What robotics questions do people ask most often?
Let’s say you’ve got a question about using your robot. You’re not sure whether it’s a problem that you should ask someone about or one that you should just figure out on your own.
You’ve logged into the DoF robotics forum and you’ve looked at the huge array of questions on the platform. You’ve seen the many discussion threads full of robotics professionals talking about specific aspects of robotic deployment.
You might wonder… is my question the right fit for this forum?
A simple answer is “Yes!”
No question about using robots is too big or too small on DoF. There are users on the forum with a vast variety of skill levels and experiences.
But, perhaps it would help you to know what the most popular questions on the platform are?
What you can learn from past questions on DoF
You can learn a lot from reading the previous questions on the forum.
As Robotiq’s Director of Operations Karine Simard said recently “Everything I know, technically, about robots I learned reading DoF.”
If you’ve got a burning question, a good first port of call is to search for a key term in the search box on the main page. For example, if you’re looking for help on a vision application, you could try typing “vision” or “camera” into the search box.
If your question hasn’t been answered already, just ask a new one by hitting the button marked “Ask the community a question.”
But, you can learn a huge amount simply by reading through the past discussions between users. This will show you how they addressed their problems and how they were solved in the end.
A good place to start is to look at the most popular questions. We have identified the top 10 most popular questions on DoF at the time of writing.
Two things make a question popular: how many people have viewed the discussion and how many people have commented.
The Top 5 Most-Viewed Discussions on DoF
The first mark of popularity is if a discussion thread has been viewed many times.
At the time of writing, here are the 5 most-viewed discussions on DoF:
1. What’s the difference between digital and analog I/O?
Current views: 98.3 thousand
By far the most visited question on DoF, this discussion thread really demonstrates that no question is too basic. If this is a question you’re also wondering about, we have a very popular blog post that explains the difference between analog and digital I/O.
2. Anyone tried offline programming a UR using offline programming?
Current views: 8.5 thousand
Offline programming tools allow you to create and test your robot program in a simulator without needing the physical robot to be present. This is a lively discussion about the merits of offline programming and the options available.
3. How do I add a Robotiq 2-Finger Gripper to a UR5?
Current views: 7.6 thousand
Another simple but extremely important question — how do you attach your gripper to the robot? Specifically, the questioner is asking how to do this in a simulated environment and the discussion goes into detail about the process.
4. How to install Robotiq’s URCaps on URSim
Current views: 6.9 thousand
This question just started with an announcement from one of the Robotiq team where they explained how to install our URCaps software to the Universal Robot simulator. The huge number of views shows that this is a popular question!
5. Where can I find information about the EthernetIP setup on UR robots?
Current views: 6.7 thousand
One of the great things about having so many different robot users in one place is the variety of ideas, perspectives, and knowledge that you can find in a single place. This discussion about EthernetIP has comments from robotics professionals, manufacturers, and newer robot users.
The Top 5 Most-Commented Discussions on DoF
The second mark of popularity is if a discussion thread has many comments, showing that the topic is particularly “hot.”
At the time of writing, here are the 5 most-commented discussions on DoF:
1. Does anyone know how to remote control the Universal Robots user interface?
Current comments: 64
Sometimes, a popular discussion thread can impact the products that we offer at Robotiq. This question, for example, let us know that remote control would be useful for UR robot controllers, a feature that we then incorporated into our Insights software.
2. Introduce yourself!
Current comments: 42
Unsurprisingly, the discussion thread where users introduce themselves has a lot of comments. This is a great thread to check out all the amazing people who are on the forum. However, many people have yet to introduce themselves. If you’ve not introduced yourself yet, now’s a good time!
3. How do you integrate two 2F85 grippers and one UR robot?
Current comments: 38
Very active DoF discussion threads are a great place to see different ways of achieving the same purpose. This discussion provides several options for integrating two grippers on a single UR robot, with different perspectives from users.
4. How can I make a UR5 draw arcs and circles?
Current comments: 35
Being on DoF is a bit like having personal access to some of the most experienced robot users in our community. This user received help from some of our most active and knowledgeable founding professionals of DoF, which happens quite often on the forum.
5. How easily can I integrate a light curtain and area scanner with the robot?
Current comments: 33
One benefit of having a discussion on DoF – compared to having the same discussion face-to-face — is that you can incorporate different media and formatting. This popular question demonstrates this well with users submitting code, videos, and screenshots.
Not got time to trawl the forum? Check out our DoF videos
Perhaps you feel you don’t have time to look through the forum to read the comments?
Maybe you just want to learn from the top questions quickly and easily?
We’ve recently started making video answers to popular questions from DoF.
You can find them on the Robotiq YouTube channel.
What’s your favorite question on DoF? Tell us in the comments below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the DoF professional robotics community.