Using LabVIEW for Remote Control Monitoring of Robotic Arm Movement in a 2D System

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"The instrument we created reduces the size of the system compared to a traditional instrument because it requires a single computer and gives us the option of global remote monitoring."

- Bennet Tan, UCSI University Malaysia

The Challenge:
Remotely monitoring the 2D movement of a real-time system for possible implementation in a robotic arm for unmanned applications, such as hazardous environments.

The Solution:
Using NI LabVIEW software and NI data acquisition (DAQ) hardware to create a system for 2D movement on the X and Y axes, similar to the robotic arm movement, then recording and transmitting the movements in real time for data logging at a remote location.

Author(s):
Bennet Tan - UCSI University Malaysia
Chockalingam Aravind Vaithilingam - UCSI University Malaysia
Rajparthiban Rajkumar - Taylors University College Malaysia
Gilbert Tzer Hwai Thio - UCSI University Malaysia

Background

Most industrial jobs are now automated using advanced technology. Real-time monitoring is required for control and safety. We used an advanced virtual instrumentation development platform to create a monitoring system for XY robot arms, which are controlled by a microcontroller.

We used a DAQ device to communicate between the sensor and LabVIEW. We developed remote monitoring using the built-in functions of LabVIEW with a web browser to access and view the front panel without installing any external software. The monitoring system software and hardware design include the robot arms.

Introduction

For safe, high-quantity production, an automatic system must be monitored. We used LabVIEW, an advanced system design software, to develop a virtual instrumentation system that performs as well as a traditional instrument, but with a better interface and more design options. The instrument we created reduces the size of the system compared to a traditional instrument because it requires only a single computer and gives us the option of global remote monitoring.

The whole system we created includes the monitoring module, the sensor module for feedback, and the application as the target for monitoring. XY robot arms are widely used in industry for many functions, such as moving objects and installing small devices. We used the arms in this scenario to demonstrate the effect of the proposed module. The system features automatic control with the help of a microcontroller to perform real-time monitoring.

Block Diagram Representation

The block diagram representation of the system under test is shown in Figure 1. Figure 2 shows the photovoltaic (PV) module we designed with the IC module. Figure 3 shows the designed experimental module.

The test bench is comprised of a motor module, microcontrollers, and switches. NI USB-6800 is the hardware interface for the system.

Prototype Development

We used NI USB DAQ to send the sensor measurements to LabVIEW. We used the low-cost multifunction NI USB-6008 DAQ device to acquire and save the test data to disk for analysis. The USB-6008 uses NI-DAQmx driver software and is compatible with LabVIEW. We developed a programming interface to acquire data, then analyze it using a second interface where the results are generated. The hardware setup acquires the positional data on the X and Y axes and interfaces with a PC running Windows via the USB hub using NI-DAQmx driver software. Figure 4 shows the prototype setup with the DAQ device and Figure 5 shows the developed interface for the module under test. Figure 6 illustrates the experimental validation of the system under test.

Author Information:
Bennet Tan
UCSI University Malaysia
Jalan Menara Gading
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: 0122402316

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