Bin Picking Tutorial: Setting up Photoneo Bin Picking Studio with FANUC robots

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NOTE: Users are strongly recommended to read the general introduction to robot interfaces prior to installing specific robot modules.

1. Prerequisites

Prior to setup, please ensure that your Fanuc controller meets the following criteria:

- System version 8.10 and higher (Versions 6.40 - 7.70 are also supported with certain limitations)

- R648 User Socket Msg - Socket Communication option available

Click Menu -> Next -> Status -> Version ID -> Next -> F3[ORDER FI] to verify that the User Socket Msg option is installed on your robot controller (see figure below):

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Figure 1.1

2. Fanuc Controller Setup

2.1 Set IP Addresses

The first step of the process is to configure the IP addresses of the robot controller.

Using Teach Pendant, press Menu -> Setup -> Host Comm -> TCP/IP -> F3[Detail]:

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Figure 2.1.1

Two Ethernet ports should be available; users are recommended to configure Port#1 for communication with Vision Controller.

Amend the IP address of Port#1 to match your network configuration:

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Figure 2.1.2

If you use ROBOGUIDE for workcell commissioning, configure Port#2 for transferring files between the robot controller and your PC.

Click F3[PORT] to switch between Port#1 and Port#2 and amend the IP address of Port#2 to match your network configuration:

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Figure 2.1.3

2.2 Configure TCP/IP Server

The Photoneo Fanuc Module requires State Server to run as a background task on the robot controller. A configured TCP/IP server is required for this purpose.

Press Menu -> Setup -> Host Comm -> F4[SHOW] and select Servers

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Figure 2.2.1

Select S3 slot - the S1 and S2 slots are reserved for user applications.

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Figure 2.2.2

Configure TCP/IP server S3 as is shown in the figure below:

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Figure 2.2.3

2.3 Configure TCP/IP Client

The main Photoneo Bin Picking application works in client mode. Configure the TCP/IP Client for this purpose.

Press Menu -> Setup -> Host Comm -> F4[SHOW] and select Clients

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Figure 2.3.1

Select C3 slot - the C1 and C2 slots are reserved for user applications.

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Figure 2.3.2

Configuration of the TCP/IP client C3 is shown in the figure below:

Set the SERVER IP/HOSTNAME according to the Vision Controller Robotic Interface IP address!

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Figure 2.3.3

2.4 Change Cartesian Origin of Robot

The Cartesian origin of Fanuc robots is different to the Cartesian origin of robot models used in the Photoneo Bin Picking Studio.

In order to ensure successful calibration, it is necessary to apply a predefined offset in the Z axis in UFRAME.

Press Menu -> Next -> System -> Variables and scroll down until you find the system variable named GROUP. (Use Shift to scroll faster)

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Figure 2.4.1

Press Enter to open the list of options in GROUP and find UFRAME as is shown in the figure below:

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Figure 2.4.2

Edit the Z value of UFRAME according to the Offset table below.

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Figure 2.4.3

List of Z axis offsets for specific robot models:

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Figure 2.4.4

NOTE: Be careful as these changes might affect previously taught Cartesian positions !!!

2.5 Load Photoneo Fanuc Module Files

The Photoneo Fanuc Interface consists of two Karel binaries and approximately 20 TP programs. All of these files need to be copied to the robot controller in order to get Photoneo Fanuc Module up and running.

Extract the Photoneo Fanuc Module archive (.zip file) which you received with Photoneo Bin Picking Studio to the USB stick and plug it the into Teach Pendant.

Press Menu -> File -> File -> F5[UTILS] and select Set Device:

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Figure 2.5.1

Select USB on TP (UT1:) option as is shown in the figure below:

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Figure 2.5.2

Press F2[DIR] to set the directory subset and select "*.*(all files)" to show all items on the USB.

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Figure 2.5.3

Select *.*(all files) within PHOTONEO_FANUC_MODULE and press F3[LOAD] and YES to load the files from the Photoneo Fanuc Module to the robot controller:

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Figure 2.5.4

Press Select button to verify that all TP and Karel programs have been loaded successfully:

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Figure 2.5.5

2.6 Enable Autostart of State Server

The next step of the process is to configure State Server to start automatically after boot.

