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ROS 2 driver now out there for UR cobot arms


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Universal Robots (UR), PickNik Robotics, and FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik recently released the first version the open-source ROS 2 driver for UR’s industry-leading collaborative robotic arms. The ros2_control powered driver further hardens the beta release that was presented at ROS World 2021.

The driver is compatible across the entire line of UR robots, from 3 kg payload to 16 kg payload, and includes both the CB3 and the E-series. And supports key functionalities like:

  • Pause at emergency stop and safeguard stop
  • Resume after emergency and safeguard stops
  • Automatic speed scaling to be within the safety settings
  • Manual speed scaling from the teach pendant

The release is now available via rosdep binary for Galactic Geochelone and will also be available for Rolling Ridley and Humble Hawksbill.

You can read the installation instructions here and watch the ROS World 2021 presentation below. If you have feedback or comments about the new ROS 2 driver for UR’s cobots, send them to [email protected]

UR is the leading developer of cobot arms and owns roughly a 40% share of the entire market. FZI is a non-profit research institute for applied computer science in Karlsruhe, Germany established in 1985. PickNik Robotics is known for its motion-planning software called MoveIt, which is one of the more popular ROS-based motion planning platforms.

Teradyne acquired UR in 2015 for $285 million. Teradyne also owns AutoGuide Mobile Robots, Energid, Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR). The companies generated $80 million in Q1 2021 revenue.

As usual, UR led the way with record Q1 revenue of $85 million. That is up 30% when compared to revenue in Q1 2021. UR sales in the United States grew 55% in the quarter.

“We’re seeing broad-based growth from many different segments,” Greg Smith, president of Teradyne’s industrial automation group, told The Robot Report. “Customers have told us they’ve been facing labor shortages since the beginning of the pandemic. Now that they’ve realized those shortages aren’t going to get better, they’re investing in automation.”

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