Low-Cost Design Solutions for Educational Robots
Monica Tiboni*, Francesco Aggogeri*, Roberto Bussola*, Alberto Borboni*, Cesare Augusto Perani**, and Nicola Pellegrini*
*Università degli Studi di Brescia
Via Branze 38, Brescia 25123, Italy
Viale S. Eufemia 39, Brescia 25139, Italy
Low-cost robotics, fully integrated in the corporate IT infrastructure, is a requirement in the era of modern industrial automation derived from the Industry 4.0 model. This paper presents a multidisciplinary robotics-based learning (R-BL) project consisting of the development of a modular control architecture and a gripper for small manipulators. The solution, as compared with options available in the current robotic market, is a balance between low-cost devices with industrial robot performance. The project is carried out as part of the Robotics and Mechanisms program, a course in the automation engineering degree program at the University of Brescia in Italy. A 4-axis small-size robot, able to manipulate many kinds of objects, was designed and built by a student team by integrating the controller and the gripper. The controller was implemented using a real-time Raspberry platform by following a modular design concept. The control software is characterized by a short development time. The gripper was advanced to achieve low cost and modularity tradeoffs.
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