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Author Topic: What should a robotics lab have.  (Read 648 times)

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Offline andrewkgTopic starter

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What should a robotics lab have.
« on: August 08, 2013, 06:02:13 PM »
So I had a question. Just what should a university robotics lab have in it? Parts, computers, etc. And what would be a cost projection for all of these parts?

Offline waltr

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Re: What should a robotics lab have.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 07:41:41 PM »
Power supplies (fixed and variable), O'scopes, DMMs, Function generators, logic analyzer.
Breadboards, perf boards, soldering irons, lots of misc parts (resistor, caps, pots, etc).
Fully equipped machine shop (drill press, lath and mill with all accessories). CNC if in the budget.
3D printer is now a must.
Software for schematic and PCB (Altium Designer), 3D mechanical CAD (Solid Works with all the optional packages), Programming IDEs: assemblers and compilers for all the popular processors and PLDs plus the hardware programming and debugging tools.

Should be able to put a good lab together for between $250,000 and $1,000,000 and maybe a quarter this is one shops for used.

This is just a basic list and doesn't include many details.

Offline andrewkgTopic starter

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Re: What should a robotics lab have.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 08:28:05 PM »
Hmmm. Alright. If you were were to exclude all the heavy duty metal fabrication machines how much would this reduce the cost. Also, do you know of a university that would list its labs contents?

Offline jkerns

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Re: What should a robotics lab have.
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 07:15:31 AM »
My lab is pretty basic. We have all the fabrication stuff in other labs around the university - CNC mills, water jet, plasma cutter, tig, mig, lathes, mills, shopbot, laser cutters, etc. I mostly have the scopes, power supplies, meters, signal generator, soldering equipment, basic hand tools kind of things and a small stock of electronic parts (building that up as we go). We also have some small robotic arms for the students to work with.
I get paid to play with robots - can't beat that with a stick.

http://www.ltu.edu/engineering/mechanical/bachelor-science-robotics-engineering.asp

Offline jwatte

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Re: What should a robotics lab have.
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 10:21:16 AM »
"Robotics" is such a huge area. Are you talking car-level projects with real-time sensing? Then you need perhaps 12 U of mobile rack space for quad-CPU pizza boxes for compute power. And the inverter/batteries to power it on the go.

Quote
Software for schematic and PCB (Altium Designer), 3D mechanical CAD (Solid Works with all the optional packages)

There are cheaper options. Cadsoft Eagle is popular because there are lots of entry level tutorials around. Autodesk Inventor is another mechanical package used in industry, and it integrates well with 3ds Max and Maya, which are heavily used in the industrial design area (nice-looking-curves as separate from funtional-machinery.)
There's also free options, such as KiCAD and gEDA and GrabCAD and FreeCAD and Blender and whatnot.

Do you worry about motion? Maybe some computers and software with physical simulation.

What kinds of power plants are you using? Large-scale turbines, diesel engines, etc? All eletric? AC or DC? Hobby scale or human scale?

I think you'd first need to figure out what the particular applications are that you want to work on, and what the particular teaching is that you'd like to impart. Teaching undergrads and graduate students about mobile motion control and reaction using embedded systems, is very different from pushing the bleeding edge of sentient eighteen-wheeler trucks forward.

 


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