard Easy Programming” to make programming it’s single-arm YuMi cobot more intuitive. ABB said the goal is to make its cobots easier to install for those without programming expertise, which helps reduce the barrier to entry.

The new software is based on the concept of Blockly, which is an open-source visual coding method that presents programming code as interlocking blocks. A user can simply drag and drop functions on YuMi’s FlexPendant to adjust its actions.

The software features essential robot functions such as “move,” “pick,” and “vacuum” to cover a range of tasks that are usually executed by the robot. There are also functions for error handling, allowing novice programmers to take care of errors such as collisions.

ABB said it will expand Wizard Easy Programming to its other robots in the future.

“Flexible and easy-to-use, collaborative robots are enabling small businesses to experience the benefits of robots worldwide,” said Andie Zhang, ABB’s Global Product Manager for Collaborative Robotics. “To enable first-time robot users to realize the possibilities of automation we’ve reduced the learning curve for new users by simplifying the programming of the Single-Arm YuMi with our new Wizard tool. This will help reduce the cost, time and skills required to implement collaborative automation in a wide range of workplaces, which may lack a dedicated engineering or automation programming resource.”

Wizard is converted in real time into ABB’s RAPID programming language, giving it the advantage to support advanced robot functions. Complex robot programs for assembly tasks, for example, can be created by skilled robot programmers and turned into a Wizard program for novice robot users to use and operate.

Wizard is available as a pre-installed application on the FlexPendant device for all new single-arm YuMi cobots after its release at the end of March. The Wizard easy programming software is available for free and the new software will also be made available to existing YuMi customers in the form of a free add-in that can be installed via RobotStudio to the FlexPendant.

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