Two stress-balls are kept in two different glass containers and then placed on a paper. A robotic arm picks them individually and deposits them separately into a box. This is not just a toy, but a simulation of an Optical Segregating Robot that could have wider applications in industrial automation. Its maker, Vaishnav R, a third-year Mechanical Engineering student of College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, says, “Nowadays even when robotic arms are used, they need a manual control. This robot is made to eliminate that human effort in industrial automation. It can identify the defective and non-defective materials separately, choose them based on its size and colour and take it from one place to another.”
The Optical Segregating Robot is controlled using five servo motors. Using a camera, the object is identified through image processing. This data is passed on to a computer, processed there and using numeric techniques and inverse kinematics, the movement of the robotic arm is controlled and calculated. This is then sent to a micro controller to perform an action. Vaishnav says manufacturing companies will be benefited because identification of components is an important requirement in that industry.
Vaishnav says it is his liking for industrial automation and electronics that led to this innovation. “I do experimentation in robotics by collecting information from different sources. For the segregating robot, I sought the help of my teachers to prepare the code of the machine,” he says. In a stream-wise innovation contest held in his college, Vaishnav got a cash prize for the electrical and electronics branch. He wishes to continue his vocation with such inventions while paying equal attention to his studies.