Model of an Industrial Robot Arm

This Demonstration simulates the operation of a robot arm modeled after a real industrial machine. There are nine degrees of freedom: lifting the arm, seven rotations and one gripper. The model applies the equations of forward kinematics to represent the results of manipulation of the seven rotation angles.


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In this Demonstration you can vary the height of the brown pedestal, but in reality the height of this pedestal is usually fixed and the pedestal firmly bolted to the ground.
Move the seven angle sliders to control the various parts of the robot arm.
Use the gripper slider to open and close the gripper to various degrees.
"color set"
For the parts of the arms, you can choose one of two given sets of colors.
Move the opacity slider to make the structure transparent.
Here you control the color of the square platform the robot arm stands on. The platform is half-transparent.
The gray square platform the robot arm stands on will always be half-transparent.
Controls the background color.
Click the store button to store the currrent arm configuration.
Click the restore button to restore the stored arm configuration.
Click the randomising button to let the system select a random position of the robot arm.
Click the reset button to reset the robot arm to its default position.
Arm thinning
The arm gets thinner toward the end because the components closer to the end carry decreasing weights. This was accomplished with the Mathematica command, which allows smooth transitioning between varying widths (one width for each tube-defining base point).
This model does not check for intersection with itself.
Security for humans
When a robot arm has to work side-by-side with humans, safety is paramount, so a real robot arm might have sensors such as "elbow patches" on each part that might make contact with humans or other machines. These patches are not displayed here.
Technical notes
The programming code used is extremely simple and hence can be easily used to describe the control of similar robot arms via rotations of joints.
No mathematical formulas using sines and cosines were used for this Demonstration; rather, only the simple Mathematica commands and were used.
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