In response to…
(1) the rapidly increasing demand in society for engineers with robotics expertise,
(2) the under-utilization of the FANUC robot on campus, and
(3) the current barriers that must be overcome to use the robot,
we added a functionality to the robot in order for a human, who has no advanced FANUC robot understanding, to move and guide the robot in a more comprehensive and hands-on way using a space mouse.
The world is rapidly changing, and we need to keep up.
Robots are transforming industry and automating business processes – specifically small, agile robots able to interact with humans. With such a large demand in the workforce for engineers with robotics experience, the engineering department should be supporting and challenging its systems and mechanical engineering majors, especially those with concentrations or minors in robotics.
But…our robotics students have never used a robot.
Why is that?
In our own experience, part of the reason that the FANUC robot is underutilized could be attributed to the amount of time and effort involved in learning how it works. In general, controlling the position and motion of the robot is not necessarily intuitive – even when using the FANUC teach pendant. With the teach pendant, it is difficult to record a smooth desired path of motion and involves stopping and restarting the movement.
Additionally, the previously established path of communication between the robot and the computer – Ed Richter’s MATLAB script – was also limited in functionality and required some background knowledge and explanation in order to use.
With all of that, it’s no surprise that students haven’t wanted to tackle this piece of machinery in the past.
Scroll for more specifics about the objectives of our project.
1. Simulate the system
We will create a working model of the FANUC robot that incorporates our baseline understanding of robotics dynamics and controls and allows us to assess system performance in simulation before testing in implementation.
2. Mathematically model space-mouse movements
We will develop a mathematical relationship between the user’s manipulation of the space mouse and the information we will send to the simulated or implemented FANUC robot.
3. Develop real-time robot control
We will expand on the capabilities offered by Ed Richter’s current LabView code by altering that code to allow for real-time robot control and alternative user inputs, thus improving the current path of communication with the robot.
4. Incorporate the space mouse into the path of communication
We will be able to control the robot via the space mouse in real-time.
5. Analyze the performance of the system
We will develop indicators within the scope of our project to analyze and improve the performance of the entire system.
6. Demonstrate a real-world application that involves hand guiding capabilities.
We will demonstrate a real-world application that involves the newly-added hand guiding functionality of the FANUC robot.