Madelyn Brown Worklog

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  • Post last modified:April 17, 2024
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  • Post category:Work Logs

Work Weeks of September 17th & 24th:

Completed Work:
We’ve met with our sponsor and have a clearer idea as to what we’re going to achieve. We’re working with both the building and our sponsor to see if we can get a test robot down here to use for our project- it would be extremely helpful and would forward communications fairly quickly.
We’ve also acquired our raspberry pi, from which we’ll be programming our HMI screen.

Goals for next week:
We have another sponsor meeting- iron out details on our robot.
Come up with a plan for getting our mid semester goals done- the deadline is fast approaching.
Look into ordering a physical screen for our HMI.

Anticipated Roadblocks:
Communicating directly with the robot. We are unsure how it sends + receives signals, especially when it comes to using an external computer.
Maneuvering actual screen design and making it look professional.

Work Weeks of October 1st & 8th:

Completed Work:
Experimented with sending output signals from the raspberry pi. We were able to have buttons on our HMI screen send signals out to an external fan we used, proving the concept of using HMI screen buttons to control IO fairly easily. We also ironed out some robot details, and will hopefully get it and the touch screen for our pi delivered soon. We’ve been experimenting as well on layout designs for the HMI, polishing our test screen a bit.

Goals for next week:
Gather feedback from the CDR and begin looking into different IO devices we can control. Add more to the HMI screen and continue experimenting with what we have available.

Anticipated Roadblocks:
The pi has a limited number of IO slots, so we might have to interface with the robot controller rather than the robot itself if we’d like to do a lot of commands. We also are experimenting with direct hardwiring, and industry usually does things over ethernet, which we’ve yet to test.

Work Weeks of October 15th & 22nd:

Completed Work:
We successfully used a button on our HMI screen to control an LED light, and created an in-depth IO screen that we will use to show the status of different IO pins. We’ve also received our touchscreen which we’ll use for demo purposes, and it works exactly as we anticipated it to. Our sponsor also sent us the robot which we’ll be communicating with, and we’ve set it up so we’re ready to talk with it.

Goals for next week:
We’re in the process of doing research with how to communicate over Ethernet to the robot. We’re currently unsure of the path we’d like to take, so we need to get that solidified and tested as soon as possible.

Anticipated Roadblocks:
Ethernet communication with the Pi is tricky. It’s going to take a lot of trial and error to send signals to our robot- which isn’t in prime condition. It has an issue with the first axis- which is fine, and means we can’t use it- but it may lead to future complications.

Work Week of October 29th:

Completed Work: We continued our research on providing both a case for the Pi and our screen, as well as communicating through Ethernet. Below are some links we found on Ethernet communication.

EtherNet/IP Anybus Adapter:

Technical Reference Manual:

Goals for next week: Genuine testing with the robot, putting our research to work and attempting to send signals back and forth.

Anticipated Roadblocks: Same as previous- also finding time where all of us are available is tricky. It’s hard to combine research when we’re all in separate places. We also need to grab several ethernet cables so we can all communicate at once.

2024 Semester Worklog

Work Week of January 22nd:

Completed Work: Reached out to ABB to get a price on our PC interface, so we can connect our robot to Ethernet so we can communicate.

Goals for next week:
– Order a case for the screen and computer
– Follow up with ABB for the PC interface part
– Take a look at the J1 encoder, figure out why it isn’t working properly [Meet with Shane]
– Begin sketching what the final HMI should look like(?) Customizable?
– Make an exhaustive list containing everything we want incorporated into the screen

Anticipated Roadblocks: ABB may take a while to respond back to us. In the interim, we can create and begin modifying our HMI screen to look the way we’d like.

Sketch for our system is not very useful, as it’s just the screen, robot, and robot controller. We need to continue to discuss how we want our HMI laid out, and sketches will be uploaded as we do so.

Work Week of January 28th:

Completed Work: Met about our encoder issues, attempting to solve. Got a response from the PC interface, continuing the email chain to get that set up.

Goals for next week:
– Make an exhaustive list containing everything we want incorporated into the screen
– Begin designing a possible interface
– Work on presentation to pitch our design
– Continue to communicate with Flex Auto and ABB

Anticipated Roadblocks: Email chain is taking a long time to complete.

