The wireless control systems have become an essential part of everyday life ranging from garage door openers to smart metering systems. The communication in such systems involves transfer of information from a controller to a remote robot without any physical connections.
There are quite a large number of wireless data communications systems available in the developing world today ranging from short distance to long distance communications involving RF, GSM, GPS, IR, Bluetooth and Zigbee technologies. At present, the RF communication is very important to transfer information over a short distance. This RF technology enables public or private radio communications with wireless networking features.
What is a Remote Robot?
A remote robot is a device that is able to move and interact with the external control. Remote control robots can perform a wide range of functions by simply following remote control commands. Remote robots are placed and operated in hazardous and dangerous environments where human beings are restricted owing to the dangers associated with such places.
Remote robots consist of transmitter and receiver modules. The transmitter module creates electromagnetic waves in a particular frequency range and the receiver module receives these signals. The microcontroller decodes these signals and uses them to control the other peripherals of robot like arms, wheels, etc.
There are several varieties of remote robots available such as firefighting robot, spy-control robot and metal detector robot, etc. The subsequent paragraphs provide information about advanced pick and place remote robots that are used in many industries for lifting heavy weights, and such robots are based on RF communication technology.
Pick and Place Remote Robot
A pick and place robot speeds up the process of choosing an object and placing it in the desired location and thus increases the production rate. It can be used in surveillance, and can also be used to pick up harmful objective like bombs and then to diffuse them safely. It is a cylindrical robot that possesses movements like forward, backward, left and right based on the RF commands.
Making Parts of a Pick and Place Remote Robot
A Pick and place robot is designed by using different parts like rover, gripper, actuators, wireless module, controller and other miscellaneous components. These components include:
Rover: Rover being the main body of the robot consists of several unbending materials like cylinder, links and joints with motors. It is used to move the robot in different directions like forward and backward, etc.
Actuator: The actuator is a type of motor that is responsible for the moving or controlling mechanism of a system. It is like a hydraulic actuator comprising a motor to move the robotic arm both in downward and upward directions.
Gripper: The gripper is placed on one end of the robotic arm to pick, hold and place the objects in the destined and correct place.
Wireless Module: (RF): This module is used to control the robot by giving commands using various wireless communications like RF module, Bluetooth, etc.
Controller: It is used to control the actuators based on the wireless modules feedback and thus it controls the motion of each and every joint of the robot.
Working Procedure of the Pick and Place Remote robot
In this system, a pick and place robot is controlled with the push-buttons arranged in the remote. On pressing a corresponding button, a command signal is transmitted to the robot such that the robot moves in the appropriate direction. This project consists of two blocks: transmitter and receiver block. The commands send by a user from the transmitter block are received by the receiver block to perform desired actions.
The Transmitter Block or Remote Block
The transmitter block consists of an RF transmitter module that is interfaced to the microcontroller through an encoder. The push buttons give decimal inputs to the microcontroller. On pressing any push button, it generates a decimal number, which is converted to a 4-digits binary by the microcontroller and is sent to the encoder. The encoder converts this parallel data to a serial data and fed that data to the RF transmitter wherein the data is transmitted through a fitted antenna.
The receiver block consists of an RF receiver interfaced to the microcontroller through a decoder. The RF receiver, after receiving the commands with a serial format from the transmitter, transmits them to the decoder. The decoder then converts the serial data to a parallel data and gives it to the microcontroller. The Microcontroller, after generating the appropriate input signals, directs them to the motors to move the accessories of the robot in different directions.
The system consists of two motors for providing motion to the whole robot and to two other motors, which provide motion to the arm. The gripper needs to be controlled in order to apply proper pressure on the object to handle it effectively. This is ensured by controlling the arm motors through a proper command.
Short Description on Radio Frequency Technology (RF)
The RF communication is a short distance communication that consists of a receiver and a transmitter module. The transmitter creates a magnetic wave at a particular frequency and the receiver takes this signal. The microcontroller decodes this signal and uses it to control other peripherals.
Generally, the RF module works with SUB-GHz and GHz frequencies. The following SUB-GHz frequency RF module works with 433MHz frequency and operates within a voltage range of 3 to 12v.
As compared to the other radio-frequency devices, the performance of an RF module depends on several factors like transmitting power because increasing the transmitter’s power results in large communication distance coverage. However, this may result in high electrical power drain on the transmitter device, which causes shorter operating life of the battery powered devices. And also, the usage of this device at a higher transmitted power creates interference with other RF devices.
Applications of Pick and Place robot
Medical Applications: These robots can be used in various surgical operations like in joint replacement operations, orthopedic and internal surgery operations. They perform the operations with more precision and accuracy.
Industrial Applications: These robots are used in manufacturing segments to pick up the required parts and place them in correct positions to complete the machinery fixture. They can also be used to place objects on a conveyer belt as well as to pick up defective products from the conveyer belt.
Defense Applications: They can be used for robot performed military applications such as surveillance and also to pick up harmful objects like bombs and diffuse them safely.