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Simplifying Robot Programming

Written by: Jason Berg, Motion Application Specialist


The rise in collaborative robotics over the past 5 years has opened our eyes to how easy programming a robot can be.  The major challenge that most customers still face is that collaborative robots, though easy to use on a rudimentary level, do not have the ability to meet many application requirements due to their collaborative design.  This forces customers to use a more traditional robotic arm, which typically has a much more robust design consisting of higher payload and speed capabilities.  The down side of this can be that many end users don’t have a resource with the traditional text based programming background and when a project is handed many times changes require hiring an outside robotics integrator. ow can robot programming be simplified?

How can robot programming be simplified?

A new concept in programming just released by ABB Robotics is called Wizard Easy Programming.  Wizard Easy programming makes robots easier to install, program and operate without specialized training.  This can help first time robot users successfully implement automation in ways that previously were not possible.


What is Wizard Easy Programming?

Wizard easy programming is a graphical programming method designed to enable users to quickly create robot application programs for select ABB robots using the new OmniCore controller.  Currently supported on this are the single-arm YuMi® collaborative robot and IRB1100 with more robots being supported soon.

This easy programming software is built on the concept of Blockly, an open-source visual coding method that presents programming language or code as interlocking blocks. By using this simplified approach Wizard allows users to program and use a robot without prior knowledge of any robot programming language. A user can simply drag and drop these functions on the FlexPendant, see the results immediately and adjust the robot’s actions within seconds.

Do I lose the power of a traditional robot program?

The short answer is “No!”  Unlike other types of easy programming software, Wizard easy programming is converted in real time into ABB’s RAPID programming language, giving Wizard easy programming the advantage to support advanced robot functions. Complex robot programs such as for assembly tasks can be created by skilled robot programmers and then turned into a Wizard program for novice robot users to use and operate.  Wizard can also be used in the Robot Studio virtual environment to allow for offline programming and simulation.

Wizard is available as a pre-installed application on the FlexPendant device for all new Single-Arm YuMi robots and. The Wizard easy programming software is available for free and the new software will also be made available to existing YuMi® and IRB1100 customers in the form of a free add-in that can be installed via RobotStudio to the FlexPendant.

So what now?

The area of robotics is rapidly evolving to allow users to integrate solutions that are more complex in record time.  With Wizard Easy, programming on the horizon it becomes easier for companies of all sizes to take advantage of it.  At Hartfiel Automation, we have developed a process to educate our customers and guide them systematically through any variety of automation and robotics projects.  It is our goal to ensure that you are positioned for the next generation of automation inside your facility.

If you would like more information, please visit our website at or email me at