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Turning a Legacy Robot to Collaborate to Fit in Industry 4.0 Demands

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

STEM Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Hadi Alasti Purdue University, Fort Wayne Orcid 16x16

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Hadi Alasti, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Computer, electrical and Information Technology Department at Purdue University, Fort Wayne (PFW). He joined PFW in August 2016. Formerly, he served as full time teaching faculty at East Coast Polytechnic Institute in eastern Virginia for more than five years. His areas of interests are teaching styles in engineering technology, communication electronics, embedded systems and wireless technologies and wireless sensing. Dr. Alasti is a member of ASEE and a senior member of IEEE.

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In the advent of the 4th industry revolution and involvement of manufacturing sites with internet-based control and monitoring of the process and the equipment, yet a large number of automated robotic sites are non-collaborative. Replacement of all of these traditional automation facilities with modern, collaborative robots is very costly. Turning the traditional robotic facilities to collaborative automation is a cost efficient approach during the transition time to switch to complete replacement. Sensing, actuating, communication and networking are the necessary requirements that needs to be added to the traditional, non-collaborative robots to prepare them to work in transitional model for industry 4.0. The main objective of this project is to familiarize the technology students with the scope of requirements of industry 4.0. In the learning process they become involved in a hands-on project to experience working with sensors, communication devices and Internet of things. Programming robot and the communication devices, hardware interfacing, and data manipulation on web are among these hand-on experience. Also in this project, a non-collaborative robot is linked to a PLC and the process of turning the non-collaborative robot to a collaborative robot through IP-based PLC in on-site network will be investigated, experimentally. Ability to work with robots in automated manufacturing sites is a high-demand requirement and makes the technology students marketable. Being able to upgrade a non-collaborative robot to collaborative, promotes the future workforce’s insight into renovation in work environment. The highly demanding familiarity with internet of things, sensors and actuators and wireless communication technologies justifies the experiments in learning the requirements of industry 4.0. This project is one good example of STEM project and fulfills a number of ABET requirements. Multidisciplinary courses in the context of wireless robotics, industrial internet of things (IIoT), programmable logic controllers and mechatronics that allows participation of students from different programs, with many hands-on activities, facilitates the student engagement among the programs. The objective of this project is to turn a non-collaborative robot to collaborate with the other co-existing automation systems, and have the robot react properly in the presence of fault or upcoming incidents. The non-collaborative robot will be equipped with sensors and communication devices. The sensor observations will be processed in webserver for remote monitoring and control purpose. The main purpose of this portion of the project is to turn a traditional robot to an IoT-base robot. The project is implemented in four phases of: Phase-1: Sensor and wireless communication devices Phase-2: Web page / server setup and data collection Phase-3: IoT adapted programming to control the robot arm Phase-4: IP-based iPC controlled robot arm

Alasti, H. (2021, July), Turning a Legacy Robot to Collaborate to Fit in Industry 4.0 Demands Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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