June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
14.39.1 - 14.39.16
A LABVIEW-BASED ON-LINE ROBOTIC ARM FOR STUDENTS’ LABORATORY
Abstract In this paper, the development of robotic arm experiments using the i-Lab Interactive Architecture is presented. Communication with the arm is done by using the RS-232 protocol. The robotic arm used in the laboratory has five degrees of freedom, each degree of freedom being controlled by a servomotor. The servomotors are controlled via pulse-width modulation (PWM), the width of each pulse being indicative of the position to which motor should move.
Three experiments are considered. The first experiment simply makes the robotic arm available to the student for direct control by moving different sliders. Each slider controls a motor. This would be the preliminary task to students who are new to robotics, and would familiarise them with the workings of the robotic arm. The second experiment demonstrates the effect of gravity on a robotic arm at different data rates. The third experiment developed entails requiring students to program the positions of each of the motors for each sequence stage of robot movements. Students would draw up this movement to perform an instructor- determined task. The instructor would require the students to, for example, pick an object from one location and place the object in another location.
The RA-01 robotic arm made by Images SI Inc. is used for these experiments and LabVIEW is used to create the laboratory clients and experiment engines. A visual feedback from the lab to the client is provided via a webcam.
The field of robotics is largely unexplored by the underdeveloped and the developing countries. Few universities undergo course work in robotics and even fewer have labs for robotics. Yet, the field of robotics stands as one of the most promising of the future. The world is gearing up for the next level of automation where every device would be smart and able to do lots of things on their own without human input. The field of robotics holds front lines in these research areas with unmanned missions, explorations and excavations, home servant robots, robot playing sports and several other fields. With a dearth of robotics in the third world, the great brains in these parts of the world could be contributing more if only knew how to.
This research work reported here was prompted by the lack of laboratories and lectures in the field of robotics in the authors’ environment. This research work aims to set up an online control engineering experimentation platform in the field of robotics. The aim was and is to expand the set of online experiments in the Control Engineering field while introducing newbies to robotics. The set of online experiments which this research work would put up are based on a robotic arm.
Three experiments have been set up at the Obafemi Awolowo University by this research effort. The experiments are: 1. A simple slider control experiment 2. An effect of gravity experiment 3. A trajectory planning experiment
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