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We've had some questions during the last weeks regarding cabling our products on the KUKA IIWA robot and how to pass cabling inside the robot's arm. KUKA added some new media flange options so I decided to make an update about it.

Two-Finger Gripper

The 2-Finger Gripper uses RS485 signal requiring a twisted pair to pass through the arm. If you would like to install our 2-Finger Gripper on IIWA, there are no possibilities on IO pneumatic, Touch pneumatic, and IO valve pneumatic media flanges. Cabling will have to pass on the outside of the robot's arm.  

On the other hand, if you have the electrical, touch electrical, IO electrical and pneumatic media flange you may use this trick posted by Catherine to send the RS485 signal through the arm. Once cabling reaches the robot controller, you may use our universal controller to convert the RS485 signal to your choice of Fieldbus. EtherCAT will be a good choice to connect it to the KUKA Controller.

Three-Finger Gripper


Since the Gripper has its own universal controller inside it, it may output directly the Fieldbus you want. The best choice will be to use the 3-Finger Gripper with EtherCAT communication protocol. With this option, you will be able to pass the cabling through the inside of the robot's arm on every media flange option of IIWA. We offer special cabling in order to do this connection easily.

Other real-time Ethernet protocol

If you need another real time ethernet protocol like Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP or Profinet, you will have to pass the cable on the outside of the arm on IO pneumatic, Touch pneumatic, and IO valve pneumatic. The electrical media flange will handle all the real time ethernet protocol easily but Touch electrical and IO electrical will require custom connection to pass it through the arm. You will not be able to use the X2 connector on these cases because it's a dedicated EtherCAT communication connector.

DeviceNet and Can Open

If you need to use DeviceNet or CAN open, the only possible option will be to manage it on the outside of the robot's arm on all media flange options. 

If you have any questions feel free to post below!