Remote Access & Control for Universal Robots
Get full access over VPN and HTTP to run robot simulations, access data and change jobs of UR+ robots from remote via IXON Cloud
Universal Robots has a wide range of industrial (collaborative) robots that are used for quality inspection, dispensing, packaging, material handling and assembly. To create more added value and flexibility, our OEM and system integrator customers expand them with edge connectivity and remote capabilities using IXON's Remote Service & IIoT platform. This article shows the benefits, how it works and how to get started.
- Introduction into IXON Cloud: Remote Service and IIoT platform
- What IXON Cloud can do for Universal Robots
- IXON Connector (URCap) for Universal Robots
- How to connect the UR+ cobot with the IXON Cloud
- Remote VPN access
- Remote control the Universal Robots teach pendant via VNC
- How to collect and log data from Universal Robots
- Create a dashboard from robot data
- Receive notifications from Universal Robots
- Try IXON Cloud 30 days with our Starter Kit
Industrial IoT platform for Universal Robots
IXON is official Industrial IoT partner of Universal Robots and has created a powerful Industrial IoT platform to upgrade your Universal Robots with IoT capabilities. Using IXON Cloud you get instant and easy access to your UR3, UR5, UR10 or UE16 cobots over a secure VPN connection from anywhere in the world, any time of the day.
What IXON Cloud can do for Universal Robots?
Thanks to IXON Cloud you get easy and secure web-based access to your Universal Robots to access and control the robot and its interface on your smartphone or computers. With the remote service portal you can:
- Remotely connect to your UR cobot(s), take over its HMI touchpanel from remote and control it with VNC.
- View the data you have collected in customisable robot dashboards of graphs and figures.
- You can also be notified when something goes wrong. These notifications can be sent in multiple ways: email, notifications on your phone or through an interface so you can connect it to your own systems.
- Manage all your robots in one place and control who can access them.
- Create your own apps and programs through the IXON API.
To integrate your Universal Robots cobot with IXON Cloud we developed a URCap application called IXON Connector.
In the video below, created by Zach Calabrese, a few students of Binghamton University (New York) give a short demonstration of how they use the IXON Cloud platform and IXrouter in combination with a Universal Robot.
> Discover more benefits of an IoT platform for industrial collaborative robots (cobots) here.
> IXON is compatible with a wide range of industrial robots/cobots like FANUC, Mitsubishi, ABB, Yaskawa, Doosan, Saywer, Hanwha and more. Get in touch to verify compatibility with your robot.
IXON Connector (URCap) for Universal Robots
The IXON Connector is the URCap (plugin) for Universal Robots cobots. It integrates the cobot with the IXON Cloud by providing a VNC Server and data logging capabilities. VNC is used to remotely control and view the screen of the cobot; data logging is used to create useful statistics and provide you with notifications when something requires attention.
The IXON Connector is designed to be used together with the IXrouter. The IXrouter and the IXON Connector URCap is an official UR+ certified product. All types of cobot (UR3, UR5, UR10 or UR16) are compatible with the IXON Connector for industrial remote access.
Tip: Try the easiest remote access solution for industrial robots/cobots: IXON Cloud. Request your Starter Kit here or explore our platform in our Free Product Tour.
How to connect the UR+ cobot with the IXON Cloud
Each industrial VPN router has four ethernet ports for connecting machines and one WAN port to connect it to the internet. There are multiple versions of the IXrouter supporting additional ways to get internet access:
- Ethernet only
- Ethernet & 4G
- Ethernet & Wi-Fi
- Ethernet, 4G & Wi-Fi
Each device includes lifetime support and access to IXON Cloud and its features, the option to activate Cloud Logging and Cloud Notify, as well as free technical support. If your device supports multiple sources they can be used together for redundancy. Simply choose a way to get internet access, connect your cobot(s) and you’re all set and ready.
Activate the IXrouter
Activating the IXrouter is easier than with most other routers. Usually, routers are configured via their own web interface. In contrast, the IXrouter reads the initial configuration from a USB stick. Simply create the configuration file in your IXON Cloud account, download it to the USB stick and plug it into your router. On boot, the IXrouter will read the configuration file and automatically connect to the IXON Cloud. Next, you can activate it by giving it a name and access it from your company account in the IXON Cloud. Any future configuration will be handled via IXON Cloud. Read the detailed installation steps here.
Install the IXON Connector URCap
Place the URCap “IXONConnector-x.x.x.jar” file onto a USB stick and insert it in the side of the polyscope and install it from there. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the support website from Universal Robots. The URCap and a full installation manual can be requested through our contact page.
Get remote VPN access to UR+ Robots
Once your IXrouter device is activated and the URCap is installed, you can log into your IXON Cloud account to set up a secure VPN connection to your Universal Robots cobot. Choose the device you want to connect to and push the VPN button. Now the secure VPN tunnel is created from your computer, via the IXON Cloud to your robot. You’ll have full network access to your Universal Robot for troubleshooting, monitoring and to publish new programming software releases.
Remote control the Universal Robots teach pendant via VNC
Once you’ve configured the VNC server in the URCap, you can remotely view and control the polyscope from within the IXON Cloud by taking over its screen. View, access and fully control your Universal Robots HMI screen remotely via your browser or smartphone apps.
How to collect and log data from Universal Robots
Cloud Logging is a service with which you can access and pull your data from your Universal Robots cobot, send it securely to the IXON Cloud, and access it through advanced and easy to use dashboards — or use it to create cloud-based alarms. These dashboards can be viewed from any device with an internet connection.
If there is no internet connection available for the IXrouter, your data is not lost. The IXrouter can locally store data for weeks at a time if there is no internet connection available. Once the IXrouter has internet again, it'll send the data to the cloud.
Setup the Variable Logger to log data to IXON Cloud
To collect data from your Universal robot add a new node in the IXON Connector: Variable Logger and activate Cloud Logging in your IXON Cloud account. You can add this node to your program to log variable data to the IXON Cloud. The Variable logger can log global and installation variables to the IXON Cloud. Just configure which variables you would like to log in the URCap and define in the IXON Cloud when these needs to be logged (on interval, on change or custom trigger). We predefined all global variables using an importing to make configuration easy for you.
Create a Universal Robot dashboard from cobot data
Now your data is collected from your industrial collaborative robot, and securely transmitted and stored in IXON Cloud, you can use it to configure your robot dashboards. Using our drag & drop editor, you can add widgets and built multiple dashboards based on the collected data. Add a gauge, period, tables or graph widget to create a data report or live monitor for your Universal Robots.
Receive notifications from Universal Robots
To create and receive alarms for predictive maintenance from your Universal robot add a new node in the IXON Connector: “IXON Notify” and activate Cloud Notify in your IXON Cloud account. Alarms can be created based on the condition of a variable, like when the temperature exceeds 50 degrees or the robot program state is equal to “STOPPED”.
On the IXON Cloud you can add alarms in the Cloud Notify section. Choose the variable, the priority, set the condition and instructions for the operator. Next, you define who must receive a smartphone push message or email when the alarm is triggered.
Try IXON Cloud for remote maintenance of UR+ cobots
Experience setting up remote access to your Universal Robot in just minutes! Leave us your details and we’ll send you a Starter Kit with our most advanced IXrouter (Wi-Fi, Ethernet and 4G/LTE) and all necessary accessories to jumpstart your project. Set up a complete scenario for remote service and test our IoT features with your own Universal Robot. Experience the simplicity of the IXrouter and IXON Cloud platform.
The IXON Connector URCap and a full installation manual can be requested through our contact page.