Robot Simulator V1.0 User Documentation

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This Robot Simulator package is a tool which allows you to manipulate a virtual Unimation PUMA 560 robot arm.  The robot arm has six rotational joints.  It is designed to illustrate the forward and inverse kinematics robotic problems.

System Requirements

User Interface

The Robot Simulator consists of three different modules.  Please click on the links below for information on how to use each of these modules.

The image below shows the whole user interface.  The configuration shown in this picture illustrates the robot arm's initial position where all joint angles equal 0.


Using the Forward Kinematics Module

The Forward Kinematics module allows you to enter joint angles for each of the six rotational joints and animate the robot arm to the defined position.  Please note that joint angles are entered in degrees.  Please make sure that any joint angles entered are within the range specified.

To use the Forward Kinematics module:

1.    Enter the desired joint angles in each of the joint angle input fields.

2.  To animate the robot arm click the Execute button in the Forward Kinematics Module.

To reset the robot arm back to its initial position and set all the specified joint angles back to 0 click the Reset  button.

The DH Parameters button can be used to view the DH parameters for the current robot arm position at any time.

View the Forward Kinematics Tutorial


Using the Inverse Kinematics Module

The Inverse Kinematics module allows you to enter designed position and orientation of the end-effector of the robot arm.  From this a combination of joint angles to achieve this position are calculated and the robot arm is moved to this position.  Please note that position variables are entered in metres and orientation angles are entered in degrees.  

Please note: Given that the inverse kinematics problem is not always solvable, not all values entered will have a solution.  When no solution is possible for the given values, you will receive a message stating this.

To use the Inverse Kinematics module:

1.    Enter the desired end coordinate values and orientation angles in the relevant input fields.

2.  Click the Execute button in the Inverse Kinematics Module to see if there is a solution for these values.  IF there is the robot arm will be animated to the desired position and orientation.

To reset the robot arm back to its initial position and set all the specified joint angles back to 0 click the Reset  button.

The DH Matrix button can be used to view the DH homogenous transformation matrix for the current robot arm position at any time.

View the Inverse Kinematics Tutorial


Using the Animation Automation Module

The Animation Automation module allows you to see the robot arm in motion.  You can either view the supplied animation or save set position to create your own animations. 

To view the provided animation click on the Example button.

To create your own animation:

  1. Enter the joint angle of the desired position in the Forward Kinematics module. 
  2. Press one of the Save Position buttons to save this position.

To view your own animation once you have saved your positions click the Execute button.

Please note: the Reset button in this module sets all of the saved position back to zero.  It does not affect the robot arm animation or any of the numerical values in the other modules.

View the Animation Automation Tutorial


Robot Simulator V1.0 Tutorials