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Hello @martimorta ,

Thanks for your question! Using ROS to interact with any tools mounted on the newest e-series robots seems indeed to be challenging at the moment.

For example, if you choose to connect the gripper to the UR10's wrist, you connect it directly to the UR10's computer (control box). More precisely, the gripper becomes a UART device connected to the robot's computer (thus not directly accessible from the "external world"). So if your goal is to use our ROS package to control your gripper from an external computer, it therefore cannot "talk" directly with the gripper anymore. Also, the gripper unfortunately cannot be disconnected from within the UR control box without having to open the computer's enclosure (of course, not recommended). Thus, it is not possible to connect your ROS machine to the gripper from the control box, which would have been great because it would have allowed one to take advantage of not using a long cable and not having to attach the said cable to the manipulator.

For now however, this still seems to be the way to integrate any tool properly with ROS when using an e-series robot: using a long cable to connect your ROS machine to the gripper.

In another vein, I've heard Universal Robots is planning to update their ROS driver such that their UART port (at the wrist) would be forwarded as a virtual serial port on the ROS machine, which would totally fix this issue (see this presentation: , page 15). Thus, maybe there's hope that this will be fixed in the near-future.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, should you have any other questions.

Best regards,

Jean-Philippe Roberge, 
ROS Package Developper / Maintainer