Tripod - HTL Wels (technical college)
The TriPod in action
The idea for the project
How did the project come to be?
Robotics at HTL Wels: In the field of mechatronics, students and teachers have been dealing intensively with the subject of industrial robots for many years. Initially, the main focus was on articulated arm robots. Because of industry demand, emphasis shifted to also include designing and programming highly dynamic pick-and-place robots.
These activities aroused B&R's interest. The Tripode – a pick-and-place robot with parallel kinematics – was created in cooperation with a partner. This robot served as a prototype for a small series of training devices that could be used by local students to become familiar with the B&R development environment and hardware.
The main criteria when developing the Tripode were cost-effective production, ease of transport, an attractive design, error-free function and fast operating speeds. The result is a robot with sheet metal construction and rods made of carbon and aluminum. In addition to positioning, an added 4th drive allows the robot end effector to be turned.
What is special about your project? What makes it challenging or difficult?
The challenge here is designing and programming a robot that can withstand the demands of a continuous operation – from conception all the way through commissioning. There are only about 3 months between starting the project and completing fully functional robot hardware, which is also a challenge. Implementing a graphical user interface is currently being considered. In addition, the robot should learn how to "see", i.e. be equipped with an industrial camera.
What is your proposed solution and how do you plan to implement it?
Currently, the plan is to integrate a camera, further develop the robot using lightweight materials and, after learning how to work with Automation Studio, design the GUI. We will also further develop the robot peripherals. A conveyor belt is being planned as well as a redesign of the entire test station. The frame on which the robot is mounted must be made more rigid because the structure vibrated during fast movements. In addition, the robot workspace must be isolated in order to ensure safety when testing the robot and at exhibitions.
Implementation: We are working closely with B&R and sharing information on a regular basis. A well-defined project structure and a well-planned approach make our work easier.