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Doctoral Student from EPFL Creates Industrial Robot

Research work done by a doctoral student at the Laboratory of Robotics Systems at EPFL resulted in the development of an industrial robot that was capable of a variable degree of freedom as required by the user. Murielle Richard conducted the research as part of her thesis work.

Legolas 5

She explained that building an industrial robot was a time consuming procedure. In order to shorten this time she has built a robotic system that is made up of a minimum number of bricks. Various combinations of these bricks would result in making robots of different types. She tried to reduce the complexity of a three-dimensional problem to two-dimensions. The plates in the robot are mounted on a cube, which is 10 cm wide and are equipped with motors that allow upto three degrees of freedom. They can give up to six degrees of freedom based on their type and disposition when the tool is placed on one of the angles of the cube.

The principle of assembling different plates to make up a robot has been employed by the director of EPFL in the past for developing the Delta Robot. The Delta Robot was primarily used in the packaging industry. The method of using several arms that are linked to the fixed part provided a higher degree of precision and are able to facilitate high speed movements. Coming to Legolas, the robot kit created by Richard, the plates are made up of parallel elements that are attached by fine metal bands. The plates originate from a single metal block, which is carved by highly precise electrical discharge machining. Plates that are arranged in such a manner are able to produce movement in a number of directions with a high degree of precision. Precision of the order of 5 nm achieved by a modular device opens up to a number of applications such as fine watch making, microtechnology or optics.

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