kuka_robot_descriptions repository

Repository Summary

Checkout URI https://github.com/kroshu/kuka_robot_descriptions.git
VCS Type git
VCS Version master
Last Updated 2024-05-06
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This repository contains support packages that can be used with real KUKA robots as well as with simulations.

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What is included?

  • kuka_resources contains general, common files. It is copied from kuka_experimental and is ported from ROS to ROS2.
  • kuka_agilus_support contains urdf, config and mesh files for KUKA Agilus robots, it is copied from kuka_experimental and ported to ROS2.
  • kuka_cybertech_support contains urdf, config and mesh files for KUKA cybertech robots.
  • kuka_fortec_support contains urdf, config and mesh files for KUKA fortec robots.
  • kuka_iontec_support contains urdf, config and mesh files for KUKA iontec robots.
  • kuka_quantec_support contains urdf, config and mesh files for KUKA quantec robots.
  • kuka_kr_moveit_config contains configuration files for KUKA KR robots necessary for planning with MoveIt.
  • kuka_lbr_iisy_support contains urdf, config and mesh files for KUKA iisy robots.
  • kuka_lbr_iisy_moveit_config contains configuration files for KUKA LBR iisy robots necessary for planning with MoveIt.
  • kuka_lbr_iiwa_support contains urdf, config and mesh files for KUKA LBR iiwa robots
  • kuka_lbr_iiwa_moveit_config contains configuration files for KUKA LBR iiwa robots necessary for planning with MoveIt.
  • kuka_mock_hardware_interface contains a custom mock hardware interface for KUKA robots

Structure of the support packages

All support packages consist of 4 folders: - config: contains joint limits, necessary for time parametrization of trajectories - launch: contains launch files to be able to visualize the robot models - meshes: contains collision and visual meshes for the robots - urdf: contains the xacro files describing the robots, including ros2_control integration (with fake hardware argument)

Xacro files

Each robot has two specific xacro files: a macro ({robot_name}_macro.xacro) and another file instantiating this macro ({robot_name}.urdf.xacro). Additionally there is a xacro providing ros2_control integration, including the name and type of the hardware interface, hardware parameters and the supported state and command interfaces. Additionally a transmission xacro is provided for gazebo support, but the mechanicalReduction parameters contained within are not valid, only placeholders.

The macro files contain the links and joints of the main serial chain, including transformations, rotation axes, inertial properties, joint position, velocity and effort limits and the location of the mesh files.

The macro file follows the ROS-Industrial conventions: - link names are link_{i} - joint names are joint_{i} - all link and joint names have a prefix argument - includes base frame: equivalent to the base frame defined by the industrial controller ($ROBROOT) - includes flange frame: attachment point for EEF models - includes tool0 frame: all-zeros tool frame, identical to the tool frame defined by the industrial controller ($TOOL)

All macros additionally contain a world fixed frame (without prefix). The transform from world to base_link can be given with the block parameter *origin.

All robots in the xacros are named according to the following pattern:


where version is omitted, if the official product name does not contain it. (e.g. KR 120 R3100-2 is named kr120_r3100_2 and LBR iisy 3 R760 is lbr_iisy3_r760)

The MoveIt configuration packages also contain xacros, that describe the semantic information of the robots: planning groups, default states and link-pairs, for which collision checking should not be done. The default planning group (from base_link to tool0) is named manipulator for all robot arms. An end effector, named end_effector is also defined for all robots, which enables visualising end effector paths in rviz.

To visualise the robot models, the launch files in the launch directory of the support packages can be used. These also start a joint_state_publisher_gui to enable visualisation of the robot meshes and frames with different joint configurations. However they have only visualisation purposes and cannot connect to real or fake hardware.

Frame conventions

The frames of the main serial chain in the xacros (base_link to link_6 or link_7) follow the Denavit–Hartenberg conventions of Khalil-Dombre. The other frames, which are added to conform to ROS-Industrial follow the conventions defined there: base and tool0 are defined to be identical to the frames on the controller, while flange follows REP-103, meaning that in default position x+ points forwards and z+ upwards.

