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Development Of A New Curriculum For Robotics Interfacing Engineering

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Technology Integration in the Classroom

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Page Count


Page Numbers

13.408.1 - 13.408.11

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Paper Authors

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Yuqiu You Morehead State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of a New Curriculum for Robotics Interfacing Engineering

I. Introduction

This paper describes a course and laboratory of Robotics Interfacing 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 Interfacing Engineering is taught as a 300 level course for junior undergraduate students in ITMT program. This course teaches electronic, digital, and mechanical interfacing of robots in industrial manufacturing cells. Topics include open and closed loop control systems, various sensing devices, tactile sensing, vision systems, and motor controls. 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 have students benefit from a better understanding of concepts, principles, as well as gaining hands-on experiences in robotics interfacing. In this paper, the devices and software used in developing this new curriculum are introduced; and the design of laboratory is demonstrated.

In the past, the laboratory of this course was limited to robot operation and basic programming which had little difference from the 200 level robotics course due to the limitation of hardware and software. 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 [1]. Most students in the IET department can better understand the topics if they can see how they work. Therefore, instead of pure coding for interfacing, a graphic programming language, LabVIEW, is introduced to the class to implement robotics interfacing and develop Human-machine interface (HMI).

LabVIEW, developed by National Instruments, is a graphic programming language to build virtual instruments (VIs) for control systems. The VI developed in LabVIEW environment provides an interface between a user and a control process, such as a robotic system. The main concept of such an interface is to provide a general view of the process and facilitate full control of the operations [2]. In the LabVIEW environment, functions and operations are represented by icons that can be drag and place into a graphic interface for programming. Data types, numeric and logic operations, and data flows can be viewed from the graphic interface, so that students can easily understand the programming structure and control operations. In the Robotics Interfacing Engineering class, the data acquisition (DAQ) module and the motion control module

You, Y. (2008, June), Development Of A New Curriculum For Robotics Interfacing Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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