June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Design in Engineering Education
14.86.1 - 14.86.11
A Portable Workcell Design for Robotics Industry Abstract
This paper presents how a senior capstone project can be utilized to build partnerships between the academia and several companies representing key industries in modern robotics technology. The project can be described as designing a portable robotic workcell for industry to showcase state-of-the-art equipment and technologies in robotics. The industrial sponsor for this project is Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) located in Orion, Michigan. AMT plans to use the workcell for demonstrating current robotics technology in tradeshows, industrial open houses and/or robotics conferences. In addition, the workcell is to be used as a platform to provide training to engineers working in robotics industry on robot programming, machine vision and systems integration. The small size, flexible design and durability make the workcell appealing to many other applications in robotics engineering.
An engineering senior project design team composed of one computer engineer, two electrical engineers and two manufacturing engineering technologists at Lake Superior State University has worked on this project as their capstone design requirement through the 2007-2008 academic year. Lake Superior State University offers ABET accredited programs in computer, electrical and mechanical engineering as well as in manufacturing engineering technology. Robotics and automation is a degree option in all majors. The capstone senior design project is an integral part of all the degree programs and provides a real-life experience for the engineering senior students. The two-semester course has been an important tool to introduce students to soft skills such as project management, communications, engineering economics, and engineering ethics.
The paper illustrates how a capstone design project can be used to build partnerships in robotics technology. An educational partnership between Lake Superior State University and Applied Manufacturing Technologies has quickly expanded to include many other partners such as Bosch Rexroth and Siemens. The paper discusses the technology used in designing the portable robotic workcell as well as the capstone design course in detail.
In the past few decades, robotics technology has seen rapid improvement in response to a growing demand for automated system design. As advanced camera technologies continue to emerge, vision based robotic automation remains to be one of the most popular fields in research, development and training.
It is evident from the literature that vision based automated systems play an important role in manufacturing industry. A flexible vision guided robotics system developed in Sweden provides a good example1. The modular design, ease-of-use and small size of the system makes it suitable for automating production lines with smaller batches or production where new parts continuously must be added to the line.
Applications on an industrial robotic workcell with visual servo also pose challenging research problems. An experimental setup is introduced in 2 for the development of advanced sensor-
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