A study in robotics control with a modern multitasking operating system

The purpose of this project was to investigate whether a robot could be interfaced with a PC running Linux and if the control software could be developed using the Linux OS. To complete this research, software was developed to control a robotic arm from a PC running the Linux OS. This software features a graphical user interface (GUI) and multiple modes of control.

The LynxMotion 5 axis robotic arm kit was used to conduct this research. This is a versatile robotic arm kit that features fast accurate repeatable movement. The robot has a moveable base, shoulder, elbow, wrist and gripper. The arm can lift approximately 3oz.

The LynxMotion 5 axis robotic arm kit included the Mini Serial Servo Controller II (Mini SSC II). The Mini SSC II is a device that allows servos to be controlled via a computer's serial port. The software that was developed for this project utilizes the Mini SSC II in order to move the robotic arm.

A complete software package was developed that grants a user extensive control of the robot arm. A graphical user interface (GUI) was developed using the C programming language with the GTK+ libraries. Advanced features such as real time and step control modes were included in the software. The real time mode allows interactive control via the keyboard or mouse. The step mode allows a user to enter position coordinates for the servos and move all servos with one mouse click.

Advisors: Mary Lynn Manns and Dr. Mark Boyd

Image: 
Student Name: 
Brent Briggs