KIU, Western Campus - KIU Mechanical Engineering students Junior Kavunga Kambale, Gabriel Mvuyekure and Emmanuel Ogubuike Emejuru have fabricated and tested a ‘Pick and Place Robotic Arm’ using an Arduino control system under the guidance of Dr. Milon Selvam Dennison, Senior Lecturer for Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).
The ‘Pick and Place Robotic Arm’ has the ability to pick and place objects at a mass ranging between 10 grams and 1000 grams and can be used for industrial applications.
It comprises components such as six servo motors, Arduino Uno Rev3, Base Frame, Gripper Claws, Supporting Frame, Servo Mounts, Castor Wheels, Resistors, Capacitors, Transistors, Cables, Connectors, Diodes, PCB and Breadboards, LED’s, Transformer/Adapter, Push Buttons, Switch and IC Sockets.
It can be controlled and operated using an android Smartphone interfaced with an easy-to-use GUI android application.
The robotic arm gripper is made up of two claws and the gripper has180 degree orientation to pick and place the objects.
According to Dr. Dennison, modern-day robots are combinations of advanced mechanisms and programming with powerful hardware.
“These robots make use of smart sensor technologies to interact with real-time problems in the world,” Dr. Dennison reveals.
“In Industry 4.0, advanced robotics and automation are used to facilitate the manufacturing process without human oversight,especially in automobile/aviation sectors, food and pharma industries,” he adds.
According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), 2.1 million robots are in worldwide operation for industrial purposes.
It adds that currently, the industrial sectors are transforming from traditional labour to optimized robotic automation and will continue with the transition as we move into the future.
Dr. Dennison says that in this technical era, African nations are challenged to build industrial robots and create interest amongst young engineers by conducting Pan-African Robotics Competition (PARC).
“The Ugandan policymakers are keen to participate in this technological era and their ‘Science, Technology and Innovation’ policy review document reports about the research and developments, especially in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics arena,” notes Dr. Dennison.