Methods for Programming your Robots

If someone told you a few decades ago that you could control robots with incredible accuracy and that they would replace human workers, you would have told them that they watched too many science fiction movies. This would have been understandable because 40 to 30 years ago, robots were nowhere near as sophisticated as they are now. They were too clumsy, and could only be given the most basic task. They could only support human workers, not do the whole job for them.

Nowadays though, this does not seem too far-fetched. There are now computer programs that will allow you to control robots with ease. These methods are particularly useful for industrial purposes Here are some easy-to-follow methods that will allow you to control robots with ease.

1. Offline Programming

Of all the robot programming methods, offline programming is one of the most popular. It is usually used in robotics research and is designed to test out control algorithms before they are transferred to a real robot. By using this type of programming, industries can reduce downtime, and enhance the overall efficiency of the whole operation. This type of programming is very efficient and does not interfere with the production process too much. Overall, offline programming’s defining characteristic is its versatility, and it allows the robot to be programmed via a virtual mockup of a task or robot. This makes offline programming a perfect testing ground for simulation software.

The advantage of using offline programming is that it is very intuitive, and can be used quite easily. It is also a very versatile type of programming that allows you to test out your robotics software, and if you notice any inefficiencies during the tests, then you could opt not to use it.

As efficient as offline programming may be, it does have some setbacks. First things first, the process might take more time in the long run. While this type of programming does reduce downtime during the actual work process, someone will still have to test out the simulations. This means a good number of hours or even days will have to be devoted to the testing process. There is also the fact that virtual models won’t be able to fully represent the real world accurately. So the program will still need tweaking after it has been installed on the robot.

2. Teaching by Demonstration

The teaching by demonstration method mainly involves navigating the robot via a force sensor or a joystick installed to a specific part of the robot. Through these sensors, the robot will be able to store each position and movement in the robot computer. Using this method, operators could use the robots in their applications with little to no fuss.

One of the key advantages of teaching by demonstration is its ease of use through intuitive control. Unlike other types of programming, there is no longer any need to use multiple buttons or controls. The operator could just manipulate the robot with ease. It is perfect for highly detailed tasks such as welding or carving applications. 

Like any other type of programming, teaching by demonstration does have some setbacks. One key disadvantage is that programming has to be done to the robot in real-time. So there is no reduction of downtime because the robot has to be used in order for the program to succeed.

3. Teaching Pendant

The teaching pendant method is by far the most popular type of robot programming. A majority of robots in most industries are programmed using this method. This programming method usually consists of the main control panel called a pendant. While the pendant first started out as a large calculator or board, however, the pendant’s aesthetic has changed through the years. Nowadays teaching pendants look like a tablet or Ipad. They usually have a touchscreen feature that allows the operator the ability to control the robot with relative ease. The robot is programmed very much like teaching by demonstration. The operator uses the pendant to manipulate the robot into various positions and the operator saves each position into the robot’s memory. Once the robot has saved all the positions, then the operator could just control the robot with ease.

The key advantage of the teaching pendant method is that it is very popular. Which means a lot of operators know how to use them.  They are perfect for simple and repetitive movements such as painting or digging a hole. Although pendant training is great for simple movements, they are also great for precise positioning and can be coordinated quite easily. This type of programming is perfect for top-quality robots such as the factory robot arm made by EVS. EVS is a robotics company that has been in the robot arm business for decades, and their products could be programmed via all three methods. Although, the pendant method is usually the most popular of the three. 

The only setback to using the pendant training is that it is not as seamless as other operators would want it to be. When a program has to be installed, the robot must be put into a so-called teach mode where all operations for the robot have to stop. This equates a lot of down-time for the robot, and operations will also have to stop until the program has been installed. Although pendant training is quite common, there are various types of pendants, and operators will need to learn how to use the pendant and its many fixtures. 


In the past few decades, the field of robotics has reached new heights and innovations when it comes to their programming. So if you are interested in robotics, and you want the option to control them as easily as possible, then you should try out these great robot programming methods. By doing so, you will be able to control your robots in the most effective and efficient way possible.

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