Festo’s Multi-Axis System for Universal Robots’ Cobots

June 19, 2023
Four additional axes can be added to the cobot’s six axes to increase its reach and enable additional uses.

As robots become more common to production operations, we’re seeing an increase in additional devices—from specialized end effectors to additional axes—made available to enable specific manufacturing applications.

One example of this trend can be seen in the Festo’s release of a multi-axis system designed for use with Universal Robots’ collaborative robots (cobots). This multi-axis system allows up to four additional axes to be added to the UR cobot’s six axes to increase the cobot’s reach and enable additional uses.

The system uses the Festo Motion Control Package (FMCP-UR) to control the additional axes.

According to Festo, the FMCP-UR is “fully integrated with the UR cobot control panel and HMI and features an enhanced safety I/O handshake and communications interface…to control turn tables, gantry systems, conveyors, transfer tables, and any combination of linear and rotary servo axes up to the 10th axis.”

Integration and troubleshooting of the multi-axis system with a Universal Robot cobot is accomplished through the UR HMI. Festo explains that the Multi-Axis Drive (MAD) controller is “URCap software (a Java-based plugin that integrates in to PolyScope, the graphical programming interface of Universal Robots) that allows users to set position, speed and acceleration on the HMI or use the toolbar to jog the axes in manual mode to configure motion.”

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