Teach Pendant

From Industrial Robotics & Automation - Fanuc Teach Pendant Programming
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The teach pendant is the main user interface for the FANUC robots. It is a handheld device with a color touchscreen, a custom keypad, and various safety devices such as a deadman switch, emergency stop, and enable switch that can be swapped out with a key switch for security.

While simulators are available for writing and testing programs, the Teach Pendant is the primary tool in which a robotic operator will create, test, and modify programs on the robot.


Over the years FANUC has upgraded the teach pendant with newer technology to make it more user-friendly. Adding larger, sharper color displays, overlaying with touchy screens, and generating a sleek UI are some of the changes made in the past 20 years.

However, they have kept the UI relatively uniform in its structure, as well as the input keys on the teach pendant front. This is desirable as an operator trained on one generation of robots will have little trouble adapting to the newer generation designs.


Turning the teach pendant on gives the holder sole control of the robot. This is important as external control could be risky when teaching a robot.

The teach pendant is our primary tool for creating, modifying, and testing teach pendant programs. It includes an LCD display, membrane keypad, enable switch, a DeadMan Switch, and an Emergency Stop button.

The FANUC teach pendant is designed for either left or right handed operation. The strap is typically placed on your non-dominate hand, leaving your dominate hand to hit most buttons and navigation keys. The strapped hand is used for the DeadMan switch and often the SHIFT key.

The teach pendant is corded to the robot's main controller.


Below is the structure for the primary menus and screens on the Teach Pendant.

Teach Pendant#FCTNTeach Pendant#STEPTeach Pendant#HOLDTeach Pendant#FWD/BWDTeach Pendant#COORDTeach Pendant#GROUPTeach Pendant#SPEEDMENUSELECTEDITDataI/OFrames#Coordinate SystemsTeach Pendant#Arrow KeysJoggingTeach Pendant#SHIFTTeach Pendant#SHIFTTeach Pendant#Number Pad
Teach Pendant Physical Buttons

Physical Buttons

On the left of this page is an image of the teach pendant buttons. Each button is clickable and will take you to the section or dedicated page detailing the button's purpose and use. The buttons are also listed below, linking to any respective pages.

The membrane keypad on the teach pendant consists of hard keys. This is opposed to the on screen buttons known as SOFT buttons.

Older teach pendants may not be touchscreen and therefore require pressing F keys to access SOFT buttons.

There are many variations of the keypad face, in many different languages and can be customized to label macros.

Older teach pendants may not have many buttons, such as the DISP option, the additional J7 and J8 jog buttons, the stylized "I" button, or the STEP button.

The sticker on the front can be replaced.

The following buttons have their own wiki pages detailing their use and result:


The Menu button opens an on screen nesting menu allowing you to reach nearly all screens available on the teach pendant.


The select button opens a list of existing programs. From this screen you can create a new program as well.


Edit takes you to the last open program. Use this key whenever you need to get back to your program.


Data opens up the screen for viewing and editing data registers.

The following buttons are detailed on this page:


The reset button attempts to clear all alarms that are appearing. If there are any remaining, it will display at the top of the screen in RED to let you know to fix it. Most commonly this includes emergency stop buttons, the teach pendant switch, the deadman. Once you have fixed your errors, press reset again and if none remain - the status will turn GREEN at the top, signaling that you have now enabled motion.


POSN displays the current position of the robot. This is useful for manually editing positions and position registers, measuring distances and positions, and confirming the accuracy of frames.

The screen includes a single softkey:

  • [TYPE]
    • JNT - JNT gives the angular positions of each axis. These are in reference to the "witness marks" scratched into the robot to designate a zero position. They can be positive or negative. On some joints and robots, they may even be greater than 360, if the joint is designed to rotate several times or continuously.
    • USER - The USER type displays the robot's position in reference to the currently selected USER frame.
    • WORLD - The world frame is the default for your robot. The zero point for X, Y, and Z is the center of the robot's J1 axis, at the height of J2. Positive X is toward the front of the robot cart, positive Y is toward the right, and positive Z is toward the ceiling.


Number Pad

Arrow Keys


The shift button has two functions: Modify and Enable.

