Thursday, March 22, 2012

Real Quanser Robot = Readiness for Real World Engineering

Dr. Stephen Mascaro of the University of Utah is focused on preparing his students to apply control theory to real-world applications.
Dr. Stephen Mascaro of the University of Utah wanted the students in his Robotic Control course to gain hands-on experience controlling a real robot. He also wanted to prepare his students to apply the control theory they were learning to real-world applications. Working with Quanser to develop a 2 DOF Serial Robot, he achieved both aims. Dr. Mascaro describes his work below. Watch the videos from his lab and see the robot in action for yourself.
This video shows Quanser's 2 DOF Serial Robot mimicking an industrial robot quickly
and repeatedly executing predefined trajectories.
“The first video mimics an industrial robot repeatedly executing predefined trajectories quickly and accurately, similar to placing chips on a circuit board," says Dr. Mascaro. "The faster the robot can place the chip while maintaining specified accuracy, the more the factory can increase their throughput.”

This video shows a master-slave teleoperation aimed at achieving the
precision required in surgery.
"The second video relates to surgical robots and shows a master-slave teleoperation aimed at achieving the precision required in surgery. Using a master - slave pair of robots, a doctor can manipulate the master robot using large scale motions, while the slave robot mimics the motions of the master on a smaller and more precise scale in order to perform the surgical operation, filtering out any vibrations or tremors from the doctor's motion. The forces experienced by the slave can be amplified and fed back to the master so the doctor can feel an enhanced version of what the slave robot is feeling.”

This video shows two robots using infrared sensors to interact as leader-follower.
In the real world, such an interaction would allow leader-follower robots
to travel over uncertain terrain.
“The third video applies to field robotics, in which two robots use infrared sensors to interact as leader-follower and travel together over uncertain terrain." Dr. Mascaro continues: "The slave robot must be capable of following its own trajectory, but should adjust its trajectory based on its relative distance from the master robot. Applications for this robot include any sort of sensing and detection in a difficult terrain or an inhospitable environment.”

Dr. Mascaro is pleased with what his robot control lab, with the new 2DOF Serial Robot, can offer his students. "We have a modern robotics lab that can provide all our students plenty of hands-on time with the robots," he says, "so they can more easily turn control theory into practice. As a result, my students are better prepared to tackle real-world applications and research in the future.”

If you have some innovative ideas to make your lab more engaging and relevant to the real world, tell us what you have in mind. Perhaps Quanser can help make it a reality.

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