One of the obstacles to businesses adopting industrial automation and integrating robots into their day to day processes is the challenge of programming them, particularly if they lack in-house knowledge. Some projects can require complex integrations and using specialist services will drive up the overall cost of the project. However, for simpler applications, that work can all be done in-house.
There are two main ways to programme Eva: using Choreograph, Automata’s browser-based software that’s intuitive and uses drag-and-drop functionality to create toolpaths; or the REST API and Python SDK for more complex applications.
Choreograph – for simple applications, no programming experience required
Suitable for applications such as machine tending from fixed points, pick and place.
Choreograph is Eva’s powerful visual editor; it runs in your browser, or on any browser-based device (such as a smartphone or tablet), without the need to install additional apps on your device. Users get the same level of control through Choreograph as they would through a teaching pendant or external control box, but without the added need for a fixed device. This also gives you the ability to operate the robot remotely.
The easy to use interface means that anyone can programme Eva, with no coding skills required (though we also offer an API for those who would like to write more complex integrations). Choreograph also offers intuitive and secure user management and access control: you can have one or more admin users, as well as multiple regular users.
The robot can be easily set up over three modes: WiFi, ethernet and access point. Then, you can log into Choreograph and start mapping out the process that you are trying to automate. To begin, you can manually backdrive and position the robot yourself and as you do this, you can see Choreograph mirroring your movements; once you’ve chosen the starting position for your application, you can then create waypoints for each step of the process until it’s completely mapped out.
Using the intuitive, drag-and-drop functionality (modelled on animation software), you’re now able to create a toolpath of each waypoint, as well as add wait steps, if statements, grids, IO instructions and more, all directly in Choreograph. If necessary, you can use the viewer to finetune each waypoint on the toolpath, on all 3 axes (X,Y, Z).
You can also easily export and import toolpaths, including ones you have built on another Eva robot, allowing you to be more flexible in your setups. Choreograph users also have the ability to share toolpaths with one another, without having to be an admin-level user. The interface can also simulate the movement of the robot in Choreograph and identify potential issues, all before uploading the toolpath to the robot and starting the application. Finally, you can pause and restart toolpaths as and when required.
This integrated view of both the robot and the toolpath in one window uses complex 3D modelling principles to display both the relative position of the robot in relation to the waypoints on the timelines, as well as those waypoints in relation to other waypoints along the timeline. From a safety point of view, this also means that the software will highlight if the robot cannot safely perform the movement in relation to itself and its own movements – for example if it would exceed joint limits or collide with itself.
Finally, Choreograph comes at no extra charge, which covers both usage of the software, as well as updates in future. We offer you the functionality you need to get started with robotics – all at no extra cost.
If you’re interested in learning more about Choreograph, we can offer you a virtual demo of the software. Simply get in touch with our solution specialists and they can arrange this for you.
Python SDK and REST API – for more complex integrations and applications
Suitable for applications such as inspection, box-to-box sorting, product testing, as well as integrating Eva with external devices, such as smart cameras.
For users who are interested in automating more complex tasks, or who require Eva to be integrated with external devices such as smart cameras, the REST API and Python SDK offer them the flexibility they need. While this requires some coding knowledge, both are fully supported and we offer extensive documentation, as well as coding examples (for example one where we integrated Eva with a smart camera for an inspection and sorting application).
It is possible to have programmatic control of the robot through the API, allowing for other software applications to interact and communicate with the robot as an integrated system. These technical capabilities will allow you and your team to achieve operations such as:
- Dynamic positioning for the robot using smart cameras (for use in machine vision, sorting and inspection use cases where the parts presentation varies).
- Variation and flexibility in toolpaths (for example, if you need to run multiple toolpaths sequentially).
- Synchronising multiple pieces of equipment, such as conveyor belts, Raspberry Pi, smart cameras (for example in applications that require quality control and pass/fail criteria).
- Integration with supply chain management tools (for example: waiting for an order to come through and then triggering a toolpath).
- Applications where multiple robots need to work together to complete a task, or where you need one robot to perform part of the operation before handing over to another robot.
If your in-house programming expertise doesn’t include Python, the API is robust enough to be used with any programming language that can interface with HTTP – giving you and your organisation flexibility and a wide toolset.