Design and Fabrication of a Programmable Autonomous Robotic Arm

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College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering,
National University of Sciences and Technology,
Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi,
PAKISTAN. ,, , Abstract – The ultimate aim of the industrial robotics is to make machines that can perform complex tasks like welding, machining, assembling while sufficiently reducing the time and cost needed to accomplish sophisticated jobs. This paper presents a prototype model of an industrial robotic arm and discusses various aspects of the components involved in the system. Emphasis is placed on the user interface of the system which comprises of two generic components as found in most industrial robot systems present today, first is the teach-pendant and second one is the computer based robot programming language. The robot programming language incorporates robot control functions along with the fundamental elements of a high level language and has a very simple and concise syntax. The aspiration of this work is to present a system which is powerful, cost effective and at the same time intelligible to an average user. Key-Words: - robotic arm, robot programming language, teach pendant, user interface, AVR microcontroller, robot kinematics 1 Introduction

Since the dawn of industrial robotics, robot software architectures and programming languages have been a topic of great interest [1]. It is imperative that a user friendly interface is built for an industrial robot system in order to gain universal recognition. Hence a lot of work had been done to develop user friendly interfaces that will at the same time provide powerful programming environment [2]. Our research focuses on developing such an interface, which is easy to use without compromising on the control that has been given to the user. Biggs and MacDonald in [3] have divided the robot programming systems into three categories: automatic programming (learning and programming by demonstration), manual programming (text and graphics based programming) and software architectures (control methodology). Our paper involves all three categories, the text based programming, teaching and control methodology. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) on the computer features an Integrated Development Environment or IDE (also known as the programmers platform [9]) which allows user to work both offline and online. While offline, user can write program routines that will enable robotic am to perform wide range of tasks, varying from a simple pick and place job to long term plan oriented tasks. When online, user can either execute the programs that have been written previously or teach points to the robotic arm with the help of a set of buttons present in the GUI. A robot control language defines the actions that a robot manipulator needs to perform in order to complete some task [4]. Languages such as VAL [5] and AML [6] which were developed in seventies are the earliest examples of structured robot programming languages. Since that time languages improved and evolved and as a result a wide variety of languages were developed. The problem of too many languages opened the way for using standard languages such as C for building robot programming languages. As a result language developers used the approach of adding libraries to the standard languages, for instance RCCL [7] and ARCL [4] used C, while others have used Pascal [8] for this approach in the past. The languages mentioned above might be difficult for an average user to use. So we have used the approach of creating a new language that contains the fundamental elements of a high level language along with the robot specific commands. The syntax is made simpler and self explanatory. Teach pendant is part of most industrial robot systems and is used in teaching points and programming of the robot manipulator [10]. The advantage of...
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