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Developing a Robotic Kit for Mechatronic Engineering Education

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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

23.387.1 - 23.387.8



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Paper Authors


William Sarkis Babikian Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology

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William Babikian is a full-time student in the Mechatronics Engineering program at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. He is a member of the college's robotics club. His interests include computer programming, engineering product designing, and general mathematics.

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Shouling He Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology

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Shouling He is an assistant professor of Engineering and Technology at Vaughn College of Aeronautics
and Technology. Her research interests include modeling and simulation, microprocessors, control and
robotics. She has published more than 40 journal and conference papers in the research fields.

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Hossein Rahemi Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology

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Hossein Rahemi is a professor of Engineering and Technology at Vaughn College of Aeronautics
and Technology. He is the author of two books and numerous journal and conference papers in the areas of solid mechanics, computational mechanics, vibration analysis, fracture mechanics and reliability analysis. He is also a principle investigator for the NSF S-STEM grant and the HIS-STEM grant and a student advisor for a number of technical papers in the areas of mechanics, robotics and industrial automation.

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Developing Robotic Tools for Mechatronic Engineering Education William Babikian, Shouling He*, Amir Elzawawy, Hossein Rahemi,,, Department of Engineering and Technology Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology 8601 23rd Ave, Flushing, New York City, 11369This paper presents the development of robotic tools for the courses in the MechatronicEngineering program at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. As we know,mechatronics is a discipline that combines elements from mechanical engineering, electricalengineering, computer engineering and control engineering. Students in the mechatronicengineering program are required to possess not only multi-disciplinary knowledge but also theability to balance theory with experimentation to solve problems in the real world. Towards theeducational requirements, we need to develop various educational tools. The robotic tool, VEXrobotic arm with a granular jamming gripper, is one of them.The VEX robotic arm has four degrees of freedom, controlled by four DC motors. For eachdegree of movement, an encoder is installed to measure the rotational angle. The robotic armcan have two different grippers, one is a traditional gripper. The other is a granular jammergripper. The jammer gripper is made from a rubber balloon filled with coffee grounds. A vacuumis connected to the balloon through vinyl tubing and funnel. When the air inside the balloon isremoved, the coffee grains pack together and become rigid. This enables the gripper to grasp andhold on to an object of any shape.Using the robotic arm with two different types of grippers, students can verify different roboticdesigns: (1) robotic trajectories for the robot arm to pick up an object; (2) the maximum angularvelocity of each link when the robotic arm moves; (3) according to the available torque providedby each motor, the maximum weight of the load and the weight of each link; (4) the force controlfor the granular jammer gripper, i.e. how large gas pressure the vacuum should provide so that itcan take a certain weight of load.The granular jamming gripper is a creative and universal solution for robotic gripper designs. Weimplement it using the economic and flexible VEX robotic arm. As an educational platform,students can test their robotic designs on it. Furthermore, the easily implemented robotic systemwith creative design of the gripper inspires students to explore more novel and feasible solutionsfor the development of robotic arms and robotic manipulators.* Corresponding author

Babikian, W. S., & He, S., & Rahemi, H. (2013, June), Developing a Robotic Kit for Mechatronic Engineering Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19401

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