AllCode – Robot Arm

 

What is AllCode?

AllCode is a new concept in programming. All our AllCode products are host independent, run on a powerful 16bit dsPIC microcontroller and can be used with just about any programming language, including Flowcode, MATLAB, LabVIEW, Python, App Inventor, Visual Basic/C#/C++ and more.

Both Formula AllCode and the Robot Arm production cell are provided with free curriculum, helping you to get the most out of your new robotics solution. These courses include a range of activities with varied levels of difficulty: from simple line following to maze solving with the Formula AllCode robot buggy, and API control to automatic pick and place with the AllCode Robot Arm production cell.

 

Robot Arm

The Robot Arm production cell consists of a rugged servo controlled 6 degrees of freedom arm bolted to a base plate and mat that provides a range of exercises mimicking industrial robot arm production cells.

The arm is controlled by a dsPIC microcontroller with combo board that consists of 16 switches, 16 LEDs, 2 line 16 character LCD, quad 7-seg display and sensors. There is also a colour sensor board, servo board and Bluetooth board included.

With base rotation, single plane shoulder, elbow, wrist motion, a functional gripper and wrist rotator, the arm itself delivers fast, accurate and repeatable movement.

The board can be programmed directly from Flowcode for dsPIC, or Microchip’s MPLAB. A full Flowcode simulation is available free of charge. The control system is also shipped with a full Application Program Interface so that the robot can be controlled using any bluetooth enabled device such as a PC, Android or Apple device using a range of software applications including C++, LabView, Python and App Inventor.

The kit is supplied with a number of coloured wooden blocks which can be moved by the arm into different locations in the work cell.

 

Worksheet exercises include

  • Manual movement
  • API control
  • Automatic sorting
  • Recording positions
  • Automatic pick and place
  • Path planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key elements to the robot arm are fun and creativity! The worksheets have been developed to ensure that students have hours of fun learning, letting them be creative and get the most out of their time, while really learning about the basics of robotics. Each worksheet has a coloured bar indicating “skill level” – easy, intermediate and advanced to ensure all students are able to have a go and progress through the stages as their skills increase.

All the robots, come pre-programmed with in-built firmware and any updates can be found on the website and updated to your robot.

 

What is the robot arm made up of?

BL0032 dsPIC Ghost Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the heart of the robot arm is a Digital Signal Controller (dsPIC) manufactured by Microchip Technology Inc. This high performance device offers motor control (PWM), advanced analogue features, a number of communication interfaces including audio capture, processing and playback as well as a considerable number of high speed counter / timers.

 

BL0162 Servo Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each of the rotating joints on the robot arm are driven using a servo motor. These motors are capable of rotating to any fixed angle within a range of approx. 180 degrees. Inside the motor is a DC motor, a feedback mechanism and a controller which monitors the feedback and control signal and adjusts the motor speed and direction as required. Each servo motor connects to the BL0032 Board via a BL0162 Servo Board.

BL0114 Combo Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A way for the user to interface to the system is always very useful. The combo board features switches and LEDs which can be used to control the robot arm as well as a display that can show various status messages and joint angles.

BL0129 Grove Sensors Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sensors board allows a number of distinct sensors to be connected to the system to allow us to detect and measure various real world characteristics. In this case we have a colour sensor and Buzzer.

BL0170 Bluetooth Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bluetooth board allows the robot arm to be controlled via Bluetooth enabled devices such as personal computers, single board computers, mobile phones and tablets.

Bluetooth capabilities can be added to a computer using a standard low cost Bluetooth USB dongle.

 

To find out more about the robot arm, visit the website here!

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