Press Menu -> Next -> System -> Variables and scroll down to find the SHELL_CFG variable

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Figure 2.6.1

Edit SHELL_NAME and SHELL_EXT to match the details shown in the figure below:

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Figure 2.6.2

Cycle power to apply all changes. Press FCTN -> NEXT -> CYCLE POWER and confirm YES.

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Figure 2.6.3

If everything has been set correctly, you should see PHOSTATE: Waiting for connection... on the User screen immediately after the boot:

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Figure 2.6.4

2.7 Data Registers Used

Press Data to open the Data Registers screen. As you can see in the figure below, the Photoneo Fanuc Module has automatically added comments to Data Registers R[1] - R[34] that are utilized for bin picking application.

NOTE: Prevent using registers R[1]-R[34] in your application !!!

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Figure 2.7.1

2.8 Teach Home, Start and End positions

A crucial step of bin picking configuration is the teaching of home, start, and end poses. The home position of the robot should be taught in such a way that the robot remain outside the scanning area. The start position should be taught in such a way that the robot gripper is approximately above the center of the bin. The end position can be similar to the start position or slightly shifted towards the placing area. Do not position the end pose too far from the bin as this might significantly affect dynamic trajectory planning, increase total planning time and cause planning errors.

In order to switch from Standard Registers to Position Registers press F1[TYPE] -> Position Registers

NOTE: The default range of position registers is usually PR[1] - PR[100]. For full functionality of the Photoneo Fanuc Module, users are highly recommended to increase the range up to 120 position registers or more. Since this is a maintenance operation, please contact your local Fanuc support to help you with this step. Be careful since there is a possibility that previously taught positions and other register data could be lost during this operation!

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Figure 2.7.2

As with Standard Registers, the Photoneo Fanuc Module has automatically added comments to the Position Registers utilized for the bin picking application. As can be seen in the figure below, the Photoneo Fanuc Module utilizes PR[1]-PR[3] for Home, Start & End poses, PR[4]-PR[9] for calibration poses, and PR[20]-PR[120] for trajectory transfers. PR[10]-PR[19] are available for user applications.

In order to teach the Home position, jog the robot to the desired pose, select register PR[1] and press Shift + F3[RECORD] to record the position.

You should see that the asterisk has changed to an R sign if the teach position command has been successful.

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Figure 2.7.3

For full operation of bin picking, internal representations of Home, Start and End must be switched from Cartesian to Joint. In order to achieve this, press F4[Position] ->F5[REPRE] -> Joint

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Figure 2.7.4

Confirm the switching of representation by pressing Continue. Repeat the same procedure for the Start and End poses.

NOTE: If you utilize Calibration poses in your application, these do not need to be switched to Joint representation.

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Figure 2.7.5

At this point your Robot Controller is configured to work with the Photoneo Bin Picking Studio. However the TP code should also be amended to meet the precise requirements of your application. This may involve updating part placing, gripper commands or application logic. The following section of the tutorial provides some basic examples of how this can be programmed as well as a detailed explanation of the Photoneo TP API.


The Photoneo Fanuc Module was designed to be easily integrated into existing applications written as TP programs.

3.1 TP API

The Photoneo Fanuc TP API is comprised of the following programs. These are intended for high level control of bin picking sequences and are usually called in PHO_MAIN program.

PHO_REQ_SCAN - request to trigger the next scan and localization. Non-blocking request; the TP program continues immediately at the next line.

PHO_WAIT_SCAN - function to wait for scan to be finished. This should be called after triggering the scan, but not does not have to be called immediately. Blocking function, waits for response from the Vision Controller.

PHO_TRAJ_REQ - request to start trajectory planning for current goal. Non-blocking function; the TP program continues immediately at the next line.

PHO_TRAJ_RECV - function to receive requested bin picking trajectories (consisting of a sequence of trajectory and gripper operations). Blocking function; waits for motion data to be received.

PHO_INIT - request to initialize bin picking application from the Vision Controller side. Start and End Poses defined by the operator from Teach Pendant are transferred to the Vision Controller and used in the trajectory planning pipeline as start and terminus points.

PHO_CALIB_ADD - request to add calibration point - a scan is triggered and the calibration is recalculated. Blocking request; the program will not continue until the calibration result is recalculated and has been received by the Robot Controller.

PHO_CALIB_SET - request to set current calibration result to the PhoXi Scanner.

