Good afternoon. Some time ago, by the will of fate and luck, I was brought into the world of industrial robotics. Here is the one where beautiful and slightly scary iron horseradish rivet terminators, or grab a strange gray-blue creature by the scruff of the neck in "Valerian", or simply create a mesmerizing slender flickering of limbs in the frames about car factories. That's about them today and we'll talk (of longid).
What will it be
I've been working on this topic for years. Behind them — a lot of broken walls in matters of abnormal use of robots-on-the-fly control, auto-generation of programs, control of technological processes. Our products are engaged in welding and painting, flaw detection and calibration. We work with wood for furniture makers and with iron in the automotive industry. We have never taken up projects for the classic use of robots in mass production. Each time we solve tasks that usually require an operator who makes long and painful adjustments to the program before each launch.
In theory, if the material is interesting to the Habr audience, it will be a series of articles in which we will consider the following questions:
- about Robert's programming. I don't apply for the course, but rather about the features of these guest workers
- development of automatic programming systems
- about difficulties on the way to entering the profession
- technical nuances of swinging a limb
- remote management of the development and debugging team
- cortex programming and algorithm optimization — you give the execution of what worked on i7, inside STM32
- about fucapi, startups
and many other things. I have accumulated a lot to tell you what I have.
Today-a summary of the situation in the Russian Federation with our, in many ways insane, bell tower.
Today on the market there are 4 and a half representatives of the iron hands, which are very common. These are Fanuc, Yaskawa, ABB, Kuka (I won't mention rare earth samples). Next to them are Universal Robots-cool guys whose robots look like a nice pile of aluminum pipes and plugs, which are very actively promoted on the market. I will tell you about the first two examples that I had to deal with directly in my work. All I know about ABB is that they are white, and I know twice as much about Cook: they are orange and if you swap the first letters in the phrase "remote Cookie", it turns out to be fun.
The most common ones in relatively small businesses are just a yellow Robert named Fanuc and a blue one named Yaskawa. In particular, this is due to their greater affordability and liberality in relations with partners. Well, Universal, which are often used in packaging/sorting, although with the recent release of a robot with a load capacity of 40 kg, something may change.
Situation in Russia
My country is hardly a leader in robotics. It is difficult to call even a serious player)). And it's not because we don't know how to cook them. Mass distribution is hindered by three factors — the cost of the equipment itself, versatility, and integration.
It's not great in itself — there are a lot of things in the industry that make buying a robot about the same as buying a pie in a canteen. It's about financial efficiency.
For example, a normal welder in the vast region gets an average of 40-80 on hand. We'll take 50 generously, add taxes, and round it up to 75. Robert in theory replaces from 3 to 6 welders (if he works with a respectable load of 60-80% of the theoretically available), or saves about 300K per month. If the cost of the complex is 15-20M, its payback period will be 50-70 months, which is 4-6 years. In General, it is tolerable. In addition, the robot is able to maintain stable quality, does not get tired, and does not go on vacation. Makes faster than a person, it's not about multiple acceleration, but faster. Oh Lessa will fly at me tomatoes, let's make a reservation: faster in constant daily work. A person will be able to make a piece of iron in the framework of social competition due to a number of nuances. But on wear and tear, day after day to work in this rhythm will not be able.
While 4-6 years look at such introductory standards? We will throw service, throw a person who will run the robot and in every possible way to court well, and so on. It will turn out something in the region of 6-9 years.
Now let's compare it with the welder's s/p in Europe, which is generally twice as high, but we'll throw in deductions for very harmful production, and remove customs clearance. And it turns out that in the EU, the payback will be 2-3 times faster. That's the first reason why you don't go to work on the subway in the morning with Robert reading manuals — his basic payback, if you omit quality issues, is very prolonged.
The second trouble.
That's not all good. More precisely, not everything is good. Let's start with the classic car industry.
Once, when it was customary to write "Empire" in the names of countries at the end, cars were made by hand in carriage workshops. This is how most brands were born. And with manual production, a person can always finish twisting something, reach out, stroke it with a sledgehammer, at least. There are legends that AVTOVAZ still collects cars like this (no).
And today, a machine is a fucking cloud of parts that begins its life as sheets and blanks that pass through presses, molds, CNC machines, and other joy that gives the output a set and predictable accuracy. Perfect condition for the robot-the holes are where they should be, everything is inserted and docked, control at every stage. And specifically, in the mass production of cars, robotization at domestic enterprises does not differ much from the EU.
Small — scale production is another matter. Robert is a creature that can come to the desired point with some accuracy (in fact, it doesn't either)))). The operator must point out the points to him by running a program for the robot on the remote control. This is a very dreary action, since the remote control is such a fool (different manufacturers have different degrees of elegance):
Whatever it looks like, it doesn't change the essence of the process: each entry involves moving the robot to some point in space by poking buttons, recording the point and setting its parameters (speed, rounding of movement, etc.). Plus all sorts of instructions for working with peripherals, registers, and so on. Well, for dessert-all this through the menu. This is the same as in dotnet's "kribble-krable-booms" (public static void), each word would have to be inserted through F1->Menu->>Commands->>>Standart->>>>Base and some other action. With menu navigation with arrows. It's a long, dreary, and very UN-romantic business.