Collision geometry

Collision meshes are provided for the robots to speed up collision avoidance and detection calculations. These are automatically generated from the visual meshes using the Blender python API (remesh modifier) with fixed parameter values. This generation process will be fine-tuned in the future to further optimize collision calculations.

Joint limit configurations

The support packages contain a joint limits file for every supported robot model, necessary time parametrization of MoveIt-planned paths. They contain the velocity limits also available in the URDF model and additional acceleration limits. Acceleration limits can never be global, these values are calculated from the worst-case ramp-up time to reach maximum velocity. The easiest way to modify the allowed velocities and accelerations is to change the velocity and acceleration scaling factors also available in the same configuration files. (The scaling factor can never be smaller than 1.)

Extending the models

In real applications, it's likely that the description will be more complex, involving multiple objects next to the robot and optionally end effectors. It is recommended to create a new, dedicated ROS2 package specifically for managing this extended description by including the xacro of the the base robot model and extending it.

Example of attaching an end effector (with link name eef_base_link) to the flange frame, which could be defined in a different xacro file:

<joint name="${prefix}flange-${prefix}eef" type="fixed">
 <origin xyz="0 0 0" rpy="0 0 0" />
 <parent link="${prefix}flange" />
 <child link="${prefix}eef_base_link" />

What data is verified?

The following table shows what data is included for each robot in the support packages:

Robot name Robot family Transformations Joint position limits Joint velocity limits Joint effort limits Inertial values Simplified collision meshes
lbr_iisy3_r760 -
lbr_iisy11_r1300 -
lbr_iisy15_r930 -
lbr_iiwa14_r820 -
kr6_r700_sixx agilus
kr6_r900_sixx agilus
kr10_r1100_2 agilus
kr16_r2010_2 cybertech
kr70_r2100 iontec
kr210_r2700_2 quantec
kr210_r3100_2 quantec
kr560_r3100_2 fortec

Custom mock hardware

The repository also contains a mock hardware interface implementation, that extends the mock_components::GenericSystem defined in the hardware_interface package. This is necessary, as the driver workflow also activates controllers, which is possible only if all of the interfaces claimed by the controller is provided by the hardware interface. This would not be the case for the default GenericSystem, therefore all of the custom state and command interfaces used by the drivers are exported by the KukaMockHardwareInterface. Additionally two hardware parameters are added: - To support similar timing behaviour as the actual robots, the mock hardware was extended with a blocking wait, so that the read function does not return immediately, but cyclically. The frequency of the loops is defined by the cycle_time_ms parameter. Default value is 4 [ms]. - To be able to test whether a specific setup would fit into the roundtrip time enforced by a real robot, the roundtrip_time_micro parameter can be used. If the write() method is not called before the given timeout is exceeded (starting from the previous read() function), a warning message is logged (but the return value of the write() will be still SUCCESS). Default value is 0 [us], which means, that the roundrip time should not be monitored.

The mock hardware was implemented in this repository to allow testing moveit capabilities for the robots without having to build the driver code.

Starting the move group server with mock hardware

To start rviz with the motion planning plugin using fake hardware, the following launch files can be used:

KR robots (KSS):

ros2 launch kuka_kr_moveit_config moveit_planning_fake_hardware.launch.py

Matching robot_model and robot_family arguments can be added after the command (e.g. robot_model:=kr16_r2010_2 robot_family:=cybertech). The default robot model is kr6_r700_sixx

LBR iiwa robots (Sunrise):

ros2 launch kuka_lbr_iisy_moveit_config moveit_planning_fake_hardware.launch.py

LBR iisy robots (iiQKA):

ros2 launch kuka_lbr_iiwa_moveit_config moveit_planning_fake_hardware.launch.py

A robot_model argument can be added after the command (e.g. robot_model:=lbr_iisy11_r1300). The default robot model is lbr_iisy3_r760

These launch files are not using the actual driver implementation, they only start rviz the move_group server and a ros2_control_node with fake hardware and two controllers joint_state_broadcaster and joint_trajectory_controller The server will be able to accept planning requests from the plugin or from code. (An example how to create such a request from C++ code can be found in the iiqka_moveit_example package in the kuka_drivers repository.)


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