Industrial manipulator IRV5 one of best designs at international robot competition

photos by Paweł Cegielski

The industrial manipulator IRV5, developed by the AGH UST Special Interest Group “Robotics”, took third place in the category “freestyle” at the international robot competition RoboTEC 2017 in Romania. The competition, which presented mobile and humanoid robots as well as unmanned aircraft, was entered by 37 teams from all over Europe, and the AGH UST students were the only participants from Poland. 

RoboTEC took place on 24-26 March 2017 at University Politehnica Timisoara. It was the third edition of the competition. Mobile robots competed in the following events: freestyle, line follower, mini sumo, and micromouse. 

The “freestyle” event evaluated innovativeness, independence of the project, construction quality, design comprehensiveness, the accuracy of technical documentation, business potential, and the versatility of use. During the competition events, the robot assembled by the AGH UST students presented tasks performed in industry: Pick&Place, following a predefined path, and the simulation of the processes of welding and gluing. The final-stage task consisted in the presentation of the device together with its technical documentation in English to a jury comprised of scientists, researchers, and the representatives of industry. The young constructors also answered questions asked by the members of the jury and people in the audience. IRV5 turned out to be better than, for example, an unmanned aircraft or an autonomous system of detecting and following a source of light. 

The prize for taking third place was financing the purchase of electronic components for further constructions, as well as gadgets from the sponsors of the competition. The AGH UST representatives were also invited to take part in the next edition of RoboTEC and similar competitions. The latest successes of IRV5 will surely encourage the students to test their capabilities in other events of a similar type.  

AGH UST Robotics is a student special interest group dealing with designing and assembling industrial manipulators and service robots. Its supervisor is professor Maciej Petko of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics. At the competition in Romania, the Student Special Interest Group was represented by Michał Soida, Bartosz Widera and Jakub Żak of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, and Paweł Cegielski of the Faculty of Computer Science, Electronics and Telecommunications. 

IRV5 is an in-house project of the members of the AGH UST Student Special Interest Group “Robotics”, developed from scratch both in the area of mechanics, as well as electronics and software. Work on the development and improvement of the robot has been carried out since 2015. The mechanical construction is based on the structure of a four-bar linkage (pantograph), which makes it possible to limit positioning errors. The power transmission system consists of stepper motors and polymer worm gears made by IGUS. The robot is also equipped with a vacuum gripping device made by Festo. The control system is based on Arduino Due and Raspberry Pi. The control panel can be accessed through a special-purpose website on a computer or tablet. The device enables students to have contact with the real equipment, not only computer simulations. The four-axle industrial manipulator is designed for demonstration and educational purposes, for example, at education fairs, science festivals, or competitions. 

Let us remind the readers that RoboTEC 2017 was not the first success of IRV5 – the manipulator had already won in the category Freestyle at the competition of mobile robots Robomaticon 2017 in Warsaw.