Introducing Robotics and Industrial Electronics

Robotics and Industrial Electronics is a core module for final-year students of the level 7 Electrical & Control Engineering programme (DT009) in the Dublin Institute of Technology. The learning outcomes of the module are:

  1. List, outline and discuss comparative features of robot technology
  2. Design, build and test robot actuator and control subsystems
  3. Design, build and test robot environment sensing subsystems
  4. Build, test and fault find an industrial communications network of controllers, actuators, sensors and/or data loggers
  5. Design, build and test computer-based robot systems
  6. Design and implement a control algorithm for a robotic system
  7. Document the development of a robotic system, including discussion of ethical concerns and
  8. the potential impact of such a system on society
  9. Apply forward and inverse kinematics to solve problems in robotic control
  10. Analyse and select DC power supply systems
  11. Select motor and drive system technologies for industrial applications

The module is very practically focused and involves implementing various robot subsystems. Each student also undertakes a mini-project in which he or she designs, builds and tests a small robotic system.

The revision material presented here is divided into the following sections:

  1. Introduction to robotic technology
  2. Fundamental electrical, mechanical and control principles
  3. The dsPIC microcontroller
  4. Actuators and power electronics

The specific components and materials used by each student will depend on what he/she decides to build. However, the following are all available from the school stores and are frequently used in the Robotics & Industrial Electronics laboratory.

  • Breadboard
  • Arduino Nano (with ATmega328 microcontroller)
  • 1 USB to mini USB cable
  • Geared DC motor
  • Stepper motor
  • Servo motor
  • SN754410NE quad half H-bridge IC
  • IRFZ44N power MOSFET transistor
  • BC237 NPN transistor (or similar)
  • TCRT5000 reflective infrared optical sensor
  • Header pins
  • LEDs – various colours
  • Standard resistor
  • Standard capacitor
  • Potentiometer
  • 4xAA battery holder
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