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An instructional robotics and machine vision laboratory

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2 Author(s)
Clement, W.I. ; Dept. of Weapons & Syst. Eng., US Naval Acad., Annapolis, MD, USA ; Knowles, K.A.

The US Naval Academy has assembled a laboratory consisting of 16 identical stations in support of several robotics and machine vision courses. Each station has an 80386-based microcomputer, a five degree-of-freedom robot arm, a video-rate vision system, and a speech synthesis system. The robot arms are capable of teach-pendant operation or control via the attached computer. Programs written in the robot control language can be downloaded into, stored in, and run from robot RAM. For greater flexibility, move instructions can be generated by the controlling computer (in any desired computer language) and transmitted to the arm for execution via an RS-232 link. Each joint of the robot (plus the gripper) has a dedicated microprocessor for closed-loop servo operation utilizing incremental drive-motor shaft encoders and micro-switches for “home” locations. The vision system includes an RS170-compatible video camera, a PC-compatible frame grabber board, and a video monitor. This configuration permits the utilization of 2D and 3D vision feedback in the robot control process. The laboratory is used in support of undergraduate courses that cover such topics as robot kinematics and task planning, elementary machine vision, and artificial neural networks

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 1 )