Since the goal of the project is to develop a robotic rehabilitator, it is of utmost importance to have at our disposal a reliable and safe robot manipulator. This was not the case so far in our lab, as we had available only industrial robots, we therefore acquired a modern and safe collaborative robot to achieve the goals of this project.
After a careful market research, we identified the UR5 from Universal Robots as a perfect match for this project. This arm is lightweight, with a minimal footprint, has a very intuitive controller, and most of all it is certified for use in the vicinity of humans (even when in contact!). It has multiple safety features, both from the software but also from the hardware perspective.
Another big advantage of the UR5, is that it is possible to control it using ROS. The drivers are developed by the manufacturer themselves, which is a huge benefit, since they provide support for it.
We are happy with the initial tests with the robot, and looking forward to the great research that we’ll be able to perform with it.