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ROS-based Control of a Manipulator Arm for Balancing a Ball on a Plate

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session 2

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Khasim Ali Khan


Ji-Chul Ryu Northern Illinois University

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Dr. Ji-Chul Ryu received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware in 2009. From 1999 to 2004, he was a Research Engineer with several companies, including Samsung, where he developed various types of automated robotic machines. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Neuroscience and Robotics Laboratory, Northwestern University prior to joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northern Illinois University as Assistant Professor in 2013. His research interests include integrated planning and control of autonomous robotic systems, its application to mobility assistive robots, dynamic robotic manipulations with applications to manufacturing/industrial processes, and robotic machine/factory inspection systems.

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Automation and robotics are the growing phenomena replacing human labor in the industries. The idea of robots replacing humans is positively influencing the business thereby increasing its scope of research. This paper discusses the development of an experimental platform controlled by a robotic arm through Robot Operating System (ROS). ROS is an open source platform over an existing operating system providing advanced capabilities for various types of robots from an operating system to low-level control.

We aim in this work to control a 7-DOF manipulator arm (Robai Cyton Gamma 300) through ROS to accomplish the task of balancing a ball on a plate-type end effector. In order to perform feedback control of the balancing task, the ball is designed to be tracked using a camera (Sony PlayStation Eye) through a tracking algorithm written in C++ using OpenCV libraries. The joint actuators of the robot are servo motors (Dynamixel) and these motors are directly controlled through a low-level control algorithm. To simplify the control, the system is modeled such that the plate has two-axis linearized motion. This system along with the approaches proposed in this work has potential to be used as a demonstration testbed for students to learn ROS with control theories in robotics.

Khan, K. A., & Ryu, J. (2017, June), ROS-based Control of a Manipulator Arm for Balancing a Ball on a Plate Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28809

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