PHO_CALIB_RESET - request to reset current calibration and remove all previously added points.


The following programs enable the user to configure several bin picking settings, to implement gripper commands and to amend the placing of the attached object.

PHO_GRIP_ATT - implement function for attaching object to gripper here.

PHO_GRIP_DEATT - implement function for detaching object from gripper here.

PHO_GRIP_USER1 - implement function for custom gripper command (reserved for future use).

PHO_GRIP_USER2 - implement function for custom gripper command (reserved for future use).

PHO_GRIP_USER3 - implement function for custom gripper command (reserved for future use).

PHO_GRIP_USER4 - implement function for custom gripper command (reserved for future use).

PHO_GRIP_USER5 - implement function for custom gripper command (reserved for future use).

PHO_GRIP_USER6 - implement function for custom gripper command (reserved for future use).

PHO_PICK_PART - standard bin picking sequence. This flexible, operation-based implementation allows the execution of bin picking sequences, which consist of various numbers of operations (Trajectories + Gripper commands).

PHO_PLACE_PART - implement function for placing attached object


The Photoneo FANUC interface provides basic error handling. If an error occurs during bin picking operations, an error code is returned in Register R[19] - PHO ERROR DATA.

The following list shows the potential bin picking error codes:

OK = 0 - Service response from Vision Controller is valid

SERVICE_ERR = 1 - Service response from Vision Controller is invalid.

UNKNOWN_REQ = 2 - The Vision Controller received an unknown request.

COMM_FAILURE = 3 - Communication failure due to socket closure.

BAD_DATA = 4 - Data validation check has failed.

TIMEOUT = 5 - Communication failure due to socket timeout.

PLANNING_FAILED = 201 - Trajectory planning has failed

NO_PART_FOUND = 202 - No part has been localized

NOT_INIT = 203 - Binpicking application has not been properly initialized on Vision Controller

UNKNOWN_ERR = 299 - Unspecified internal error

Photoneo Fanuc Interface by default performs basic error handling immediately after the TRAJ_RECV program call.

If NOT_INIT or SERVICE_ERR occurs, the whole bin picking is reinitialized.

If PLANNING_FAILED or NO_PART_FOUND occurs, scanning is repeated.

It is up to the user to decide if existing error handling is sufficient for particular application or if it needs to be expanded.


PHO_MAIN program can be considered as a basic bin picking template. The main program loop with basic error handling is implemented here. User can amend the details to meet their application requirements.

  1:  !Start Phoclient  
  3:  !Initialize Binpicking 
  4:  LBL[1] 
  5:  CALL PHO_INIT    
  6:  !Clear REINIT flag 
  7:  F[8]=(OFF) 
  8:  WAIT   1.00(sec) 
  9:  LBL[2] 
 10:  !Move to Home Position 
 11:J PR[1] 100% FINE    
 12:  !Request First Scan 
 14:  !Clear REPLAN flag 
 15:  F[9]=(OFF) 
 16:  !Main Loop 
 17:  LBL[3] 
 18:  !Wait For Scan 
 20:  !Request Trajectory 
 22:  !Receive Trajectory 
 24:  !Check Reinit Flag 
 25:  IF (F[8]=ON),JMP LBL[1] 
 26:  !Check Replan Flag 
 27:  IF (F[9]=ON),JMP LBL[2] 
 28:  !Pick Part 
 30:  !Request Next Scan 
 32:  !Place Part To Defined Spot 
 34:  JMP LBL[3] 

4. Runtime

Now you are ready to start the bin picking application. Press Select button and choose the PHO_MAIN program:

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Figure 4.1

Ensure that the Bin Picking application on the Vision Controller side is running and waiting for a connection:

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Figure 4.2

Start the PHO_MAIN program in Manual or Auto mode and if everything has been configured correctly, you should see a message stating that PHOCLIENT has established connection with Vision Controller:

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Figure 4.3

If the connection between the robot controller and the vision controller has been established properly, the robot should move to the Home position and the Bin picking status should show: Connected

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Figure 4.4

As soon as the trajectory to the first localized object is calculated, the robot should start executing the motion.

NOTE: Ensure that you are prepared to halt the motion execution immediately if any problem arises. It is strongly recommended to reduce the speed to 10% of maximum during initial bin picking tests.