In this Mechatronic Minute, we cover Mecademic's Meca500 robot and how it can be used with an Allen-Bradley PLC via EtherNet/IP.

The Meca500 is the world's smallest six-axis industrial robot. It is also the most precise, with a 0.005mm repeatability. It is an ideal solution for applications in the medical device, life science, lab automation, and electronics industries. The Meca500 is a plug-and-work automation component that can interface with any computer or PLC, and can be operated using any programming language you prefer.

Now, how to use the Meca500 with an Allen-Bradley PLC. Mecademic provides an example Studio 5000 program with Add-On Instructions (AOIs) that can be exported to your program for easy setup. The EDS files can be found on the firmware page of the Mecademic website. EtherNet/IP mode must be enabled and this can be done in the web page.

First, you enable connection to the robot. Then, you activate the robot. Once you hear a click, the robot is active. Then, you will home the robot and it is now ready for motion.

Each of the same commands (robot moves) from the TCP/IP mode are also available with the EtherNet/IP mode:

  • Move Joints- Allows you to move any of the selected robot joints individually or all together.
  • Move Linear- Commands the robot to move to the specified position in a straight line.
  • Move Line Relative- Commands the robot to move a specified distance from the start position.
  • Move Pose- Commands the robot to move to the specified position by the most efficient arcing path.

Mecademic has also provided an AOI for each parameter you might wish to set. In their example program, they use these set parameter functions to send the program parameters to the robot. Parameters that would normally be grabbed by a Get function, are updated continuously.

If you have any questions or would like more information on the Meca500 robot, please contact us and a member of our team will reach out to you!