Any Tool You Can Imagine

Design Robotics

ambience: robot arm motor

Picture a robot arm about ten feet high, that resembles a giant hinged desk lamp. It’s enabling architects and engineers to perform many specialized tasks, sort of like attaching different bits to a drill, but on a whole other scale. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

King: If you can imagine the robot as a very dumb machine and it isn’t designed to do anything specific. It’s a general tool. We work to design tools that go on the end of it.

Robotics designer and engineer Nathan King.

King: So we have a process that we want to develop, we build a new tool to go on the end of the robot. So rather than having to buy a number of tools to do very specific items, we have the robot, and we can accommodate any tool we can imagine to put on the end of it.

King: What’s great about the machine is that it has these tool changers and mechanisms at the end of the robot that allow the robot to pick up any tool that’s designed. We just assign every project one of these tool-changers, and they can build their tool and when they come it’ll mate up with the robot precisely. It allows us this hyperflexibility of tooling which allows us to deal with a lot of different uses in a single day, which is what I think is partly what’s unique about design robotics. Rather than building a machine, we just have to build the part and then the robot can control it.

King: It can move as several G’s of acceleration, faster than your car could ever accelerate and it can carry something that weighs around 300 pounds. It’s worth mentioning that this moves in an accuracy smaller than a human hair. So we can move this giant tool in a very very precise and accurate positioning. You would use the joystick to control the robot, move it to the place you want it and record that position. That’s the way a lot of the robots are used in industry. You hit repeat on the joystick and the robot will just do the same thing for hundreds of thousands of cycles and then they trade it out.

We’ll hear more about design robotics in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.

Any Tool You Can Imagine

It's like attaching drill bits, but on a whole other scale.
Air Date:03/30/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

Design Robotics

ambience: robot arm motor

Picture a robot arm about ten feet high, that resembles a giant hinged desk lamp. It's enabling architects and engineers to perform many specialized tasks, sort of like attaching different bits to a drill, but on a whole other scale. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

King: If you can imagine the robot as a very dumb machine and it isn't designed to do anything specific. It's a general tool. We work to design tools that go on the end of it.

Robotics designer and engineer Nathan King.

King: So we have a process that we want to develop, we build a new tool to go on the end of the robot. So rather than having to buy a number of tools to do very specific items, we have the robot, and we can accommodate any tool we can imagine to put on the end of it.

King: What's great about the machine is that it has these tool changers and mechanisms at the end of the robot that allow the robot to pick up any tool that's designed. We just assign every project one of these tool-changers, and they can build their tool and when they come it'll mate up with the robot precisely. It allows us this hyperflexibility of tooling which allows us to deal with a lot of different uses in a single day, which is what I think is partly what's unique about design robotics. Rather than building a machine, we just have to build the part and then the robot can control it.

King: It can move as several G's of acceleration, faster than your car could ever accelerate and it can carry something that weighs around 300 pounds. It's worth mentioning that this moves in an accuracy smaller than a human hair. So we can move this giant tool in a very very precise and accurate positioning. You would use the joystick to control the robot, move it to the place you want it and record that position. That's the way a lot of the robots are used in industry. You hit repeat on the joystick and the robot will just do the same thing for hundreds of thousands of cycles and then they trade it out.

We'll hear more about design robotics in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.