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Extending the utility of the RHINO educational robot

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2 Author(s)
Mrad, F.T. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., American Univ. of Beirut, Lebanon ; Deeb, G.

Expensive hardware that has been purchased in the past by educational institutions can be re-utilized and modernized to take advantage of newly introduced technologies. Keeping in mind that the introduction of these tools is an educational experience by itself. Robots are defined as flexible, reprogrammable automated machines. This paper addresses the problems with the RHINO educational robot original software interface that limited the RHINO to an almost rigid mechanism. A new software interface, based on a popular high-level structured language, is introduced which will make the RHINO robot a better teaching tool. Since the RHINO robot has been popular in robotics teaching worldwide, it will become helpful in robotics lectures and demonstrations where students can implement various concepts on the RHINO robot. Specifically, the inverse kinematics problem is solved for the robot at hand and used in an experiment to calculate online the needed position and orientation of the end effector. This important capability was not possible with the commercial original interface of the RHINO. Other advantages of the newly introduced interface (such as clock, real numbers, and software library units) open the way for more educational benefits of the RHINO in robotics, digital control, engineering projects and research. The outline of four experiments being conducted in the Robotics course being offered at the American University of Beirut based on the result of this paper is presented. In addition, the same robot has been effectively utilized in final year projects for graduating engineers of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 3 )