Basic Use of the UR5

Starting It Up

Emergency Stop

Hitting the big red button stops the robot. A message will pop up on the screen. To get the robot moving again first rotate the red button in the direction of the arrows until it pops out. Then dismiss the popups and reinitialize the robot if necessary.

Common Issues


Singularities are points where the robot tries to move a joint infinitely fast in order to maintain a constraint on its motion, like linearity or constant speed. The robot cannot move infinitely fast (thank the Gods) so when a singularity is encountered the robot will generally hit its speed limit and stop. Though sometimes it just moves near to a singularity, in which case unexpectedly fast motion may result.

Here is an example of a singularity in vertical motion:

The "elbow" joint experiences the singularity here. Watch the popping motion as it accelerates to its limit.

And here is a singularity in the horizontal direction:

Note that in this case the robot was unable to maintain a constant speed, but it succeeded in keeping its motion along the intended path.

While driving the robot from the PolyScope UI on the pendant the most likely place to encounter this kind of problem is the "Move Tool" section under the "Move" tab:


Sometimes the robot hits things or itself or people (hopefully rarely). The UR5 is what is known as a collaborative robot - it is designed to be used in close proximity to people. This means that it incorporates safety features that minimize the risks associated with it unexpectedly hitting something. Every joint has force feedback and if at any moment the expected force exceeds safety margins the robot will come to an immediate stop. A popup will appear on the screen and it must be dismissed before the robot can continue operating.

Though the robot is generally safe to work with please stay alert and use common sense. It's still possible to get conked in the head or in another vulnerable spot. And the robot may be carrying a tool that comes with its own safety concerns, such as a knife or laser. Treat it with at least the respect that you would give any power tool in a shop.