What is Mechatronics?

What is Mechatronics?

Mechatronics systems are present everywhere today, from aircraft flight control and navigation systems to drones to car airbag safety systems to robots to smart home appliances and even some toys.  Aircraft Flight Control and Navigation System a Drone The car airbag safety system is a Mechatronics system. Industrial robot arms are Mechatronics systems. Smart Home Appliances: a Robotic Vacuum Cleaner a Robotic Toy Arm These systems are all familiar to us. But, what exactly is Mechatronics?  Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and chemical engineering were the primary engineering disciplines of the 20th century. Primary engineering disciplines of the 20th…
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VR Robotics Simulator: Hand Tracking on Oculus Meta Quest 2

VR Robotics Simulator: Hand Tracking on Oculus Meta Quest 2

In the previous lesson of the series of lessons to design a VR robotics simulator, we learned how to use the Oculus Quest headset's VR controllers to grab an object in a virtual reality scene. Grabbing an object with VR controllers. In this lesson, we will explore one of the most important and interesting features of the Oculus Meta Quest headset. Our focus will be on using Hand Tracking in Virtual Reality (VR) and grabbing an object with our hands. Grabbing an object using the Hand Tracking feature. Full disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links.…
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VR Robotics Simulator: How to Grab Objects with VR Controllers

VR Robotics Simulator: How to Grab Objects with VR Controllers

The previous lesson showed us how to create and test a simple VR scene in the Oculus Quest VR headset. A simple VR scene in Unity. The objective of this lesson of the series of lessons to design a VR robotics simulator is to demonstrate using the Oculus Quest headset's VR controllers to grab an object in a virtual reality scene. Grabbing an object with VR controllers. Full disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. The virtual reality headset used in the course is the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset: And VR programming is implemented in…
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Petoi Pet Robot Dog and Pet Robot Cat Educational Robots

Petoi Pet Robot Dog and Pet Robot Cat Educational Robots

Petoi, a company that specializes in developing tomorrow's pet robots, has developed two quadruped robots, a pet robot dog named Bittle and a pet robot cat named Nybble, for stem robotics and educational applications.  Pet Robot Dog Bittle, and Pet Robot Cat Nybble. Image credit: Petoi Bittle is an open-source bionic robot pet dog used for learning and play, able to climb up to the ceiling and walk upside down because of its light body. Adding a customized Arduino board can help the robot pet coordinate difficult movements, and adding different sensors will make it capable of perception. It is…
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Fundamentals of Robotics: Wrenches

Fundamentals of Robotics: Wrenches

In the previous lesson, we learned that screws are geometric interpretations of twists, and they can be used to express configurations in robotics. This lesson is about spatial forces or wrenches in robotics. We will talk about wrenches in this lesson, which are 6-vector representations of forces and moments in robotics. We will also become familiar with how to change the frame of representation of a wrench.  This lesson is part of the series of lessons on foundations necessary to express robot motions. For a complete comprehension of the Fundamentals of Robot Motions and the tools required to represent the…
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VR Robotics Simulator: How to Create a VR Scene in Unity

VR Robotics Simulator: How to Create a VR Scene in Unity

In the previous lesson, we learned how to install Oculus integration SDK in Unity and change essential settings for the VR in the Unity editor. This lesson of the series of lessons to design a VR robotics simulator will teach how to create a simple VR scene in Unity. Users can create a scene with a simple UGV and room and export it as an APK file and install it on the Quest headset. Full disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. The virtual reality headset used in the course is the Oculus Quest 2 VR…
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ANYmal Quadruped Robot Climbing Stairs

ANYmal Quadruped Robot Climbing Stairs

Researchers at the Robotics Systems Lab at ETH Zürich, who are working on legged robots, tested perception-based motion planning for the ANYmal quadruped robot to navigate terrain and stairs. This video was recorded a few years ago, but it's intriguing to see how what we consider normal now was 20x speed then.  ANYmal quadruped robot climbing stairs. Image credit: Robotics Systems Lab at ETH Zürich Perception-based motion planning for ANYmal quadruped robot. The experiment in the video shows an ANYmal quadruped robot climbing stairs fully autonomously on a rainy day.  ANYmal quadruped robot navigating stairs on a rainy day. Image…
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Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots

Modular Self-Reconfigurable Robots

Researchers at MIT's CSAIL HCI Engineering Group have developed modular cube-based self-reconfigurable robots named ElectroVoxel that use electromagnet-powered actuation embedded into each cube's edge to reconfigure in three dimensions via pivoting. Self-reconfiguring modular robots on an air table. Image credit: MIT's CSAIL HCI Engineering Group In the experiment, they used three-dimensional self-reconfigurable robots and showed 2D and 3D self-reconfiguration using pivot and traversal maneuvers on an air table and in microgravity on a parabolic flight. Self-reconfigurable cube robots in microgravity. Image credit: MIT's CSAIL HCI Engineering Group Self-reconfigurable cube robots in microgravity. Image credit: MIT's CSAIL HCI Engineering Group The…
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Collaborative Mobile Robots

Collaborative Mobile Robots

Northwestern University's Center for Robotics and Biosystems has developed collaborative robots for human-robot collaboration.  Mobile Cobots. Image credit: Northwestern University's Center for Robotics and Biosystems In the experiment, three Omnid mobile collaborative robots (mobile cobots) are carrying a large pipe, and they float the pipe so that it has six degrees of freedom (three for positions: x, y, and z movements, and three for orientations: roll, pitch, and yaw rotations) and can easily be controlled by a human operator. Delta robots are three dofs series-elastic manipulators and mobile bases feature three-dof mecanum omnidirectional wheels.  Image credit: Northwestern University's Center for Robotics…
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GITAI’s Lunar Robotic Rover R1 in a Simulated Environment

GITAI’s Lunar Robotic Rover R1 in a Simulated Environment

GITAI has developed a lunar robotic rover called R1 used for moon exploration, mining, inspection, and sampling. Several testing tasks and operations have been successfully completed by the rover in a simulated environment.  GITAI's Lunar Rover. Image credit: GITAI The robotic rover has successfully completed different tests on a mock environment, including testing its locomotion and obstacle avoidance abilities, as well as building solar panels and taking samples. The lunar rover is building a solar panel. Image credit: GITAI The lunar rover is taking samples. Image credit: GITAI Thanks to its omni-directional wheels, the robotic lunar rover could move over…
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