Matching Items (15)

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Robot Head Kit for High School Robotics Education

Description

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more

The field of robotics is rapidly expanding, and with it, the methods of teaching and introducing students must also advance alongside new technologies. There is a challenge in robotics education, especially at high school levels, to expose them to more modern and practical robots. One way to bridge this gap is human-robot interaction for a more hands-on and impactful experience that will leave students more interested in pursuing the field. Our project is a Robotic Head Kit that can be used in an educational setting to teach about its electrical, mechanical, programming, and psychological concepts. We took an existing robot head prototype and further advanced it so it can be easily assembled while still maintaining human complexity. Our research for this project dove into the electronics, mechanics, software, and even psychological barriers present in order to advance the already existing head design. The kit we have developed combines the field of robotics with psychology to create and add more life-like features and functionality to the robot, nicknamed "James Junior." The goal of our Honors Thesis was to initially fix electrical, mechanical, and software problems present. We were then tasked to run tests with high school students to validate our assembly instructions while gathering their observations and feedback about the robot's programmed reactions and emotions. The electrical problems were solved with custom PCBs designed to power and program the existing servo motors on the head. A new set of assembly instructions were written and modifications to the 3D printed parts were made for the kit. In software, existing code was improved to implement a user interface via keypad and joystick to give students control of the robot head they construct themselves. The results of our tests showed that we were not only successful in creating an intuitive robot head kit that could be easily assembled by high school students, but we were also successful in programming human-like expressions that could be emotionally perceived by the students.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Automated Process Planning for Multi-material Manufacturing

Description

Multi-material manufacturing combines multiple fabrication processes to produce individual parts that can be made up of several different materials. These processes can include both additive and subtractive manufacturing methods as well as embedding other components during manufacturing. This

Multi-material manufacturing combines multiple fabrication processes to produce individual parts that can be made up of several different materials. These processes can include both additive and subtractive manufacturing methods as well as embedding other components during manufacturing. This yields opportunities for creating single parts that can take the place of an assembly of parts produced using conventional techniques. Some example applications of multi-material manufacturing include parts that are produced using one process then machined to tolerance using another, parts with integrated flexible joints, or parts that contain discrete embedded components such as reinforcing materials or electronics.

Multi-material manufacturing has applications in robotics because, with it, mechanisms can be built into a design without adding additional moving parts. This allows for robot designs that are both robust and low cost, making it a particularly attractive method for education or research. 3D printing is of particular interest in this area because it is low cost, readily available, and capable of easily producing complicated part geometries. Some machines are also capable of depositing multiple materials during a single process. However, up to this point, planning the steps to create a part using multi-material manufacturing has been done manually, requiring specialized knowledge of the tools used. The difficulty of this planning procedure can prevent many students and researchers from using multi-material manufacturing.

This project studied methods of automating the planning of multi-material manufacturing processes through the development of a computational framework for processing 3D models and automatically generating viable manufacturing sequences. This framework includes solid operations and algorithms which assist the designer in computing manufacturing steps for multi-material models. This research is informing the development of a software planning tool which will simplify the planning needed by multi-material fabrication, making it more accessible for use in education or research.

In our paper, Voxel-Based Cad Framework for Planning Functionally Graded and Multi-Step Rapid Fabrication Processes, we present a new framework for representing and computing functionally-graded materials for use in rapid prototyping applications. We introduce the material description itself, low-level operations which can be used to combine one or more geometries together, and algorithms which assist the designer in computing manufacturing-compatible sequences. We then apply these techniques to several example scenarios. First, we demonstrate the use of a Gaussian blur to add graded material transitions to a model which can then be produced using a multi-material 3D printing process. Our second example highlights our solution to the problem of inserting a discrete, off-the-shelf part into a 3D printed model during the printing sequence. Finally, we implement this second example and manufacture two example components.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Extending the Jumping Range of a Small Robot via Collapsible Gliding Wings

Description

This project is investigating the impact curvature, buckling, and anisotropy play when used passively to enhance jumping capability. In this paper we employ a curved structure to allow a rigid link to collapse preferentially in one direction when it encounters

