Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Frankenstein's robot manipulator
by Merchut, G. Addison, M.S., Northern Illinois University, 2013, 110; 1540606
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of this project was to design, build, program, upgrade, and remotely control an existing industrial-grade robotic manipulator on a budget that was equal to a graduate student's salary.

Inverse kinematic equations were developed to model the CRS arm using Denavit-Hartenberg convention. After converting these equations into a system of Python code, the equations were verified via graphical simulation.

The CRS arm's obsolete motor driver box was completely removed and replaced with cutting-edge, low-cost microcontrollers. The wiring, mechanics, and controls for the five degrees of freedom (DOF) were reverse engineered based on very limited datasheets, including the arm's motors, brakes, encoder pin-outs, gripper, and fixed global reference frame movement.

The microcontrollers were then programmed in C/C++ to allow a user to control every electrical and mechanical aspect of the arm. The kinematic equations were implemented on a Python server, which commands how each joint in the robotic arm must move to reach a desired point in space. The user interface was developed in conjunction with Evan Boldt to allow for remote control of the robotic arm and monitoring through webcams, which includes twisting and tilting a tablet.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Coller, Brianno
Commitee: Gau, Jenn-Terng, Gonser, Matt
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Mechanical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Computer Engineering, Mechanical engineering, Robotics
Keywords: Arduino, Denavit-Hartenberg convention, Encoders, Manipulators, Mechatronics, Python
Publication Number: 1540606
ISBN: 978-1-303-19894-6
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