Monday, September 9, 2013

National Grid Worlshop (ARMLAB)

This summer, ARMLAB hosted high school students visiting UB engineering school through National Grid summer camp program.  We offered several demonstrations of the distinguished outreaches of our Lab researches to the students in a fascinating and informative fashion to familiarize them with the new robotic technologies. They were allowed to interact with the robotic systems available in our laboratory that appeared to be not only entertaining but also assisting them understanding more technical robotic concepts. We prepared four demonstration stations (Hexapod by Aliakbar Alamdari, Surgical Haptic Simulation by Seung-kook Jun, Nao by Xiaobo Zhou and ROAMeR by Javad Sovizi) that are described in more details below.
  1. 6-DOF Parallel Manipulator (Hexapod):In this station, a 6-DOF parallel manipulator (Hexapod) was introduced to the students and several translational, rotational and complex end effector movements were produced to show the capability of the system in executing complicated manipulation tasks. Throughout this session, students were familiarized with the robotic systems beyond many devices they are experiencing in their daily life, as car and airplane simulators etc.
  2. Surgical Haptic Simulation: In this station, students interacted with a Phantom Omni haptic device to experience a force feedback while performing a virtual ear surgery that included both removal of the soft tissues and drilling through hard bone.  The goal of this session was to demonstrate how haptic technologies (with high-res visualization and high-fidelity feedback) can be assisting in training the surgeons.
  3. Nao:One of the most interesting stations to the students was the Nao demonstration. This session displayed the state-of-the-art in humanoid robotic technology. The Nao was programmed to produce several movements that resembled human motions. In addition, taking advantage of the variety of Nao built-in sensors (auditory, visual, motions and touch), the students could interact with the Nao, resembling the human-like interactions. 
  4. Reconfigurable Omnidirectional Articulated wheeled Mobile Robot  (ROAMeR): In this session, mechanical and electrical structures of the ROAMeR were described to the students. The goal of this session was to point out the benefits of the re-configurability of the ROAMeR. They could see how ROAMeR can simultaneously follow a trajectory and reconfigure to bypass the obstacles in an unstructured environment.