Writing a program for a product is not a one-day task. And after that, we can only work out this particular type of product as many times as we need to produce pieces. Time savings, of course, are there, but in General it does not look so attractive. And then-once, and we have a full-length second problem, the name of which is accuracy.
To use a pre-recorded program, we must meet two conditions: install the product with the same accuracy in space (6 xyzwrp coordinates). And also ensure that all parts of the product are made with accuracy sufficient for the technical process. If we are talking about welding, the error is measured in tenths of a millimeter, if we are talking about painting, then everything is simpler, but there are possible "shadows" and non-colors when shifting by several mm.
The sadness knocked on the door of the factory? Do not close it — there is a depression running after it. Which was born from the thermal deformation of the metal during welding. And a program written in tacks on the assembled product, all of a sudden it starts screwing up at work.
As a result, the programs for the operation become much more complex. Verification and adaptation is required before each product. Somewhere in the "come here" zone, there should be an operator who, if poor Robert was knocked out and the process got up, will correctly make changes to the program to continue it.
You can live with all this, but the cycle time increases and productivity decreases, which leads to an increase in the payback period. You just need to be prepared for this, or look for technological solutions, which, in addition to our products, are actually enough. And here we have problem number three:
This is where things get interesting. Comes to the factory conditional integrator, and says: and let's can put you Robert, but in the machine all as run, but as it starts to ride! The plant, after thinking for a year or two (the transaction cycles in promautomatization are simply monstrous), says, throwing the iPhone to the ground: "come on, damn it!".
Chertyaka brings Robert a certain price category and color, creates a moving system, a Cabinet, a conveyor to it (in fact, the process of creating a robotic complex is a separate task, not inferior in complexity to SOFTWARE development) and runs it on a certain type of product. Acts are signed, cognacs are drunk, girls are kissed, everyone is happy.
And then the nuances start to come out like worms. And then definitely poke your finger at someone shouting "It's you!!!!" - will not work. Because each project is a set of many introductory ones, on which the final result depends (Oh, I wrote a banal thing, well, okay...). there Is a customer who has built an atmosphere of shifting responsibility in the team. With such a porridge to cook — a separate quest: no one is responsible for anything, while time goes by, and the work does not move. There is an integrator who sold a project just to sell Robert. Sometimes inattention to small things, which then leads to problems. And inattention both on the part of the customer, who has already fired everyone in his head and bought a dozen iron ones, and now does not hide from the immigration service, and on the part of the integrator, who reached for the handle and missed "we cook steel, including stainless steel". And it is not necessary to hope that all docked in the contract and spelled out the nuances. Yes there in every nuance - on a good almanac. We have been doing this for years, and continue to snatch. And the contract is not a panacea, the market is narrow, and even if everything is written in the contract, it will not save you from "but these guys are doing the wrong thing".
Therefore, the only thing left is to improve the SOFTWARE and explain its limitations.
You may get the feeling that robotics is a black hole with no particular prospects, and you should not even go into it. But in fact, everything is a little different. There are at least two reasons for this:
- A General decline in the quality of training and a decrease in the number of graduates with a working specialty. Yes, I understand that the audience of Habr is people who pierce, like Zeus with lightning, debugger any tricky bugs that write code with their left hand, set up the grid with their right, and dance a jig with their feet. But if someone was looking for employees, they can't help but notice a decrease in both the number and level of the same developers. And it's even worse in working professions.
- Technology development. Oddly enough, the boom of AI and others like it, which is a consequence of increasing the speed of calculations and their availability, is growing here - it is possible to create systems that can quickly and efficiently replace the operator's work, leaving him only the control function.
Both of these prerequisites eventually lead to the fact that the development of robotics in the Russian Federation will go on, and it is worth doing (who would doubt it, you are writing articles about it for some reason))
And since we decided to go-a brief overview of vendors.
Vendors and their features
Regardless of other qualities that are undoubtedly important, such as delivery times and party policy, I will give a brief description in the context of development:
Very responsive General, very competent (however, based on personalities) technical support in complex issues. You can even, after some time, ask Robert to "go for a ride" for some projects.
That's right close to the Fans, but from the point of view of technical support, everything is more complicated, some questions do not have an answer right away, you have to contact Deutschland with the appropriate speed of response to requests.
Very pretentious (deservedly) guys. What gives rise to the reverse side of the coin: you can beg the robot until you are blue in the face, even access to the demo room for tests is a huge problem. In this regard, we did not have any projects with them.
They're hipsters. Nothing is clear, but very interesting. At exhibitions, they give the robot the makings of a hedonist and twist a glass of cognac in its paw. They also bravely jump under a working piece of iron, demonstrating its capabilities and their belief that these Roberts can't kill anyone in principle. But we saw everything in the movie ourselves!
Our relationship is still in its infancy, something I can't say.
This concludes the introductory part. In the second, we will look at the features of two specific devices and try to figure out what you can do with them, and what you can't, and how to take off with it all. Or-a question in the vote-let's talk about the threshold of entry and what a potential Robert driver needs to know/be able to do in order to tie the knot of suffering with this fun business.