June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
As industrial robotics continues to revolutionize manufacturing, there is increasing demand for affordable tools which support robotics education. We describe a new, open-source robotics simulation software package that is nearing completion. This free software is targeted for educators and students at the high school, community college, and university level. We expect that the software will be particularly useful for two- or four-year Electrical Engineering Technology degree programs. Our software allows students to learn how to operate robot even when access to a real robot is impossible, expensive, or limited. Similar to expensive proprietary robot simulation software, our simulator focuses on providing the basics of operating a robot, setting up and using coordinate frames, programming effector paths, and allows the robot to interact with objects in the environment. The software also simulates a teach pendant which the student uses to control the robot. A preliminary version of this work was presented at ASEE 2016 and this paper describes the significant improvements made to the software in the past year. Recent improvements include a revamped inverse kinematics system which provides smoother and more realistic robot movement, collision detection, and significantly improved teach pendant menus. Programming capabilities have also been expanded to include register expressions, conditional statements, and new instructions. Finally, our software now includes scenarios which creates predefined situations aimed at teaching specific robotics skills while also allowing students to create their own scenarios with an interactive menu system. A beta version of the software has been publicly released and we are excited to collect feedback from those in the robotics education community. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation and is a result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between Michigan Technological University and Bay de Noc Community College.
Hooker, J. B., & Druschke, V., & Kuhl, S. A., & Sergeyev, A., & Parmar, S. Y., & Kinney, M. B., & Alaraje, N., & Highum, M. (2017, June), Enhancing Industrial Robotics Education with Open-source Software Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28275
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