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Force Torque Sensor for Universal Robots

Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette
by Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette. Last updated on Feb 19, 2015 5:03 PM
Posted on Oct 30, 2014 9:16 PM. 3 min read time

This article presents the package for our new FT 150 Force Torque Sensor. This pairing will allow you to creates a whole new array of applications for this popular collaborative robot. 


Why use a Force Torque Sensor?

Robotics assembly robot gripper force torque sensor FT web 2Some of you may ask: Why put a force torque sensor on a Universal Robot?

In fact, the collaborative robot already has certain ways to measure force and torque. Unfortunately for specific tasks, the robot measurements for force and torque are just not precise enough. The robot reads the current in its motors and uses the length of its segments to determine the force applied on its wrist. However, depending on the configuration of the robot, the force can be misinterpreted. By using the 6-axis FT 150 at the wrist, you can directly measure the forces being applied on the tool, making it more accurate.



With the introduction of collaborative robots in a lot of different enterprises, more and more applications are completed or partially completed by robots that need some form of force monitoring. At the moment, one of the most popular applications is a FT 150 sensor paired with an Universal Robot to bench test a given product. For example, the automotive industry could be testing hand-shifters for millions of cycles. Using a FT sensor with a UR robot gives the manufacturer the opportunity to monitor just the force that is applied on the part, cycle after cycle. With this information you can then describe and evaluate more precisely the actual comportment of the product. 

Other popular applications are assembly tasks. Since many assembly lines work with small parts that require humans to work in collaboration with robots in the same workspace, Universal Robots is ideally placed for meeting this demand. By pairing UR with a FT 150, 6 axis sensor, you can assemble many tight fitting parts with great precision. 

Easy Installation

The FT/UR package includes all the accessories that are needed to install the sensor easily. First of all the appropriate mechanical adapter plate is provided with the package. Yet, the most important advantage of this package is that the sensor software and drivers can be easily and automatically installed onto the UR teach pendant by inserting a USB stick. 

Through the sensor programming the sensor is recognized and installed directly into the Universal Robots' interface. This allows the robot controller to directly read the force and torque measurements provided by the sensor. So there is no need to have another external controller that analyses the signal. The data can be read directly. Videos are also available on our Robotiq YouTube channel to help you install the entire package on your UR robot. 

Important to remember, this package will still allow you to install whatever tool you want at the end of the sensor. So just imagine all the applications you can apply this to! You can then have precise force and torque measurements in a few minutes to accomplish a wide range of applications. Take a look a the following link to have more information. 


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Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette
Mathieu is a production engineer at Robotiq, where he constantly strives to optimize the production line for Robotiq Grippers. He enjoys discovering new robotic applications and sharing what he learns on Robotiq's blog.
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