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Teardown - Universal Robots UR3

The scope of this teardown is to provide a step by step disassembly guide in order to uncover all components.
We believe that as of today the in house service of the robots is kind of difficult due to the lack of information available
We know first handedly that UR does a fairly good job informing the operator that something is wrong hardware wise via error codes and although it uses a fair amount of propietary components replacing them is somewhat easy

If you have your tools ready, let us begin.






Step by step Teardown

Step 1: Open the Door

Open the door

Make sure that the controller is unplugged from the mains.
Unlock the door using the supplied key.

What's inside?

We can see the electronics protected by metal sheets and some wires.

Step 2: Examine the internals

On the Left Side

We can see some quick connectors for the I/O and Safety

On the Right Side

we can see a usb drive and some other connectors, this may change depending on your model.

Step 3: Disconnect board connectors

Remove the metal shield

Unplug all the connectors, then, using a torx bit carefully remove the shield. Mind the attached connector..

Remove power and data connectors

Remove the 4 wire power connector located on the top left corner, and the 10 wire flex connector located on the right

Step 4: Remove the board

Remove the mounting brackets

Using the allen bit, remove the 4 screws holding the mounting brackets. 2 on each side.

The CPU board

The board itself seems to be a small form factor general purpose computer with some additional I/O ports

Step 5: Uncover I/O board

Remove the quick connectors

Take out the connectors one by one, if they are stiff try carefully wiggling them out.

Remove the metal shield

Remove the screws and then take out the metal shield slightly tilting it towards you

Step 6: Extract the I/O board

Remove Wires

Remove the 8 faston terminals located on the upper left side, the 3 connectors carrying power and the 2 safety connectors, be careful when removing these.

Take out the board

Using an allen bit, remove the screws holding the board in place.

Step 7: Extract PSU assembly

Unscrew the handle

The handle screws are preventing us to remove the PSU, take them out with a torx bit

Remove the PSU

Carfeully pull the PSU assembly out, leading it towards you.

Step 8: Separate components

Remove the resistor board

Uncsrew the fan holding the resistor board, be careful as it is very fragile. Since this component tends to heat a fair bit now is a good chance to check for signs of degradation

Release the PSU

Remove both PSUs and the safety relay from the metal housing.

Step 9: Remove connectors

Remove the power connector

Remove the power connector by unscrewing both torx screws on the side and remove the nut holding the ground wire with a socket wrench.

Good job

With this final step the dissasembly of the controller is concluded

Good Job!

With this part concluded, we can go ahead and list all the components inside the body.

Components in detail

CPU Board

Main On-board computer

Safety Board

Safety board with I/O and power distribution.

Energy Eater

Resistive load safety board.

Safety relay

Power supply control relay

12V Power Supply

12V PSU - Logic

48V Power Supply

48V PSU - Actuators

Disclosure notes

At Alias Robotics we encourage a security-first approach to robotics. One that focuses on continuous monitoring and management of robot security risks and threats, leveraging modern tools and automation techniques to ensure that, at all times, the robots stay safe and secure. We strongly believe that vulnerability disclosure is a two-way street where both vendors and researchers must act responsibly. Teardown, as a process, is an essential part of a security research and brings useful lessons and insights for the design of current and future robotic systems. Generally, teardown supports Kerckhoffs' principle in revealing all the details and weaknesses of a security system. Overall, the history of proprietary systems violating Kerckhoffs' principle by pursuing security through obscurity is rich of failure cases (with the military domain as the sole exception). We advocate against security by obscurity.

Alias remains committed to treating all vendors strictly equally and we expect to be held to the same standard.