Work Week of February 4th:

Completed Work: Worked on our presentation for the CDR, continued communication with ABB and Flex Auto. Discovered encoder issues are related to the brakes of the robot instead of the encoder- encoder works just fine.

Goals for next week:
– Follow up more with ABB
– Continue to work on CDR Presentation
– Begin analyzing why the brakes in Joint One are failing, take the internals out to look at the wiring. Apply 24V power to each brake and see where the problem lies.

Anticipated Roadblocks: Difficult to get responses from ABB

Work Week of February 11th:

Completed Work: ABB has agreed to give us a site license for Robot Studio. We will attempt to use this to complete our project via a simulation rather than the actual robot arm. Began to pull apart robot to find brake issues. Problem may lie in previously repaired wires- checked for continuity everywhere and were unable to locate the exact source. Will reach out to advisor and get site license in order so we can work on that portion of the project.

Goals for next week:
– Present CDR and get feedback
– Get case ordered for screen
– Get site license from ABB and get to work on Robot Studio ASAP

Anticipated Roadblocks: May take a while to find the source of the brake problem + learn how to use Robot Studio.

Work Week of February 18th:

Completed Work: Presented CDR, gathered advice and came up with plans to test after spring break

Goals for next week:
– Work on Robot Studio (Free trial)
– Continue to follow up with site license

Anticipated Roadblocks: Learning Robot Studio in the first place will be difficult

Work Week of March 3rd:

Completed Work: Had minimal time to meet. Completed some side work involving documentation, unable to create a station in Robot Studio

Goals for next week:
– Work on Robot Studio
– Continue to follow up with site license

Anticipated Roadblocks: Same as previous week

Work Week of March 10th:

Completed Work: Continued free trial for Robot Studio and attempted to get stations running. Only able to get one started once, every station since then has failed. Troubleshooting.

Goals for next week:
– Continue station work troubleshooting

Anticipated Roadblocks: ABB difficult to contact for help.

Work Week of March 17th:

Completed Work: Discovered why stations weren’t working- had to remove corrupted files. Able to get that working, need to find a way to send IO signals back and forth between us and the virtual machine. Met with Flex Auto and got some advice, lots of new ideas to try for both our physical robot’s brakes and our virtual machine.

Goals for next week:
– FINALLY try to send signals back and forth
– Refine HMI screen as soon as we have connection

Anticipated Roadblocks: Need a new computer for Robot Studio’s free trial. Lots of waiting while things complete in Robot Studio- building a station takes no less than 15 minutes every time.

Work Week of March 24th:

Completed Work: Used the trial version of Robot Studio along with VSCode to FINALLY send signals back and forth between the simulation and our python code. We were able to send several move commands just through the keyboard using socketing. Sponsor has given us a couple ideas for programs to run within the simulation.

Goals for next week:
– Use the HMI’s code to communicate through ethernet instead of just using the python code on the computer.

Anticipated Roadblocks: Lots to do within a short amount of time, but it’ll be fun now that we have a direction to go in.

Work Week of March 31st:

Completed Work: Our screen stopped working somehow, but we were able to get a replacement and begin working on sending commands from the Pi to the computer through socketing. Lots of trial and error, but we’re meeting three times per week and having weekly sponsor meetings to wrap up before design expo. Recieved trial programs from our sponsor to try to send back and forth. Got the pi and the laptop to talk to each other.

Goals for next week:
– Edit the screen and figure out the syntax needed to send signals back and forth properly- home commands, move commands, etc.

Anticipated Roadblocks: Time is running short, but we’re utilizing every moment we have to try to get these signals sent.

Work Week of April 7th:

Completed Work: Worked on getting our project presentable for Design Expo. Re-worked the HMI Screen design and programmed a simple block pick and place within the simulation. Able to control IO from VSCode, can open and close gripper at will.

Goals for next week:
– Work on Report
– Present at Design Expo
– Research Ethernet

Anticipated Roadblocks: Despite being able to ping each device, we can’t send/recieve over Ethernet.

Work Week of April 14th:

Completed Work: Presented at Design Expo and finalized everything for our presentation. Still unable to go over Ethernet, but everything runs smoothly on the same machine.

Goals for next week:
– Put robot back together
– Finalize worklogs, reports, documentation in general
– Debrief about Design Expo with the remaining groups

Anticipated Roadblocks: Ethernet was the only unaccomplishable task.