Introducing YMConnect: Yaskawa’s New SDK for Simplified Robot Control

June 01, 2024 by Seth Price

Yaskawa Motoman has released YMConnect, its latest software development kit (SDK). The new SDK enables users to build custom robotic monitoring and control applications.

Yaskawa Motoman has released its newest software development kit (SDK), YMConnect, for creating customized software for Yaskawa robots. YMConnect is a replacement and upgrade from Yaskawa’s earlier SDK, MotoCom. 

YMConnect is designed to be easy to use, meaning new technicians can quickly train and program robots in an environment with plenty of documentation and support without the fear of impacting people, products, and property. YMConnect isn’t about building giant, complex applications to run an entire manufacturing process line but is instead geared towards accessing critical values from sensors onboard a robot for evaluation and adjustment. 


Yaskawa's YMConnect SDK is designed to facilitate user-friendly communication with Yaskawa robots

Yaskawa's YMConnect SDK is designed to facilitate user-friendly communication with Yaskawa robots. Image used courtesy of Yaskawa Motoman


YMConnect Software Development Kit (SDK)

The YMConnect SDK allows users to build applications using industry-standard C++17 programming language. In this kit, robots can monitor speed, position, and torque sensors, generate motion commands during runtime, read and write controller variables, and provide virtually unlimited input/output (I/O). It can also read axis configuration information and status and error messages that may be generated during operation. Besides robot manipulation, it can also do all of the file commands expected of a programming interface: loading, saving, and creating new applications.

Some of the main features of YMConnect are its compatibility with Yaskawa's robot controllers, the ease of getting started, and learning how to develop applications that meet the specific needs of their manufacturing facility. 


A look at the YMConnect user interface

A look at the YMConnect user interface. Image used courtesy of Yaskawa Motoman


Controller Compatibility

Yaskawa’s YMConnect has been designed to run on Windows 10 (or up) or Ubuntu 22.04 (or up) machines. From there, it can interface with the YRC1000 (dynamic motion interface possible), YRC1000micro, FS100, DX200, and DX100 (DS2.07.00-00 and above) controllers. These controllers are found in many common manufacturing and shipping operations, including welding, assembly, material removal, picking, packing, palletizing, and others. Communication is performed through Ethernet, making it possible to work across platforms.

Yaskawa's robot controllers that can be programmed using the YMConnect SDK. Image used courtesy of Yaskawa Motoman


Getting Started

One of YMConnect's key advantages is the ability to distribute robot control and monitoring applications via GitHub. Not only does this enable users to move code to others who may be building similar applications, but it also serves as a helpful resource for beginners who are learning the C++17 language, troubleshooting their applications, and using common libraries so that applications don’t have to be developed entirely from scratch. These advantages are all made possible through exposed API, where commands are well-documented and accessible to developers. 


Robot Communication and Control

For anyone who has had to develop robot monitoring and control applications, any new product that promises to reduce the learning curve is welcome on the market. YMConnect's nearly seamless integration with multiple commonly used controllers, ability to be run from a standard laptop (Windows or Linux-based), and versatility in many common applications mean it will likely find use in manufacturing facilities quickly.