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Engaging Students’ Creativity through Designing a Low-Cost Educational Robotic Arm

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Automation in Manufacturing

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Paper Authors


Shunafrica C. White Elizabeth City State University

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Shunafrica C. White was born and raised in Conyers, GA. She received in Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Mechanical and Automation from Elizabeth City State University and her Master of Science degree in Bioengineering from North Carolina A&T State University. Her research interests are biomechanics and sports injuries.

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Jason D. Farmer

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Jason Farmer graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a B.S. in Engineering Technology. He received an Engineer in Training (E.I.T.) designation for the state of Virginia post-graduation and currently works to support system automation/ streamlining at Conduent Inc. His academic and career interests include Computer-Aided Design/ Drafting (CAD), machine design and systems automation.

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Akbar M. Eslami Elizabeth City State University

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Dr. Akbar Eslami is a professor and Engineering Technology coordinator in the Department of Technology at Elizabeth City State University. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University. His research interests are in Computer Aided Manufacturing and Design, Reverse Engineering, Finite Element Analysis, and Design Optimization..

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Robotic arms have been around for many years and are widely used within industries. In the decade of 2010 the availability of low-cost robotic arms increased substantially. These types of robots are ideal solution with applications in automation, laboratory, and education because of their adaptability to various industries and tasks. The objective of this project is to design a low- cost/affordable robotic arm including a manipulator and end effector with similar functions to a human arm and fingers with educational applications. The mechanism of manipulator is similar to the articulated robot so that the links of the manipulator are connected by joints allowing rotational motion. For the end effector, a two-finger gripper is designed that allows the robot to pick and place an object. The proposed robot has 5-degree of freedom and operates with Dynamixel AX-12A and RX-24- F servo motors and mechanical components to perform a variety of tasks and operations. All the mechanical components including links, gripper, connectors, spur and bevel gears are designed by SolidWorks and Cero computer aided design (CAD) software. A 3-D printer is used to manufacture the parts. The Arduino microcontroller and software are utilized to program servo motors so that the robot can do the desire tasks. The design of this robot will provide an opportunity to educators to learn the knowledge of mechatronics that eventually open up a whole new world of learning for them.

White, S. C., & Farmer, J. D., & Eslami, A. M. (2018, June), Engaging Students’ Creativity through Designing a Low-Cost Educational Robotic Arm Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30399

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