This project is investigating the impact curvature, buckling, and anisotropy play when used passively to enhance jumping capability. In this paper we employ a curved structure to allow a rigid link to collapse preferentially in one direction when it encounters aerodynamic drag forces. A joint of this nature could be used for passively actuated jump gliding, where wings would collapse immediately on takeoff and passively redeploy during descent, allowing the jumping robot to extend its horizontal range via gliding. A passively actuated joint is simpler and more lightweight than active solutions, allowing for a lighter glider and higher jumps. To test this, several prototype collapsing gliding wings of different diameters were tested by dropping them from a consistent height above the ground and by launching them upwards and recording their initial velocity. A model was constructed in Python using the data gathered through the experiments and was tuned so that its outputs were as close as possible to the experimental results. As expected, increasing the wing diameter increased the total fall time, and increasing the payload mass decreased the total fall time. Orientation of the wings around the vertical axis of the glider relative to the direction of horizontal motion was also found to have an effect on the length of time between when the gliding platform was launched and when it made contact with the ground, with a configuration where the axis between the wings was parallel to the direction of motion granting added stability.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Design, Implementation, and Testing of a Force-Sensing Quadrupedal Laminate Robot

Description

In this article we present a low-cost force-sensing quadrupedal laminate robot platform. The robot has two degrees of freedom on each of four independent legs, allowing for a variety of motion trajectories to be created at each leg, thus creating

In this article we present a low-cost force-sensing quadrupedal laminate robot platform. The robot has two degrees of freedom on each of four independent legs, allowing for a variety of motion trajectories to be created at each leg, thus creating a rich control space to explore on a relatively low-cost robot. This platform allows a user to research complex motion and gait analysis control questions, and use different concepts in computer science and control theory methods to permit it to walk. The motion trajectory of each leg has been modeled in Python. Critical design considerations are: the complexity of the laminate design, the rigidity of the materials of which the laminate is constructed, the accuracy of the transmission to control each leg, and the design of the force sensing legs.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Analyzing LinkedIn Profiles Using Machine Learning

Description

Understanding the necessary skills required to work in an industry is a difficult task with many potential uses. By being able to predict the industry of a person based on their skills, professional social networks could make searching better with

Understanding the necessary skills required to work in an industry is a difficult task with many potential uses. By being able to predict the industry of a person based on their skills, professional social networks could make searching better with automated tagging, advertisers can target more carefully, and students can better find a career path that fits their skillset. The aim in this project is to apply deep learning to the world of professional networking. Deep Learning is a type of machine learning that has recently been making breakthroughs in the analysis of complex datasets that previously were not of much use. Initially the goal was to apply deep learning to the skills-to-company relationship, but a lack of quality data required a change to the skills-to-industry relationship. To accomplish the new goal, a database of LinkedIn profiles that are part of various industries was gathered and processed. From this dataset a model was created to take a list of skills and output an industry that people with those skills work in. Such a model has value in the insights that it forms allowing candidates to: determine what industry fits a skillset, identify key skills for industries, and locate which industries possible candidates may best fit in. Various models were trained and tested on a skill to industry dataset. The model was able to learn similarities between industries, and predict the most likely industries for each profiles skillset.

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Date Created
2017-12

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A Novel Historical Safety Metric for Evaluating Road Networks

Description

37,461 automobile accident fatalities occured in the United States in 2016 ("Quick Facts 2016", 2017). Improving the safety of roads has traditionally been approached by governmental agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and State Departments of Transporation. In

37,461 automobile accident fatalities occured in the United States in 2016 ("Quick Facts 2016", 2017). Improving the safety of roads has traditionally been approached by governmental agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and State Departments of Transporation. In past literature, automobile crash data is analyzed using time-series prediction technicques to identify road segments and/or intersections likely to experience future crashes (Lord & Mannering, 2010). After dangerous zones have been identified road modifications can be implemented improving public safety. This project introduces a historical safety metric for evaluating the relative danger of roads in a road network. The historical safety metric can be used to update routing choices of individual drivers improving public safety by avoiding historically more dangerous routes. The metric is constructed using crash frequency, severity, location and traffic information. An analysis of publically-available crash and traffic data in Allgeheny County, Pennsylvania is used to generate the historical safety metric for a specific road network. Methods for evaluating routes based on the presented historical safety metric are included using the Mann Whitney U Test to evaluate the significance of routing decisions. The evaluation method presented requires routes have at least 20 crashes to be compared with significance testing. The safety of the road network is visualized using a heatmap to present distribution of the metric throughout Allgeheny County.

