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An Undergraduate Research Project on Developing a 3D Vision System for an Industrial Robotics Project

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Robotics and Automation I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.185.1 - 23.185.9

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Paper Authors


Donald C. Richter Eastern Washington University

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Dr. Donald C. Richter obtained his B.Sc. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Ohio State University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He holds a professional engineer certification and worked as an engineer and engineering manger in industry for 20 years before teaching. His interests include project management, robotics/automation and air pollution dispersion modeling.

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Joseph Cluever Eastern Washington University

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Joseph Cluever earned a B.A.and an M.S. in Mathematics from Eastern Washington University in 2003 and 2007, respectively. Cluever earned the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Eastern Washington University in 2012.

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An Undergraduate Research Project on Developing a 3D Vision System for an Industrial Robotics ProjectAbstractEngineering and Engineering Technology Students need to learn to innovate and embrace newtechnologies as they develop and progress through their careers. The undergraduate degreeprogram can provide this first opportunity at innovation allowing the student to gain experienceand confidence at solving technological problems. This paper describes the learning experienceof an undergraduate student team composed of mechanical engineering and mechanicalengineering technology students. The paper relates the successful attempt the students had indeveloping and using innovation through the creation of a 3D vision system to work in concertwith a SCARA type industrial robot system. The undergraduate student project team was self-directed and had to use innovation to develop a 3D vision system comprised of a single industriallaser proximity sensor. The student used the sensor to develop a 3D array. The 3D arraydeveloped was used to first characterize the 3D part that was randomly delivered by a conveyorsystem and then program the robotic system to analyze and determine if and where the 3D partwould fit. The student team developed the ability for the robotic system to simulate complexassembly problems by using the system they designed to take randomly shaped 3D blocks andassemble them into a single cube. The project was in effect a real life 3D tetris game using therobotic system developed. The project was an excellent way for the student team to demonstratetheir ability to innovate using new technology to solve a complex problem. The confidence andprocess used to solve this problem will provide a basis upon which they can formulate newstrategies to incorporate new technologies throughout their career.

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