Engineering Notes by Oriental Motor

Dedicated Robot Controller and Programming Software for Robotics

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 24, 2023 1:00:06 PM / by Johann Tang

Johann Tang

MRC01 robot controller


Robots are increasing in demand due to continuing labor shortages and the push for error-less efficiency in manufacturing.  In the meantime, some companies are falling behind because they either do not have the capital or engineering know-how to buy and implement robotics automation.  While you can buy a robot and program it to do what you want, the results are often different than building a custom robot for the exact purpose.


There's an easier way to build and program robots.


To alleviate the typical barriers to entry to building robots in-house, Oriental Motor has released a new robot controller and programming software designed to make multi-axis robotics applications more cost-effective, simple to build, and easier to program using off-the-shelf, standard products.


MRC01 robot controller and MRC Studio programming software for robots


The MRC01 robot controller and MRC Studio programming software are designed to run various types of robots and end-effectors:


Vertical Articulated Robots Horizontal Articulated (SCARA) Robots Palletizer/Parallel Link Robots Perpendicular / Cartesian / Gantry Robots 
3 links 2 or 3 lnks 1 or 2 links 2 or 3 axes
Articulated robot application example SCARA robot application example Delta robot application example Cartesian robot application example


Currently, the MRC01 and MRC Studio are available for vertical articulated robots, horizontal articulated (SCARA) robots, and palletizer/parallel link/delta robots.  For support on 2~3 axis perpendicular/cartesian/gantry systems, please contact our tech support team.


 STEP 1  Easy Setup with Step by Step Guidance

Initial settings are made using a wizard to select the robot type and input mechanism information.

By following the guidance instructions while looking at the illustrations, even absolute beginners can quickly set up a robot's initial settings.


MRC01: Easy Setup with Step by Step Guidance


 STEP 2  Say Goodbye to Ladder Logic! Select Items to Program Operation

Program creation uses a simple command selection format. Programs can be created intuitively, without requiring specialized knowledge such as ladder diagrams. The system supports P to P operation, linear interpolation operation, circular interpolation operation, arch motion and others.


MRC01: Say Goodbye to Ladder Logic! Select Items to Program Operation.


 STEP 3  Check Operation with an Online 3D Simulator

The robot’s operation program can be checked using a 3D simulator. The program can be checked easily before the actual robot is activated.


MRC01: Check Operation with an Online 3D Simulator


TIP When setting the home position for all axes, remove holding torque from all motors by turning on the FREE input on their drivers, then manually adjust to the home position.  All AlphaStep AZ Series motors and actuators use a built-in mechanical absolute encoder, so absolute position coordinates are tracked even with the power off.


The MRC01 robot controller communicates to the PLC/IPC via EtherNet/IP and controls motors and linear/rotary actuators from the AlphaStep AZ Series family through dedicated drivers via Modbus RTU.  The MRC01 is compatible with AZ Series built-in controller type drivers, such as the AZD-AD (AC input RS-485 driver with built-in controller), AZD-KD (DC input RS-485 driver with built-in controller), and AZD-KR2D (mini DC input RS-485 driver with built-in controller).

The MRC01 robot controller also comes with dedicated robotic functions, such as palletizing command, "passing point designation system" (for circular interpolation operation), and JOG/inching operation in a tool coordinate system.

Use the AlphaStep AZ Series family of products to support your in-house design for improved performance and ease of use.

  • Easily introduce custom-built robots to existing systems
  • Direct control via EtherNet/IP™
  • Easy setup even for beginners (no ladder logic)
  • Experience the "MRC Studio" programming software (trial version) before purchase
  • Use with AZ Series drivers: built-in controller type (AC/DC) or mini driver RS-485 communication type (24/48 VDC)


Unlock the full power of MRC01 with the AlphaStep AZ Series family


The MRC01 robot controller is designed for users who would like an easier way to control their in-house-built robots and want to communicate to a PLC or IPC via EtherNet/IP.  The MRC Studio programming software introduces a new and simple way to program multi-axis motion and can be downloaded for free.  Typically, the software only works with a combination of a motor/actuator and a driver that will have to be purchased prior.  If you would like to try it before you buy it, a trial version of the MRC Studio programming software is available for download.


HubSpot Video


Learn more about MRC01 and MRC Studio



The MRC01 robot controller and MRC Studio programming software present a new and simple way to program and control multi-axis robotics without ladder logic knowledge.  For robotics applications that do not require highly aggressive motion profiles, the MRC01 robot controller and the AlphaStep AZ Series family of modular type motors, linear/rotary actuators, and dedicated smart drivers can make in-house robotics easier and faster to build without compromising quality and reliability.

Contact our team today for product demos!


 BONUS  What else might you want to know?

Here's a simple system configuration for the MRC01 robot controller.

MRC01 robot controller system configuration


To help you set up quickly, we offer these pre-made cables as accessories.


Cable Type

Model Name

Length (m)

RS-485 Communication Cable

(For connecting FLEX drivers)


RS-485 communication cable for stepper motor drivers

0.1, 0.25

RS-485 Communication Cable

(For connecting mini Driver)


RS-485 communication cable for AZ mini drivers

2, 5

Cable for I/O Signals

General-purpose type


I/O cable for stepper motor drivers

0.5 ~ 2

Cable for DC Power Supply


Power supply cable for stepper motor drivers



Here are the specifications of the MRC01 robot controller.


The AlphaStep AZ Series family supports modular and cost-effective robot builds.


Here's a factory automation case study we did ourselves as an experiment to reduce costs in our own factory operations.  The picture below shows an in-house made robot made by our own factory engineers for a parts transfer operation.  With modular products from the AlphaStep AZ Series family (motors, actuators, and drivers), we were able to build and program a 5-axis vertical articulated robot faster and more cost-effectively while similar robots in the market cost much more.  To complete the system, all you have to do is add the extra gear and a PLC/HMI that offers EtherNet/IP communication.


Vertical articulated robot build cost


Unlock the full potential of the MRC01 robot controller with the AlphaStep AZ Series family of motors, linear/rotary actuators, and drivers!  If you have any questions, please contact our knowledgeable tech support team.


Topics: Stepper Motors, Robotics, Absolute Positioning, Alphastep Hybrid Control, VIDEOS, Software, Network, Application Examples, New Product Introductions

Johann Tang

Written by Johann Tang

Johann Tang is a Product Specialist at Oriental Motor USA Corp. with over 20 years of knowledge and experience supporting applications of various types of electric motors, gearheads, actuators, drivers, and controllers.

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