Mechatronics MLA Sample

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Mechatronics is a branch of engineering that aim to solve technological problems using
mechanical engineering, electronics and computer technology interdisciplinary knowledge. The
key elements of mechatronic system include electronics, digital controls, sensors and actuators,
and information technology. Mechatronics systems include domestic appliances such as
microwave ovens, fridges, vacuum cleaners and many more; however mechatronics systems are
heavily employed in the manufacturing industry through the numerical controlled tools and the
robots to ease the manufacturing processes and provide accuracy and precision (Onwubolu 4).
The Pick and Place Robot
Interesting and rather complex mechatronic systems are the autonomous, pick and place robots
with mobility; often employed in the manufacturing industry.
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Figure1: The Hen, a mobile pick and place robot.
During the design for this kind of pick and place robots, some requirements have to be meet.
The robot must move towards the direction of the object to be picked up. The robot has to search
for an object to be picked up with certainty, and lastly it has to pick the object and place it
accurately at the destination point. Thus, the movement, navigation, recognition of the object,
grasping and holding of the object, and place and release will be the key design issues. To
provide for these requirement microcontroller or microprocessors, servomotors, infrared sensors
and actuators would be used. A good example of a mobile pick and place robot is the Hen which
is a manufactured by Tinkernology. The Hen has three Lego PF motors and a small Lego M and
uses infrared red sensors for navigation (Truszkowsk 167).
The robot is run by a program that is often programmed in a microprocessor or a microcontroller.
Microcontrollers are used in those robots that their program does not need to be changed after
manufacturing, they are, however, cheaper than microprocessors. The mobile, pick and place
algorithm would ensure that the robot follow a line by the help of the infrared sensors, until it hit
a bumper that triggers the bump switch for the robot to stop. The arm of the robot would then
drop to pick up the object using the grippers at its end. When the object is well held the robot
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follows the line and places the object, this process is repeated until all the objects are picked and
placed. (Shilwa 10).
Servomotors are used in robot joints to provide servo control. A servomotor will contain a gear
system, some control electronics and a position sensor which commonly is a potentiometer.
Figure2: A Pentiometer circuit (Kumal 3).
The servo motor is connected to gear system that provides feedback to the position sensor. The
servo motor rotate to a maximum angle of 180
and its movement is provided by feeding the
control wire with a pulse width modulated signal (PWM). The PWM signal help move the servo
motor to the desired position by converting the pulse width to an equivalent voltage that is
compared to the potentiometer’s signal in an error amplifier. The PWM signal is often from
specific ports of the microprocessor that are PWM enabled (Kumal 3).
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Infrared Sensors
To provide the linear motion of the pick and place robot, three IR sensors would be used. These
sensors would be placed at the robot’s front to sense the line and avoid any obstacle. The IR
sensor is usually based on the emitter receiver principle, and when the IR emitter emit the
infrared continuously as long as there is a power supply, the receiver remains connected and act
as a voltage divider. The output of the receiver will vary with the intensity of the IR light. These
intensity variations are interpreted by a microprocessor to provide the collect movement of the
servomotor for the collect movement within the line (Cytron Technologies 2).
Other important circuitry components for the robot include the bump switches that are used to
reset the microprocessor. The microprocessor would stop executing the program and the robot
Design for the Pick and Place arm
The arm of the robot has three types of movement with different maximum angle and speed.
Figure3: A Pick and Place arm (Hague 4).
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The waist movement has a maximum angle of 360
and a speed of 0 to 27
degrees per second.
The spur gear mechanism would be used to control the waist movement of the robot. The first
arm movement has a maximum angle of 270
and a speed of between 0 and 10
degrees per
second. This arm is normally coupled with a worm reducer that has a reduction ratio of 40:1.
This worm reducer transmits the power to a section of the shaft. The robot arm contains two of
these shafts, which are connected through ball bearings; this enable one of the shafts to move
while the other remain stationary. The third movement is the second arm movement has a
maximum angle of 90
and an angle speed of 0 to 10
degrees per second. It also has a worm
reducer which is meant to transmit movement to the combined shaft. This combined shaft has
pulleys and timing belts that transmit movement to a shaft placed between the first and the
second arm. This timing belt provides an accurate positioning of the arm (Hague 4).
Robot application has become a sophisticated field of engineering and has led to an increased
research in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, programming and industrial
engineering. Mechatronics which combines these areas has evolved overtime to solve many
industrial problems through the use of robots.
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Works Cited
Cytron Technologies. IR sensor. Johor: Cytron Technologies, 2010.
Kumal, Ritesh and Sugam anand. Robot Arm. Undergraduate. Bangkadesh: University of
Bangladesh, 2004.
Hague and Annam MK. Conniving, Mechanized And Scheming Of A Pick & Place Automaton
Having Best Condition. Dhakar: Southeast University, 2011.
Onwubolu, Godfrey. Mechatronics Principles and Applications. Burlington: Elsevires
Butterworth, 2005.
Shilwa, Sivaraj Pan. Autonomous Pick and Place Mobile Robot. Undergraduate. Kebangsaan:
University of Teknikal, 2005.
Truszkowsk, Walt. Innovative Concepts for Autonomic and Agent-Based Systems. Pittsburgh:
Springer, 1998.

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