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Design and implementation of flexible microprocessor control for retrofitting to first generation robotic devices

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posted on 07.06.2019, 09:01 by Janet Middleton
This Master of Science project concerns the design and development of a flexible microprocessor-based controller for a Versatran Industrial Robot. The software and hardware are designed in modules to enhance the flexibility of the controller so that it can be used as the control unit for other forms of workhandling equipment. The hardware of the designed controller is based on the Texas Instruments single board computer and interface printed circuit boards although some specially designed interface hardware was required. The software is developed in two major categories, which are "real-time" modules and "operator communication" modules. The real-time modules were for the control of the hydraulic servo-valves, pneumatic actuators and interlock switches, whilst the operator communication modules were used to assist the operator in programming "handling" sequences". The main advantages of the controller in its present form can be summarised thus:- (i) The down-time between program changes is significantly reduced; (ii) There can be many more positions programmed in a "handling sequence"; (iii)Greater control over axis dynamics can be achieved The software and hardware structure adopted has sufficient flexibility to allow many future enhancements to be provided. For example, as part of a subsequent research project additional facilities are being implemented as follows: a teach hand held pendant is being installed to improve still further the ease with which "handling sequences" can be programmed; improved control algorithms are being implemented and these will facilitate contouring; communication software is being included so that the controller can access via a node a commercially available local area network.



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  • Computer Science

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© J. Middleton

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Masters Dissertation, submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the award of Master of Science of Loughborough University.



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