Hands-on with robotic arms

Student project entitled Bad Escape Artist, spells out "LET ME OUT" with a dry erase marker. Second-year Automated Systems & Robotics students were recently tasked with a simple assignment: to design an industrial robot program for any application of their choosing.

According to Instructor Joey White, the only requirement was that “they needed to demonstrate the use of position registers, the offset motion option along with math instructions to make sequential moves in a specific pattern based on a minimum number of taught reference points.”

A hands-on project gives real-world experience

In addition to programming the robot, the students also used SolidWorks to design the tooling at the end of the robotic arm and later brought their tools to life using the College’s Stratasys 3D printers.

This approach to the project exposed students to the full process of putting together a packaging system from start to finish — finding solutions to problems from the very first stage of production.

“I’ve learned a lot more about the automated packaging systems and how they can be utilized in so many ways,” said second-year Automated Systems & Robotics student Dallas Stewart. “It’s crazy the amount of opportunity there is in this field.”

One robot, many applications

With the guidelines in mind, the students paired up and got to work in Dunwoody’s FANUC-certified robotics lab — designing an array of robotic programs.

  • Spiral Supreme, designed by Mark Reznikov and Jesse Theis: this program is designed to pick up and drop metal balls down a spiral chute.
  • Bad Escape Artist, designed by Dallas Stewart and Steve Thulien: this program was designed to write “LET ME OUT” with a dry-erase marker and then erase it.
  • Robot Piano, designed by James Olson and Will Snyder: designed to play “Hot Cross Buns” on the piano.
  • Auto Butler, designed by Kim Wieting and Mike Prudhon: designed to serve glass bottles.

“What I really enjoy most about this class is actually being able to program the PLC’s and the robots rather than just talking about it in theory,” Stewart said.

Visit Dunwoody’s Automated Systems & Robotics program web page for more information or contact Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle at edaigle@dunwoody.edu.