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Teaching Robot Kinematics for Engineering Technology Students Using a Created Three-Dimensional Robot and a Camera

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Robotics, Automation, and Product Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1485.1 - 26.1485.19



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Paper Authors


Cheng Y. Lin P.E. Old Dominion University

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Dr. Lin is a Professor and Program Director of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University. He received his PhD of Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1989, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia. Dr. Lin has expertise in automation control, machine design, CAD/CAM, CNC, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, and robotics. He has been active in the technology application research and teaching training courses for the local industries and technology application center

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Yuzhong Shen Old Dominion University

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Yuzhong Shen received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, M.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi, and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware. His research interests include computer graphics, visualization, serious games, signal and image processing, and modeling and simulation. Dr. Shen is currently an Associate Professor of the Department of Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Old Dominion University. He is also affiliated with Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC). Dr. Shen is a Senior Member of IEEE.

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Zhili Hao Old Dominion University

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Zhili Hao received the B.S and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P.R. China, in 1994 and 1997, respectively. She received her Ph. D. degree from the University of Central Florida, Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, in 2000. After graduation, Dr. Hao worked as a MEMS Engineer in industry for two years. In July 2006, she joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Old Dominion University as an assistant professor and is currently an associate professor. Her research interests include developing various MEMS/microfluidics-based sensors, investigating their applications in biomedical and robotics fields, as well as studying micromechanics critical for performance improvement of micro-sensors.

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Teaching Robot Kinematics for Engineering Technology Students Using a Created Three-Dimensional Robot and a Camera[Abstract]Teaching robot kinematics is important to engineering technology students in therobot automation. This is not only students can study the coordinate transformationprinciples from a joint to its following joint of a robot, but also can relate thecoordinate systems between a robot and a camera which may be mounted on or offthe robot. While students can use math software to compute robot kinematictransformations, they have problems verifying their answers. In this paper, a threedimensional vertically articulated robot is created to help students visualize thelocation and orientation of the end effector. Students can check their answers basedon the joint encoder values set up at each joint. In addition, a camera is alsomounted on the robot for the students to relate an object location from the cameracoordinate system to the robot world frame. This can be achieved by using theUser Coordinate Systems (UCS) available in the CAD software. The location ofthe desired object can also be visualized and verified from the camera’s UCS byonly displaying the object on the screen.Main components in this visualized robot include: a. Build a three dimensional robots with a camera mounted on the the robot as shown in Figure 1. The robot is at the position where all joint encoders are zeros. b. Figure 2 shows that a key way created in joint six when wrist roll equals zero. c. Figure 3 shows that six UCS are defined for each joint so that students can program the kinematic transformation. The “X” and “Z” axes are also shown in each UCS. Students can check the location and orientation of the end- effector and compared the answers of their kinematic transformations. The [4x4] homogenous transformation matrices are applied in teaching kinematic transformations. Figure 1: The 3D Robot in the Zero PositionFigure 2: A Key Way Created to Locate Wrist Roll = 0Figure 3: Defined UCS

Lin, C. Y., & Shen, Y., & Hao, Z. (2015, June), Teaching Robot Kinematics for Engineering Technology Students Using a Created Three-Dimensional Robot and a Camera Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24822

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