Computer Aided Robotics (CAR)

   ME 5390- MAE 4301- SPRING 1999

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University Of Texas at Arlington

Instructor: P. S. Shiakolas, Ph. D.
Office: Woolf Hall 3 15D
Phone: (817) 272-5715
Office Hours:
Lab Access:
Prerequisites: Introduction to Robotics or Consent of Instructor
Text: No Textbook

Grading Policy

Projects (80%)

Anticipate a total of four/five projects (as time permits) equally weighted. The projects will require you to familiarize yourself with computer tools currently available at the MAE Departments CAD Lab (the Unix lab, Rm. 320 WH). Then, you will use these software tools for completing your projects.

Projects will also be carried out in the Robotics Lab (Rm. 123 WH). The projects in this lab will be tailored such that you will have to
familiarize yourself with a robot programming language.

In addition, projects will require you to perform a combination of software-hardware functions. For example, design and build a "virtual environment", simulate and then download the robot code to the actual robot for demonstration.

Homework (10%)

Homework will require you to go to the library and perform studies or find information relevant to the projects and the material covered in class.

In addition, homework will be analytical based on material covered in class.

Semester Exams (10%)

There will be one semester exam based on the material covered in the first part of the course.

Final Exam (10%)

The final exam will be comprehensive and designed to evaluate your knowledge of the fundamentals covered during the semester. The final will be in class and closed book-notes. If you have any conflict with finals for your other courses you must inform me in writing no later than the third class meeting.

Guaranteed Grading Scale:

The guaranteed grading scale based upon the minimum percentage number of points obtained is shown below. The required percentages will not be increased but they may be decreased based upon overall class averages at the end of the semester. The required percentages will not be increased but they may be decreased based upon overall class averages at the end of the semester. Grades will be normalized.

                         90% - 100%: A, 80% - 89%: B, 70% - 79%: C, 60% - 69%: D, 0 - 60%: F


You may use any computer software that you like, but make sure that you are proficient in it for solving the assignments for this class. The department provides DADS (Dynamic Analysis and Design Software) from Cadsi, Matlab from Mathworks and Cimstation from Adept Technologies. You need to get an account on the SUN computers in the lab.


If you have any religious holidays that you need to observe you must inform me in writing of the dates no later than the third class meeting.

Course Objectives

I. Review

     Review the fundamentals covered in the first robotic course; Transformations, Denavit-Hartenberg parameters, Forward and
     Inverse kinematics, Forward and Reverse Dynamics.

II. Continue on fundamentals

     - Robot Control: Linear, Non-Linear
     - Trajectory Generation

III. Robot Design

     Kinematic and dynamic robot system design based on task specifications

IV. Virtual Modeling of Robotic Workcell Design OLP Systems

     - Topology of robot / work piece / peripheral equipment etc.
     - "Virtual" cell implementation
     - Simulation/Analysis/Modification for optimum cell performance

V. Hardware Implementation of Robotic Workcell Design

     - Topology of robot / work piece / peripheral equipment etc.
     - Data transfer from OLP to actual hardware
     - Difficulties/Differences between OLP and actual hardware
     - Modifications/Corrections and actual hardware demonstration

VI. Experimentation

     Experiment with the robots currently available in the robotics lab.


Lab Access

Access to the lab is not restricted for students registered in this course. However, the safety rules need to be diligently observed.You can obtain a key for the lab in order to have unlimited access to the equipment. If the safety rules are not observed, I reserve the right to prohibit access to the lab, which will automatically result in a failing grade (F) for the course.

Objective I:

This aspect will require you to learn how to use DADS for analysis. An introduction to DADS will be given as well as a DADS Getting Started Manual will be available in the lab.

Objectives II/III:

These objectives will require you to get familiar with OLP software as well as the actual robot hardware and robot programming language(s).

Objective IV:

This objective will require you to get familiar with actual robot hardware and programming language(s).

Think safety first

Before you power on any robot you need to understand and diligently observe the safety rules

Never power on a robot when you are alone in the lab

Americans With Disabilities Act /Academic Dishonesty Statements

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