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This content is taken from the Queensland University of Technology's online course, Introducing Robotics: Build a Robot Arm. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Welcome to week one in the robotics project, My name is Liam O’Sullivan and I’ll be your guide as to how to design, construct and program this robot to move in a 2D workspace. I have a robot that I built here. Let’s take a look at this robot sitting on our robotics worksheet and the task that you have to do. This is the robotic’s worksheet and I have the robot that I built with Lego sitting on top of it. The key thing to know with the robotics worksheet is that there are 5 points, listed from 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. These points are also listed down on the table below here.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds And they’re in x and y coordinates, which are in millimeters, and these coordinates is in reference to this Cartesian axis down the bottom corner. Now what your robot actually has to do, it has to move from point one to two, up to point three, four and then finally finish at five. Let’s take a look at this robot now moving through the robotic worksheet.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds This is another robot that I’ve constructed. It is made out of Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit. It is a revolute prismatic robotic arm. Let’s take a look at it moving through the robotics worksheet.

Task outline

Your task is to build a simple robot, with two joints, that can carry a pen or pencil and draw on a sheet of a paper. You will create software that enables the robot to draw straight lines between points. In the video, we’ll show you what your finished project might look like.

Here are the general steps you’ll take to complete this project:

  1. Decide on what hardware and software you’ll use.
  2. Decide on the number and type of joints you’ll build.
  3. Build your robotic arm.
  4. Begin moving the joints under the control of computer software.
  5. Improve and reiterate your design.
  6. Measure the parameters for your robotic arm.
  7. Develop the kinematic equations for your design.
  8. Implement the kinematic equations as MATLAB functions.
  9. Generate a trajectory of points for the robot to move on the worksheet.
  10. Test your robotic arm on the worksheet.
  11. Evaluate the robotic arm performance.
  12. Adjust the software to improve the robotic arm movement.

In the Downloads below you’ll find the worksheet that your robot arm will need to navigate. We’ve provided a file suitable for printing on A2 paper, as well as an option for printing on multiple sheets of A4 or Letter (North America).

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This video is from the free online course:

Introducing Robotics: Build a Robot Arm

Queensland University of Technology