Upgrading the robotics laboratory
Adding the AL5D in our arsenal
Update: added some nice pictures from the lab and the robots
There is a small paradox at our department: we are teaching robotics to students, but we used to not have any robots around for them to play with. We actually did have one, that is very very dangerous to use close to people, so I slowly slowly phased it out of use.
But I had to find an alternative: a small, versatile, cheap, robot arm, that we could buy multiples of it and have one for each table of the laboratory. That was how the dream started, and finally, today, this dream came true! Today I finished assemblying and installing the 10th AL5D robot arm in our laboratory!
This change starting taking place last year, when we got our first couple of AL5Ds. Initially we wanted to do a small dry-run, but due to the pandemic situation, we couldn’t really test the robots in action with the students. We decided not to wait yet another year, and we invested and bought a complete set of 10+3 robots for our laboratory. 10 robots, one for each table, 1 for the assistant, and 2 as spare ones (cause we know that things break).
In parallel to the robots, we also improved the laboratory guides to make them more interactive and educational. Last year we switched from dull PDFs to jupyter notebooks, so that students can experiment with the theory in one document. And now this year, they can control the robot through the same environment.
I am super excited about this milestone in the laboratory, and I hope that students will find this upgrade useful and educational.