KUKA-KAWASAKI-Robotic Toolbox for Matlab®

(MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx)


M. Christern, A. Schmidt, T. Schwatinski, T. Pawletta


The MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx has been developed by the research group Computational Engineering and Automation at Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences. It realises the control of industrial robots with Matlab. The Toolbox is tested and validated through a prototype-development based on KUKA/KR3 and KAWASAKI/FS003N robots.

Due to the fact that research in robotics is proceeding, there are incessantly new fields of application for robots. As a result of that, the requirements concerning the robots are very great. Easy programming and integration of different external hardware (sensors, actors) are of particular importance. In this context it is desirable to offer a continuous homogeneous software environment from the early design to operation phase.

Control model design in the engineering and scientific domain are often characterized by the usage of Scientific and technical Computation Environments (SCEs) like Matlab, a famous commercial SCE. The MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx is a further development of the MatlabKukaKRL Toolbox and does also close the gap between robot-manufacturer specific programming languages and SCEs. In addition, the current version of the MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx supports the KUKA Robot Language (KRL) and the KAWASAKI Robot Language (AS). Figure 1 shows the extension of the KUKA/KAWASAKI environment by adding a PC including Matlab.

Fig. 1: Integration of a PC including Matlab into a KUKA/KAWASAKI environment

KUKA controllers are connected via serial interfaces RS232 and KAWASAKI controllers are connected via Ethernet with the PC. The control program for the heterogenous robotic environment is developed using Matlab with the MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx and runs on the PC. Interpreters are implemented in KRL and in AS to realise a bi-directional communication to the PC. Moreover, the interpreters are responsible for the identification and execution of commands that are transmitted by the PC.

The MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx offers the following advantages:
  1. usage of a homogeneous software environment from the early design to operation phase
  2. interactive programming of different robot types using a uniform instruction set within Matlab
  3. easy integration of additional hardware and software supported by Matlab (example video: integration with Stateflow)
  4. a comprehensive test of control strategies using Matlab-based simulation and visualization tools (Visualization Toolbox for MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx)
  5. perpetuation of security aspects supported by Kuka and Kawasaki like workspace supervision, checking final position switches of robot axis etc.

Downloading MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx
The toolbox is not public domain. You can download the latest release of the MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx from here. First, please contact the project supervisor (birger.freymann[at]hs-wismar.de) for the required download authorisation.

Installing MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx
The install instructions are based upon a former successful Matlab installation. In addition the Instrument-Control-Toolbox has to be installed because Matlab has to act as client.

  1. At first the interpreter has to be installed on the robot controller.
    • For KAWASAKI please follow the instruction from the MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx help file.
    • For KUKA please follow the instruction from the MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx help file.
  2. At second the toolbox has to be copied to your harddisk into a specified folder. Please follow the instruction from the MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx help file.
Moreover, see the full online-documentation of the MatlabKK-Robotic Tbx (english version) for further details.

Bug Report
Please report bugs to the project supervisor by email (thorsten.pawletta[at]hs-wismar.de).

Registered Users & Related Publications
List of institutions of registered users
List of relevant publications of the RG CEA in this field

Some Demos & Add-ons
Here some more demos and add-ons (work in progress)

This work has been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (support code 1747X08).
website started 2011/03, FG CEA (T. Schwatinski)