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Wandelbots was founded in 2017 by seven members of the Faculty of Computer Science at the TU Dresden. The start-up is now presenting the TracePen – a pen that can be used to program robot models from manufacturers such as Kuka, Universal Robots, ABB, Denso and Fanuc for a specific task in just a few minutes. Following calibration, whereby the pen is fixed to a holder on the robot, the human operator inserts the desired tool and then, holding the TracePen one hand, performs the activity for which the machine is to be trained. The associated movements are recorded in a tablet app. The operator can subsequently make corrections. Once the operating sequence is correct, the code is generated fully automatically in the robot’s respective programming language. The following application packages are currently available for the TracePen: deburring, pick & place, inspection, polishing, welding and bonding. Grinding, screwing, painting and surface testing are still in the preparation phase.

Previous systems for robot and cobot programming such as Drag&Bot or the Robot Programming Suite from the Karlsruhe start-up ArtiMinds rely on software solutions that access the respective robot interfaces. TracePen is the first hardware solution for this task.