General

Q: Where can I find the specifications of the robot?

A: You can find all resources including specifications, user guide and CAD models here.


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: Can I attach a camera on the robot?

A: Yes, we can provide universal support for sensors with diameters matching the different part sizes on the robot. Ask your Kinova Sales representative for a quote.

Q: Can I use another gripper?

A: The Gen2 can come with the Kinova 2 or 3 finger gripper. You can also use a Robotiq 2F-85 gripper if you pair it with a Cufflink from Stanley Robotics. Ask your Kinova Sales representative for more detail.

Q: What are the other available robot accessories?

A: As you may have seen elsewhere on our site, we have an integrated solution with the Robotiq gripper, a camera module and extra features. It is our GRP gripper adapter. We also have remote communication modules and standalone robot controllers.

Safety

Q: Is Gen2 safe?

A: In order to ensure that our robotic arms empower humans above all else, we design with safety in mind. The arms are active compliant due to torque sensors in each joint, meaning each arm can stop and correct itself mid-movement.

What’s the difference between a traditional wrist and a spherical wrist on a robotic arm?The spherical wrist allows you to decouple the translation and rotation parts of the inverse kinematics solution. The traditional wrist, on the other hand, has no pinch point.

Usage

Q: What are the options to control the robot?

A: There are a lot of options.

  1. Manual control via a connected joystick
  2. Simple actions via the Development Center, a GUI available with the SDK here. It's documentation is here.
  3. Using our C++ API, found with the SDK above. Many examples are available in the SDK, but you can find additional ones here.
  4. Via ROS. You can find instructions and examples here.
  5. Via the API wrapper on Matlab. You can find the necessary files to get it to work here.


Q: Why does the robot need to home before use?

A: When powering up the robot, the software doesn't know what is the current pose of the robot. Forcing the robot to home before operation forces the robot to reach a known position, which can then be used as an initial guess for our inverse kinematics algorithm and be tracked as long as the robot is powered on. Once the first homing was done, you can switch in and out of the cartesian control mode without problem.

Q: What is a singularity and why can't the robot move through it?

A: A singularity is a robot pose where one degree of freedom is lost. It often happens when two actuators are perfectly aligned in such a way that their movement could cancel each other out perfectly. You can observe in a singular pose that there is a direction (maybe in translation, maybe in rotation) where the robot cannot move even if it tried. In the software, we prevent the robot from reaching singular positions because they create divisions by zero and make equations unsolvable. The positions of the singularities are indicated in the user guide.

Q: What can I do to improve the repeatability of my robot?

A: You can control position via a closed-loop by taking the target position and comparing it to the current pose of the robot, then send a velocity in the appropriate direction proportional to the error. You can do even better by adding a camera to your setup and using visual servoing to reach your target again with velocity commands.

Q: How can I improve my robot’s gravity compensation in torque mode?

A: You can find the instructions in the User Guide in the section on Controlling the robot.
 

Q: What simulation environment exists for the KINOVA Ultra lightweight series robotic arms?

A: The Gazebo robotic simulator, from ROS, allows you to rapidly test algorithms using realistic scenarios, allowing you to visualize arm movement.

Q: How do I switch the robot to torque mode using ROS?

A: All of the necessary instructions can be found in the torque control section here.

 

 

Technical Problems?

Q: Fingers won't close.

A: The fingers must be opened completely once after booting the robot before being able to close. This is done to index the position of the fingers and avoid breaking them by accidentally closing them too tightly.

Other possible causes:

  • Inappropriate command sent
  • Bad electrical connection between last actuator and gripper
  • Fingers are broken

*For ROS users, hand type set to no motion in the trajectory point

Q: The arm doesn’t move and the green lights on the joystick keep flashing.

A: Download the latest firmware version here at the bottom of the page select the appropriate DOF Spherical-Firmware.

You will also need the latest version of Development Center available here and choose "KINOVA® SDK GEN 2 Ultra lightweight robot 1.5.1". Follow the release notes (RN) document to install the software properly.

Q: Admittance mode is not working.

A: If the robot refuses to move, first make sure you went to the home position. Admittance also won't start if you initialize the mode too close to a singularity. If the robot is moving by itself, use the Development Center to reset the zero torque values on the actuators. You may also need to adjust the zero position reference of the actuators, which is also done through the Development Center.
 

Q: A finger broke.

A: If the fingers are only detached from the robot, you can easily reattach them by putting the gripper in the closed finger position, which should reveal a moving part with a slot to attach the finger. For heavier damage, please contact support (support@kinova.ca).

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