In many industrial applications such as welding, positioning an object, heating a product or material at very high temperatures, etc., industrial robots such as line following robots, firefighting robots are used. Especially, the robotic arm of a pick-and-place robot is used for holding an object in industrial applications. This pick and place robot can be considered as basic robot that gives an introduction to robotics and robotics projects in several applications. Here, in this article let us learn how to make a working robot and also how to make a robotic arm at home along with its working.
How to Make a Working Robot?
The first and foremost thing to do before designing robot is to find the purpose of robot for which you are going to design. Generally basic robots are used for different purposes such as to extinguish fire, to solder materials, to heat objects, to follow a specific path, etc. Next, buy the components required for your robot. You can buy those offline or online, but an easy way to buy components is online from online electrical and electronic shopping websites; for instance, the best components required for your projects (project kit) are available at www.edgefxkits.com. Then, start designing your robot by using our free eBooks to design electronics projects on your own.
3 Steps to Make a Robotic Arm
There are three simple steps to know how to make a robotic arm at home.
Step 1: Testing Software Designed Circuit Results for Selecting Hardware Components
Primarily, you need to choose the purpose or application of the robotic arm that you are designing so that based on the application, choose the components with appropriate ratings. After collecting the components, design an exact circuit using any software such as Proteus or LabView to check the circuit operation in detail to evaluate and compare the results of the robotics projects. This software designed circuit experimental results are checked to meet intended application requirements and changes are made in the circuit if any. Thus, we can estimate whether the circuit can be realized in real time with maximum efficiency and can also avoid direct practical circuit design cost just for checking and testing purposes.
Step 2: Designing Hardware Circuit based on the Results Obtained from the Circuit Designed with Software
Based on the results obtained from the circuit designed using software, appropriate components are collected and design the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) using the connections made on the software based circuit. Then, arrange these hardware electrical and electronics components on the PCB layout obtained and solder the hardware by taking appropriate soldering techniques. Then, attach all the major parts like robotic arm, wheels of the robots (if any), arm grippers (soft grippers are used for robotics projects intended for diffusing explosion materials), and so on. Then, after designing the entire hardware robotics projects (here, the robotic arm project) do practical testing to check the working of the robotic arm.
Step 3: Robotic Arm Working and Controlling
Even though the robotic arm is designed using the above steps, it cannot be used practically for the particular applications for which it is intended. For using it in real time we need to obtain controlling mechanism over the robotic arm. This control can be achieved using a microcontroller and mostly 8051 microcontroller is used for executing the desired operation. We can easily understand the working of a robotic arm by considering the following practical example of real time project namely pick and place robotic arm kit.
Working of Pick and Place Robotic Arm Project
The above mentioned simple steps can be followed for designing a working pick and place robotic arm using major hardware components such as two motors, switches, battery, piece of metal, and other discrete electrical and electronics components. These steps of how to make a robotic arm includes building wheels of robot using strips & motors and arm gripper (soft gripper is used for some applications like diffusing bombs, etc.).
This project is designed for developing a pick n place robotic vehicle with a soft catching gripper. This soft catching gripper is used for safely handling a bomb very carefully such that to avoid explosion while catching and diffusing. This robotic vehicle can be remotely controlled using RF remote control technology.
The robotic arm consists of servo motor which is used for angular rotations of the arm for catching items (to hold items, to release, to rotate, to place). This servomotor works on the principle of Fleming’s left hand rule and is controlled using the microcontroller programming technique and the program used for controlling the robotic arm movement is shown below.
Void delay (unsigned int);
Void servo_delay (unsigned int);
// turn to 0°
//turn to 90 degrees
//turn to 180 degrees
Void delay(unsigned int a)
Unsigned int p;
Void servo_delay (unsigned int a)
Unsigned int p;
The transmitting end consists of push buttons which are used for sending commands to the receiver for controlling the movement of the robot in forward, backward, left or right directions. The receiving end consists of four motors that are interfaced to the microcontroller. Among these four motors, two motors are used for arm and gripper movement of the robotic arm kit and the other two motors are used for the robotic vehicle movement.
This radio frequency transmitter acts as RF remote control; this RF technology with proper antenna can be used over a range of 200 meters (advantage of adequate range up to 200 meters). The receiver circuit decodes the encoded data received from the transmitter (which is given by the robotic arm controlling person or controller) before feeding it to another microcontroller for driving DC motors through motor-driver IC to perform the necessary operation. The main advantage of this robotic arm is its soft catching arm that is designed to avoid extra pressure on the suspected object for safety reasons.
In future, this robotic arm project can be enhanced by interfacing this kit with a wireless camera such that the person controlling the robot can view the operation of the arm and gripper remotely.
we hope that the information in this article will help you to make a robotic arm. If you want to design more advanced robotics projects, then please post your ideas in the comments section below for improving other readers’ knowledge.