31-12-2019
4 min. read
Sjors de Kleijn

Remote Access & Control for Universal Robots

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 to expect from IXON Cloud?

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 IXON Cloud you can:

To integrate your Universal Robots cobot with IXON Cloud we developed a URCap application called IXON Connector

> Discover more benefits of an IoT platform for industrial collaborative robots (cobots) here.

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.

Tip: Try the easiest secure industrial remote access solution for Universal Robots: IXON Cloud. Request your Starter Kit here.

IXON Cloud: Remote Access and IoT platform for Universal Robots (UR+)

IXON Cloud: Remote Access and IoT platform for Universal Robots (UR+)

How to connect the UR+ cobot with the IXON Cloud

To make use of the IXON Cloud you need to create a free company account and connect your robots to this platform using an IXrouter

Each IXrouter 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.

Install IXON Connector URCap on Universal Robot

Install IXON Connector URCap on Universal Robot

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.

Remote control the UR+ Teach Pendant screen with IXON Cloud

Remote control the UR+ Teach Pendant screen with IXON Cloud

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.

Dashboards for Universal Robot cobots UR+

Dashboards for Universal Robot cobots UR+

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 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.

Setup of a Universal Robot alarm in the IXON Cloud

Setup of a Universal Robot alarm in the IXON Cloud

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 access 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.

Request a free starter kit

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IXON Cloud for UR+ collaborative robots: Remote Access, remote control HMI screen, robot dashboards and alarms

IXON Cloud for UR+ collaborative robots: Remote Access, remote control HMI screen, robot dashboards and alarms