R O J E C T
A robot is a machine that can be programmed to perform a task. The word robot comes from the word robot in the Czechoslovakian language, which means slave-like work or forced work. Today, robots are primarily used in industry. Typically, robots are used to perform tasks that are dull, dirty, and/or dangerous. Robots increase production capability; improve product quality, and lower production costs. It is likely that very soon there will be almost totally unmanned factories. Perhaps just one or two people will program or monitor the computers and carry out routine maintenance to robots and other machines.
The robots used in industry usually consist of a
mechanical arm controlled by a computer. The arm is jointed in one or more
places and there is a "hand" at the end of the arm. The 'hand" is
called an end effector. Each end effector is designed specifically for a
particular job. Among the simplest jobs is "pick and place" where a
robot may take something from one place and move it to another. Robots can do
many different kinds of tasks but they still need humans to control them and
give instructions. A robot is not intelligent by itself and can perform only
those tasks for which it is given a set of instructions or program. Computers
act as the robot's brain. But as we already know the computer is only as smart
as the human operator.
The power for a robotic arm can either be
electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic. Hydraulics is putting liquids under pressure
while pneumatics is putting gases under pressure. The power supply acts like the
robot's heart and muscles. It provides the energy for pushing, pulling, turning
There are five types of robot arms commonly used
in industry. The cylindrical movement moves in and out, up and down, and swivels
round a vertical axis. The jointed arm has a joint at the waist, shoulder and
elbow. The polar (or spherical) movement is like the cylindrical movement, but
uses a pivoting vertical motion. Scara-type movement is similar to the jointed
arm, but has joints in the horizontal rather than the vertical plane. Finally,
rectangular movement can go up and down, from side to side and in and out.
In this activity, you will design, build, and
program a simple pick and place robot that will solve a materials-handling
You are an engineer at MCS Robotics, Inc. Your firm has been asked to design a material-handling system for a materials processing company. During the manufacturing process, parts need to be moved from one conveyor system to another by hand. Moving the parts by hand is boring and dangerous. The company has had to pay a lot of medical bills due to injuries caused by their current practice. Management feels that using a robot to move the parts, will free personnel for more important work, reduce accidents, and improve productivity.
department head has decided to instruct each of you to design and build a
prototype robot. You will be working individually for this project; therefore
you should not discuss any ideas with your fellow employees. Each of you will
develop and present a proposal for solving this customer’s material-handling
problem. Each proposal will be in the form of a working model, CAD prototype,
bill of materials, and a program documenting the steps required to perform the
task. The engineer who presents the best proposal will receive the contract, and
will be rewarded with the highest grade.
The robot base can be no larger than 10" x 10".
2. You must use wood,
metal, and plastic as part of your robot.
3. The robot must be
operated hydraulically, using (3) 12 cc & (4) 30 ML syringe’s.
4. A layout of the customer
work area and requirements is attached. (see fig. 1)
5. You are given no budget
for this project, so it is up to you to find USED materials.
The customer will program a maximum 5-second pause in the conveyor system for
you to pick up the part. You will establish the interval between parts, keeping in
mind that productivity is an issue.
The customer’s part is a 3/4” thick, X 3” Long X 2-1/2” wide block of
red oak wood.
2. Review customer
requirements and brainstorm idea’s for moving the part.
3. Construct the customer
work area in CAD.
Begin sketching robot ideas. These sketches can be quick and simple ways of
communicating your plan or design. Research & gather materials to use in
After selecting and refining your best design, draw it neatly and accurately in
CAD. Be sure to include enough detail to communicate your ideas & build the
robot as planned.
6. Construct a bill of
materials and have your department head sign-off on your design.
7. Construct your robot.
You will not be allowed to deviate from your design at this time.
You must make a pendant box for the control valves.
This box must be self explanatory to the operator. It is recommended that
you fill the syringe’s with colored water to simplify operation.
Write a detailed program for your robot that will move the part from point A to
point B. When the program is completed, test it and make any necessary
revisions. Your program must be written so that the robot can be operated by
another person successfully.
Make final revisions to design and program.
Have your department head sign-off on your program.
11. Prepare a two to four
minute class presentation of your proposal. The presentation should include a
demonstration of your robot and program along with a description of any
hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, and electrical systems. All design team
members must participate in the presentation.
The following are required:
- Robot Design Sketches/Drawing
- Robot Creativity/Originality
- Robot Workmanship
- Robot Program
- Proposal Presentation 20
Total = 100 pts
2. In addition, winners of each of the following
will receive additional points:
- Most Creative (as
voted by class)
- Best Built (as voted by class) 10 pts