June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.92.1 - 14.92.11
A Project-oriented Approach in Teaching Robotics Application Engineering
Automated robotic systems are critical components in implementing flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) which is the current trend for improving productivity and flexibility. Using robots in actual manufacturing platforms is a decision to improve flexibility and to increase the agility of the manufacturing process. To prepare students in the manufacturing technology program for their future careers in modern manufacturing companies, a new curriculum in Robotics Application Engineering has been developed and applied in the semester of spring 2008. This paper describes the course and laboratory of Robotics Application Engineering for students of manufacturing technology program (ITMT) in the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology (IET).
There are four Robotics courses offered in the IET Department spanning from 100 level to 400 level to teach concepts, operation, programming, maintenance, interfacing, and application developments of industrial robots. Robotics Application Engineering is taught as a 400 level course for senior undergraduate students in the ITMT program. This course teaches engineering design of a specific robotics problem and implementation in the laboratory. Topics include industrial engineering techniques, hardware interfacing, software interfacing, and control devices for robotics applications. An interdisciplinary approach is used. The challenge in teaching this course is the integration of knowledge and skills from mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, and computer programming for students in manufacturing technology program.
In the Robotics Interfacing Engineering class, weekly labs are set up which account for the same amount of time as the lectures. The outcome of this curriculum is to help students to explore available equipment and technologies in industrial robotic applications, understand hardware and software interfaces, and gain skills in interfacing, programming, and communication techniques required in building industrial robotic applications. In this paper, the devices and software used in developing this new curriculum and the laboratory development are demonstrated.
The number of industrial robots used in actual manufacturing platforms is increasing therefore the students who graduate from the ITMT program are required not only to understand the operation and programming processes but also to have the knowledge and skills in robotics interfacing and application development . Most students in the IET department can better understand the topics if they can see how they work. Therefore, this course has been developed by using a project-oriented approach. The lectures and lab activities are concentrated at a robotic application project in which students need to apply what they have learnt in the class.
The textbook used for this course is Industrial Robots Programming: building applications for the factories of the future by Norberto Pires . The lectures mainly focus on industrial robot manipulators, control systems, software interfaces, interface devices and systems, and examples of manufacturing robotic systems. Students attending both lectures and labs will obtain better understanding of control systems, interfacing, system integration, programmable logic
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