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The RoboFriend Research Project

Sami Salama Hajjaj


The RoboFriend project is a student-based research project created to utilize elements of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in tackling the problem of motion planning in dynamic environment for robots with higher DOFs. By developing a humanoid robotic arm (9 DOFs), to be controlled using visual and/or audio input signals from users, and use these queues to learn to avoid similar obstacles in the future. This project was divided into 4 major sub-projects; development of the gripper (wrist to fingers), development of manipulator (shoulder to wrist), development of the electronics and controls, and finally development of the HRI interface. Each sub-project was given to an engineering student, to be completed as his/her final year engineering project. Being a student-based project, this work had a secondary objective; to investigate the effectiveness of incorporating robotics research in undergraduate engineering education. Challenges included the design/development of the humanoid gripper, due to its conflicting design parameters of flexibility and structural stability. At the end, the humanoid arm was made to response to human voice. Data also showed that research enhanced students’ learning experience as students were able to demonstrate their recently acquired knowledge in contributing to this work. Therefore, it can be concluded that incorporating research in undergraduate engineering studies is effective.

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