Thanks to their speed, accuracy and cost, delta robots shine in a wide variety of pick-and-place and packing applications. The main challenge with these useful robots involves integration. Delta robots typically need to work with other motion axes and vision systems. That’s where our Power PMAC® controller comes in.FullSizeRender_silo_1

The Power PMAC embedded controller makes it easy to coordinate the delta robot’s movements with ancillary motion and vision systems—even at the fast cycle times typical of these robots.

To make the delta robot work seamlessly as part of a more complex material handling or packaging system, we take advantage of Power PMAC’s immense computing power. Capable of handling up to 256 motion axes simultaneously, the Power PMAC easily makes all of the robot’s kinematic calculations and synchronizes them with other motion systems.

From the controller’s standpoint, it doesn’t much matter what the other motion system looks like. As long as we can talk to a motor and drive via standard protocols such as EtherCAT or MACRO, we can synchronize that motion axis with the delta robot.

The Vision Delta demonstration uses a vision-guided delta robot to move six dice from an outer rotary table to an inner rotary table. The tricky part is that both tables spin in opposite directions during the pick and place operations. With the six dice scattered randomly on the outer table, the vision system first locates the position of each die on the outer table and sends the information to the Power PMAC controller. The controller then commands the delta robot to pick and place the dice onto the inner table in an orientation specified by a C# application running wirelessly on a Windows tablet.

Thanks to a servo loop update that reaches 40kHz for four axes and a program execution rate up to 10,000 blocks per second, the Power PMAC CPU easily makes all the calculations required to smoothly and accurately move the dice from one moving table to another.

Plug-and-Play for Pick-and-Place. For standalone robot and motion controllers, synchronizing robot movements with other motors and drives can be a difficult task. While possible, making standalone systems work together typically requires custom integration work and many engineering hours. With Power PMAC, the robot and other motion axes work together as one.