ABOUT THE COURSE
In this project, you’ll design, build and program a simple robot, with at least two joints, that can draw a line through a number of points on a sheet of a paper. You’ll design and construct the robot, write the software to control it, and then put it to the test. There are lots of ways you could actually build such a robot and that will depend on your skill level, your budget, or what equipment you can source. You might consider working in a group to share the expense of the development kit, or borrow the equipment you’ll need. At the end of the course, you’ll be invited to submit a video of your completed robot. A small number of participants will peer review your project and you’ll review a small number of others.
Design and build a robot arm
We’ll discuss the hardware and software choices you have for building your robot and some of the mechanical design choices you’ll have to consider. We’ll support you through your key design decisions and demonstrate motors, gears and mechanical construction.
Move and test your robot arm
This week we’ll make the robot move in a coordinated way and draw straight lines on the worksheet.
Assess your robot arm
You’ll be invited to submit a video of your completed robot. A small number of participants will peer review your project and you’ll review a small number of others.
Continue learning with the Introducing Robotics Program
This course is the third course in the Introducing Robotics Program from Queensland University of Technology which will help you gain the robotics skills that are needed today and in the future.
You’ll need to understand mathematical, algorithmic and control principles of robot arm manipulators before starting. This includes concepts from advanced high-school mathematics or engineering; in particular, analytic geometry and linear algebra (including) points, vectors, matrices, matrix-vector and matrix-matrix multiplication and linear transformations.
How you build your robot depends on what resources you have access to. For this project, you might choose to purchase a LEGO Mindstorms NXT or EV3 development kit, something equivalent, or borrow hobby robot components. All of the task instructions, demonstrations, and worksheets will be provided. Please note that we’ll base the instructions around the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit.
You’ll need a 64-bit computer to install the MATLAB software and a custom software toolbox to control your robot. The software depends on the hardware you choose to use; for example, MINDSTORMS NXT toolbox (NXT kits) or the QUT EV3 MATLAB toolbox (EV3 kits).