While the shift button is held, the keys with some blue on them change their functions. Speed increases and decreases by a much greater amount, arrow keys navigate entire pages at a time instead of just individual items, and the COORD key opens up a menu for changing frame numbers, instead of just frames.

The jog keys however, are completely disabled unless SHIFT is held down. Any manual jogging of the robot be preceded by pressing and holding the SHIFT key.


The I/O button opens up the page listing the last I/O type opened.

This is the Digital Output Screen.
  • [TYPE]
    • Cell Intface
    • Custom
    • Digital
    • Analog
    • Group
    • Robot
    • UOP
    • SOP
    • Interconnect
    • Link Device
    • Flag
    • Output type/no:
  • IN/OUT
  • SIM
    • ON
    • OFF


  • Single
  • Double
  • Triple
  • TreeView
  • Single Wide
  • Double Horizontal
  • Triple Horizontal
  • Help/Diagnostics
    • Help
    • Context Help
    • Diagnostics
    • Diagnostics Home
    • Menu Help
  • Status/Single
  • Menu History
  • User Views
    • Zoom
    • Maximize, Restore
  • Menu Favorites
  • Related Views
  • Maximize/Restore
  • Zoom


  • [TYPE]
    • Axis
    • Version ID
    • Stop Signal
    • Exec-hist
    • Memory
    • Prg Timer
    • Sys Timer
    • Condition
    • Program
    • Notifications
  • [UTIL]
    • Group
    • Clear
  • DIAG.


  1. Program select mode:
    • RSR
    • PNS
    • STYLE
    • OTHER
  2. Production start method: Production Checks:
    • UOP
    • OTHER
  3. At home check:
    2. ENABLED
  4. Resume position toler.:
    2. ENABLED
  5. Simulated I/O:
    2. ENABLED
  6. General override <100%:
    2. ENABLED
  7. Prog override <100%:
    2. ENABLED
  8. Machine lock:
    2. ENABLED
  9. Single step:
    2. ENABLED
  10. Process ready: General controls:
  11. Heartbeat timing:
    1. 1000 MS
  12. Low TEMP DRAM memory:
    1. 100 KB
  13. Low PERM CMOS memory:
    1. 50 KB


Function is a menu of options relating to the teach pendant and controller states.

  • ABORT (ALL) - This command tells the controller to end all programs, allowing you to begin another or analyze data from that time.
  • Disable FWD/BWD
  • SAVE
    • CANCEL
    • COLD
    • CTRL
  • Diagnostic log
  • Del Diag Log

Tool 1 and Tool 2

These keys are most commonly designated as "Macros", allowing you to assign functions to them by creating Macro programs. A macro is something you want quick access to "on the fly" to make things easier.

In our lab, we have the tool buttons designed for toggling the gripper tool and vacuum tool.


COORD (Shifted)Using the arrow keys, you can select a type of frame, Tool, Jog, and User - then enter a number to change that frame type to.

Coord is used for quickly changing between available jogging coordinate systems.

Each time you press COORD it will cycle through the available frames.

Holding SHIFT and pressing COORD will let you select specific frame numbers.

Use the arrow keys to select which frame you wish to change, then enter the number of the frame you wish to change to.

Since there are 10 available tool frames, the period button represents Tool Frame 10.



Speed keys set how fast the robot will move when jogging, and adjust the speed at which motion instructions are executed.

Pressing the up speed arrow increases speed by a fine amount. Pressing the down speed arrow decreases speed by a fine amount.

Holding SHIFT while pressing either speed key will adjust the speed in larger increments, allowing you to quickly get to a high or low speed. Letting go of the SHIFT key and pressing the speed will let you fine-adjust again.


Holding SHIFT and pressing FWD will initiate a run-through of your program. If STEP is active, hitting forward will advance the program by one line.

Holding SHIFT and pressing BWD will step backward through your program.

Note that backing through your program in this method will not perform the reverse functions on IO or registers, just motion.



Notice the Step indicator is yellow, indicating the program will run through one step at a time.

This button toggles STEP mode. When disabled, the STEP indicator on the top of the screen will go green. This causes a run-through of your program to be continuous.

When enabled, the STEP indicator on the top of the screen will go yellow. This means each time you hit FWD, your program will advance by only one line.