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Date Created
2017-12

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Motion Simulators For Personal Use

Description

Motion simulators are a common feature in everything from high end science museums to amusement parks, allowing a full ride experience on a small footprint and at a comparatively low cost relative to full size rides. The rapidly advancing field

Motion simulators are a common feature in everything from high end science museums to amusement parks, allowing a full ride experience on a small footprint and at a comparatively low cost relative to full size rides. The rapidly advancing field of virtual reality provides a potential increase in this desire for motion simulators, by combing virtual reality with motion simulation, total immersions can be created that is competitive with theme parks. While there exists a small number of commercially available consumer motion simulators, these tend to not have a wide enough range of motion to provide flexibility for use cases. This report is the documentation of an attempt to create a low cost consumer grade motion simulator prototype to determine to what extent an adequate motion simulation experience can be created in the home environment. This design made use of a two degree of freedom platform mounted on a universal joint as a trade off between flexibility of use and affordability of the end product. Ultimately, although the design and motor selection was sound, structural issues prevented the design from being capable of withstanding the necessary forces. However, as a prototype, important lessons were learned that could apply to a better-constructed second generation design. The results definitely show that motion simulators will, in the near future, become feasible for in-home amusement park recreation, at least for some amusement park rides.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Development of a Game of Logic for Investigating of Trust in Human Robot Interaction

Description

As robotics technology advances, robots are being created for use in situations where they collaborate with humans on complex tasks.  For this to be safe and successful, it is important to understand what causes humans to trust robots more or

As robotics technology advances, robots are being created for use in situations where they collaborate with humans on complex tasks.  For this to be safe and successful, it is important to understand what causes humans to trust robots more or less during a collaborative task.  This research project aims to investigate human-robot trust through a collaborative game of logic that can be played with a human and a robot together. This thesis details the development of a game of logic that could be used for this purpose. The game of logic is based upon a popular game in AI research called ‘Wumpus World’. The original Wumpus World game was a low-interactivity game to be played by humans alone. In this project, the Wumpus World game is modified for a high degree of interactivity with a human player, while also allowing the game to be played simultaneously by an AI algorithm.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Jaipur Prosthetic Foot Fatigue Machine

Description

This Honors thesis is analyzing the Jaipur Prosthetic Foot; we are using a foot from Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) to test the durability of the foot and where the critical fatigue points are located. Our testing design will

This Honors thesis is analyzing the Jaipur Prosthetic Foot; we are using a foot from Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) to test the durability of the foot and where the critical fatigue points are located. Our testing design will be based off of computer simulation to point out the critical points that the test machinery should accentuate. The machine will be set to sample and save data at interval times throughout the accentuated walking cycle in order to record the point where the foot begins to show wear.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Haptic Learning: The Effects of Multimedia Learning on Haptic Robotic Operation

Description

This is a report on an experiment that examines if the principles of multimedia learning outlined in Richard E. Mayer’s journal article, “Using multimedia for e-learning”, located in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning would apply to haptic feedback used

This is a report on an experiment that examines if the principles of multimedia learning outlined in Richard E. Mayer’s journal article, “Using multimedia for e-learning”, located in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning would apply to haptic feedback used for haptic robotic operation. This was tested by developing and using a haptic robotic manipulator known as the Haptic Testbed (HTB). The HTB is a manipulator designed to emulate human hand movement for haptic testing purposes and features an index finger and thumb for the right hand. Control is conducted through a Leap Motion Controller, a visual sensor that uses infrared lights and cameras to gather various data about hands it can see. The goal of the experiment was to have test subjects complete a task where they shifted objects along a circuit of positions where they were measured on time to complete the circuit as well as accuracy in reaching the individual points. Analysis of subject responses to surveys as well as performance during the experiment showed haptic feedback during training improving initial performance of individuals as well as lowering mental effort and mental demand during said training. The findings of this experiment showed support for the hypothesis that Mayer’s principles do apply to haptic feedback in training for haptic robotic manipulation. One of the implications of this experiment would be the possibility for haptics and tactile senses to be an applicable sense for Mayer’s principles of multimedia learning as most of the current work in the field is mostly focused on visual or auditory senses. If the results of the experiment were replicated in a future experiment it would provide support to the hypothesis that the principles of multimedia learning can be utilized to improve the training of haptic robotic operation.

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Date Created
2019-05