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COORDINATE SYSTEMS

PRASHANTH B N

Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering Amrita School of Engineering

WHAT IS A COORDINATE SYSTEM

A coordinate system defines a plane or space by axes from a fixed point called the origin.

Robot targets and positions are located by measurements along the axes of coordinate systems.

A robot uses several coordinate systems, each suitable for specific types of jogging or programming.

The base coordinate system is located at the base of the robot. It is the easiest one for just moving the robot from one position to another. The work object coordinate system is related to the work piece and is often the best one for programming the robot.

The tool coordinate system defines the position of the tool the robot uses when reaching the programmed targets.

The world coordinate system that defines the robot cell, all other coordinate systems

are related to the world coordinate system, either directly or indirectly. It is useful for

jogging, general movements and for handling stations and cells with several robots or robots moved by external axes.

The user coordinate system is useful for representing equipment that holds other coordinate systems, like work objects.

BASE COORDINATE SYSTEM

The base coordinate system has its zero point in the base of the robot, which makes movements predictable for fixed mounted

robots.

It is therefore useful for jogging a robot from one position to another.

For programming a robot, other coordinate

systems, like the work object coordinate

system are often better choices.

When you are standing in front of the robot and jog in the base coordinate system, in a normally configured robot system, pulling

the joystick towards you will move the

robot along the X axis, while moving the joystick to the sides will move the robot along the Y axis. Twisting the joystick will move the robot along the Z axis.

WORLD COORDINATE SYSTEM

The world coordinate system has its zero point on a fixed position in the cell or station. This makes it useful for handling several robots or robots moved by external axes. By default the world coordinate system coincides with the base coordinate system.

 A Base coordinate system for robot 1 B World coordinate C Base coordinate system for robot 2

WORK OBJECT COORDINATE SYSTEM

The work object coordinate system corresponds to the work piece:

It defines the placement of the work piece in relation to the world coordinate system (or any other coordinate system).

The work object coordinate system must be defined in two frames, the user frame (related to the world frame) and the object frame (related to the user frame).

A robot can have several work object coordinate systems, either

for representing different work pieces or several copies of the

same work piece at different locations.

It is in work object coordinate systems you create targets and paths when programming the robot. This gives a lot of advantages:

When repositioning the work piece in the station you just change the position of the work object coordinate system and

all paths are updated at once. Enables work on work pieces moved by external axes or conveyor tracks, since the entire work object with its paths can be moved.

A World coordinate system

B Work Object coordinate system 1

C Work Object coordinate system 2

TOOL COORDINATE SYSTEM

The tool coordinate system has its zero position at the center point of the tool. It thereby defines the position and orientation of the tool. The tool coordinate system is often abbreviated

TCPF (Tool Center Point Frame) and the center of the tool

coordinate system is abbreviated TCP (Tool Center Point).

It is the TCP the robot moves to the programmed positions, when executing programs. This means that if you change the

tool (and the tool coordinate system) the robot’s movements

will be changed so that the new TCP will reach the target.

All robots have a predefined tool coordinate system, called tool0, located at the wrist of the robot. One or many new tool coordinate systems can then defined as offsets

from tool0.

When jogging a robot the tool coordinate system is useful when you don’t want to change the orientation of the tool during the movement, for instance moving a saw blade without bending it.

USER COORDINATE SYSTEM

The user coordinate system can be used for representing equipment like fixtures, workbenches. This gives an extra level in the chain of related coordinate systems, which might be useful for handling equipment that hold work objects or other coordinate systems.

 A User coordinate system B World coordinate system C Work object coordinate system D Moved user coordinate system E Work object coordinate system, moved with user coordinate system