Surface Coating

touchscreentestingThe Cyton is well suited for spray painting, surface coating, and spray cleaning of products. Applying a surface coat of paint, glaze, or other protective coating requires even motion, appropriate spray control, and proper spray orientation with respect to the product surfaces. With its easy creation of motion paths and fine control of smoothness and speed through each waypoint along the paths, Cytons can be readily trained to execute an even spray pattern across the product’s surface.

The Cytons are powered by Energid’s Actin robot control software. Actin gives coordinated control of the Cyton’s 7 degrees of freedom, letting you keep the sprayer pointed directly at the product as it sweeps over the surface. This is particularly important for objects with substantial 3D structure: the Cyton can reach up and around the product while orienting the sprayer to always point at the product, or can point into crevices and inclusions in the surface to make sure those are coated.

You can program the Cyton for spray coating in three ways

Interactive GUI

Use the Actin control interface to move the sprayer to target positions, set a waypoint at each position, then play back the arm motion through the waypoints. This approach is most applicable if you want a series of smooth sweeps across the product surface. Adding more waypoints will let you build up more intricate spraying motions, say to spray into a surface cavity or swirl up and around part of the product. You can edit and combine the motion paths to create a full spray sequence, then playback the sequence to apply the coating. For the input device to control the arm while making the paths, we support a mouse, 3D mouse, joysticks, P5 tracking glove, and others. You can create the motion paths purely in simulation and then playback with the Cyton, or make the paths with the arm active. If you have a CAD model available for the product, then motion paths can be created in simulation using the model as reference.

Assistive Mode

This is the most common approach when you have skilled craftspeople and want to duplicate their hand-spraying technique. In Assistive Mode, simply hold the Cyton arm and guide it through the target spray path. You can use one continuous spray motion, or record separate sprayer motions and later combine them into a full spray coating sequence. If you want fine control or tuning of the recorded paths then, once the Assistive Mode paths are recorded, create waypoints along the paths. The waypoint positions can be interactively adjusted in the Cyton Viewer, and speed through each waypoint can be tailored as needed.

Programmatic control

If you will have a program that generates the target positions, you can command the arm to move to those positions using the C++ SDK, LabView, Matlab, or ROS interface. With any of these programmatic control interfaces, you can either send joint-value commands or just send desired sprayer position/orientation. For any of the methods of creating the motion paths and spray actions, you can trigger playback from the GUI, from an external IO signal, or through commands from your process control software.