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Remote Manipulation of a Robotic Arm by Using Infrared Sensors

N.E. Chávez Rodríguez and J. Esquivel Villar

robotic arm, visual basic, infrared sensors

This project consists in adapting a remote operation system for a robotic arm by using infrared sensors to control its movements. A personal com-puter was used to send instructions to the robotic arm, instead of a Pro-grammable Logic Device, in order to have a graphic interface. The pro-gram, which controls the arm’s movements, was developed in an objects oriented programming language, like Visual Basic is, in order to have a screen that showed a menu with the different views from the robotic arm’s joints.
The program has its most powerful feature in the “mouse-keyboard” in-terface section that consists of a graphic interface with on screen buttons to make the virtual robotic arm reacts to the instructions given by the per-sonal computer. The on screen software was also intended to manipulate the real robotic arm movements by a wireless way.
The words used to move any on screen button are assigned taking in ac-count that in the first four most significant bits the infrared receiver ad-dress is given. This infrared receiver starts the power modules whereas the four least significant bits make the previous joint selected turns counter-clockwise or anticlockwise depending on the pressed button on the screen.
This prototype is helpful to see the way that a robotic arm can be used to move different things like materials, components, tools or specialized de-vices just by programming the movements needed in order to make differ-ent tasks, and its development had the purpose of designing a software able to control, in a Windows environment, the robotic arm movements.
Theoretically robotic arms usage could be extended to almost any area where mechanical tasks are needed, tasks made nowadays by men or, in many cases, impossible to make by them (e. g. an exploration over the sur-face of Mars). Understanding in this context that a mechanical task is every activity that involves physical presence. In the next figures, we can see the block diagram of the infrared system and the screen, which con-trols the robotic arm’s movements.

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