Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Robotic Interface  

Robotic interfaces are simply a gateway between a person and product and are becoming more frequent as new software and material technology emerges.  These interfaces range from the automated voice systems over telephones to actual robotic receptionists.  Perhaps the greatest benefit from a robotic interface is that it eliminates the time demand normally placed on a human and therefore saves someone time or money.

Due to the competitive nature of securing grants in the scientific community, the rate of data collection has been growing exponentially.  It follows that research groups try to find the most cost and time effective means of gathering experimental information.  A research group would be more academically competitive if an easily accessible robotic interface existed between them and important experimental data.

The robotic interface of interest is an internet-base control of magneto-electric testing equipment.  The experimental setup will be carried out by a highly dexterous mobile robotic manipulator that will select a sample to be tested, place the sample into the machine, select testing parameters, initialize the experiment and then return the sample when completed.  The internet control interface is simple and consists of a set of commands pre-programmed into the robotic manipulator such as “select sample X” and “initialize experiment” which will contain packages of sequenced motor commands.  Parameters such as frequency, duration and intensity can be chosen by entering values into the appropriate windows.  Feedback about joint position and video monitoring of the experimental setup will eliminate positioning errors and allow the user to monitor the testing if they desire. 

Some key advantages of this type of system include:

  • Time and money saved by eliminating the need for travel

  • Facilitates the growth of knowledge sharing and data collection

  • Equipment sharing between research groups

  • Automated process eliminates human-based error and enables non-research-based parties to collect data easily

 

Automated magnetoelectric system

- Virginia Tech Remote Laboratory

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