Nowadays the use of simulator tools and offline programming becomes more and more widespread in robotics. With these methods, robot programs are created independent from the actual robot cell, which results in reduced downtime compared to traditional online programming.
In the majority of industrial applications, robots are integrated in work cells, despite the fact that robots would be capable of solving tasks autonomously. In addition to the robot and its controller, these work cells include control systems (e.g. PLC), safety equipment and other peripherals as well. For the development of the robot program and the control logic, generally separate software environmets are used in the course of work cell design.
In order to reflect reality as closely as possible, it would prove useful to connect the virtual robot to the virtual PLC on the level of binary signals during the simulations. As a result of this, the development and testing of the robot program and the PLC program would be possible at the same time, without any physical hardware actually being present.
This thesis aims to provide a possible solution for the establishment of the above communications within the offline development and testing of a real industrial application.