General

Q: Where can I find the product specifications?

A: All documentation including the specifications for the Kinova Gen3 lite robot can be found here for your convenience.

Q: What is the difference between Gen3 lite and Gen3?

A: Aside from general specifications (reach, payload, maximum speed, etc.) and its kinematics (shape), Gen3 lite differs from Gen3 by its plastic (rather than carbon fiber) shells and its integrated gripper. Contrary to Gen3, Gen3 lite actuators do not have integrated torque sensors, and only a single configuration is available: 6 DoF (6-axis), fixed-base, no integrated vision module.

However, Gen3 lite and Gen3 share the same API (Kortex), so programs designed using one robot can be used using the other.

Q: What is the ingress protection rating of the robot?

A: IP22.

Q: Can I power my Kinova robot with a battery?

A: Yes. Doing so requires a 24V battery that meets the product requirements. Please refer to the user guide for the proper way to connect your Kinova robot to a battery.

Q: How much power does the robot consume?

A: 20W on average.

Q: What is Kortex?

A: Kortex is the common software platform behind all of Kinova's Gen3 products. It unifies the inner workings of the various robots and their related external tools, like the API. For more detail, you can have a look at this video.

Safety

Q: Is the Gen3 lite safe?

A: The Gen3's form factor, lightweight and velocity limits make it very safe to work within any environment. Additionally, all robot limits are configurable and can be customized for each control mode.

Q: What happens if the power is cut off while the robot is operating?

A: There are no mechanical brakes in the actuators, so the robot falls on itself, only slowed down by internal friction.

Q: What happens if the communication is cut off while the robot is operating?

A: The API has a built-in watchdog and will timeout, stopping the robot and putting it in a fault state requiring intervention before resuming any operation. The timeout value is adjustable to your requirements.

End Effector

Q: What end-effector can I use on Gen3 lite?

A: The Gen3 lite has an integrated two-finger gripper with underactuated fingers that can adapt to most shapes. It is currently not possible to remove or replace it.

Usage

Q: How should I get started?

A: First, we recommend you read the user guide. After, you can mount your robot on a table, connect it to a PC via the Ethernet cable and enter the address 192.168.1.10. Connect to the Web App using the default credentials admin/admin. Snoop around, try to move the robot using the virtual joysticks, and create simple sequences to get a general feel of the robot. Once you are ready to begin to design your robotic application, visit the Kortex GitHub repository, and have a look at our tutorial video series

Q: What are the options to control the robot?

A: There are a lot of options.

  1. Manual control via an Xbox controller connected via USB.
  2. Joystick control, simple actions, and sequences via the Web App.
  3. Using the Python API, for which you can find documentation and examples here.
  4. Using the C++ API, for which you can find documentation and examples here.
  5. Using ROS, for which you can find documentation and examples here.
  6. Using MATLAB® or Simulink, for which you can find documentation and examples here.

As mentioned earlier, Gen3 lite and Gen3 share the same API, so even if the examples linked above are made using Gen3, you can still follow them to use Gen3 lite.

Q: Does the Gen3 lite robot support ROS (Robot Operating System)?

A: Yes. We provide services that act as translators between ROS nodes and the Kortex API, as well as the tools to simulate the robot using MoveIT and Gazebo. See the link in the previous question for detail. 

Q: What simulation environment are available for the Gen3 lite?

A: We officially support simulation on Gazebo via ROS (see previous questions for links). If you wish to implement Gen3 in your own simulation environment, we provide the CAD and URDF files. 

Q: Are there tutorials on how to use the Kortex API?

A: Yes, you can find them on our YouTube channel here

Q: At what rate can I communicate with the robot?

A: Kortex robots have two separate channels for communication: low-level and high-level (called Single_level in the API). Low-level commands are processed at a rate of 1 kHz while high-level commands are processed between 25 and 40 Hz depending on how demanding are the calculations associated with the command you sent.

Q: What functionalities are available in low-level servoing?

A: In order for the process to stay at a rate of 1 kHz, only commands requiring little computation are enabled in low-level servoing. This includes obtaining the feedback from all sensors and the current state of the robot and sending joint commands directly to the actuators. The joint command can be of any type (position, velocity, torque, or even current). Note that the kinematics, as well as many limit validations, are skipped in low-level servoing so only advanced users should use it.

Q: Does Gen3 lite support force/torque control?

A: Because Gen3 lite actuators do not have torque sensors, it does not support all force/torque and hand-guiding related functions from the Kortex API. However, low-level motor current control is still available and may be an acceptable substitution to joint torque control for advanced users.

Other

Q: What is the default IP address of the robot?

A: When connected using the micro-USB to USB connector (called RNDIS), the address is 192.168.1.10. When using the USB to Ethernet adapter, the address is 192.168.2.10. The wireless address is given by your router.

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