My MSc thesis assignment was to finish a multi-semester hardware and software development process. This project is the construction of an embedded control unit for a two-degree-of-freedom SCARA type robotic arm.
The main motivation for this task was to enable the robot to operate outside a laboratory with the new, portable control unit. This way, the system could serve classroom demonstration purposes as well. Another important aim for the unit was to provide a platform for research in relevant, popular scientific fields such as visual feedback based sensor fusion control.
During my earlier work, I have created the hardware plans of the control unit, and also built the initial hardware configuration. In my master thesis project, I have made the necessary hardware extensions and modifications which were required for controlling the robot. During this process have added a Bluetooth module to the system, which opens the way for communication with a camera-equipped touchscreen device. Using this wireless link, more sophisticated user interaction, and external sensor (e.g. camera) based feedback can be implemented.
After the hardware development tasks, I have created a software level framework which performs high level operation of the robot. This framework consists of the firmware of two programmable microcontrollers, and the software of a RISC microprocessor, created in a Very High Level Language. These hardware components cooperatively perform the tasks of the control loop, and the user interaction. The software is capable of solving the Inverse kinematics problem, contains a trajectory planning algorithm, and also a position control algorithm.