Presented Master Thesis about EtherCat for machine control

Last July, the 10th, Ignacio Rosales finally presented his project based on the development of a machine control system using the real-time EtherCat protocol. This project has been co-directed by Víctor Torres López.

The machine is a pick-and-place machine which was previously developed as part of the 2012 Omron’s CEA award.

Extensive work for reverse engineering the Omron servomotors and integrating into the LinuxCNC fwamework has been required.

As a result, a new architecture for the development of machines, with an excellent real-time response and high flexibility has been tested.

In the video, a demo of the system can be seen.

Great work, Nacho!


3D printed vacuum ejector: First test

After a previous prototype which didn’t work, I tried to make a new one.

This time I decided to start from scratch with a new design and using ABS.

I printed this part vertically to have better alignment in the main axis.


Although some reinforcement with acetone was needed, the prototype is ready to hit the lab.

This time a quick and dirty trial using the hand air gun.



The results are amazing!20150520_111807_HDR[1]Even without the silicon suction cups, this ejector was able to pick small and big parts.

See the video below

More about this is still to come.


Presented Master Thesis about robot self-tooling

Today, Jose María Herrero presented his work about robot self-tooling.

Jose María Presented the Robot Self-tooling concept.

Jose María Presented the Robot Self-tooling concept.

This a new concept involving 3D printing and robotics, where a robot can build and change his fingers automatically.

This setup uses a 3D printer extruder and a fingerless gripper with two dynamixel ax12 servos. He also had to deal with VAL3 for the programming the staubli TX60, and made a program in Python to send the G-codes.

Check the video:

Good job, José María.

New joints for the animatronic robot

Wall-e is an old animatronic robot we build for entertainment and social robotics research.

It is also used as a valuable platform for students projects.

Its joints are driven by different kinds of RC servos, and sometimes the servo axle is used as the robot joint. This is a weak design point and we had to change this.

We needed a neck replacement and we found a “Servo Block” kit for Hitec servos which was perfect for our robot. It was 29€ over our budget (0€) but the MechatronicMan foundation helped again.

Servo Block was perfect for our robot neck

Servo Block was perfect for our robot neck


As we ran out of budget we had to design and build new shoulders.

We originally used a Lynxmotion Servo joint with poor axial bearings but it was not solid enough.

Our new design used “standard” skates ball bearings. with two parts: A 3mm width aluminium plate and a 100mm width bearing support.

The old ISEL cpm 3020 did a nice work with a 3mm single flute straight carbide bit.

20140703_135424 (1)20140703_173840 After a sandblasting the plate looks very professional! isn’t it?



And the final assembly with the quarter scale RC servo gives a solid joint for our robot.


That’s all. I just wanted to show it.

In the future I’m not using RC servos anymore unless I build a toy robot.

By the way, the joint in action were seen in last post : Animatronic at the Postgraduate Courses presentation 2015-16


Presented Master Thesis about 6 dof’s Educational Manipulator

Last December, the 10th (2014), José María presented his Master Thesis about an educational 6 Dof’s manipulator programmable under Simulink.

Educational Manipulator Programmable under Simulink

Educational Manipulator Programmable under Simulink

The arm has been designed to be used on the PIERO platform, and built usin Dynamixel servos controlled by and Arduino Mega.

Good work.


Presented a Master Thesis about remote environment modelling for off-line robot programming

The student J.C. Camacho presented a work called “3D MODEL DRIVEN DISTANT ASSEMBLY” about remote environment modelling for off-line programming, using computer vision.

He uses structured light and robot parallax to build geometrical models of the objects found. These models are later used to build automatic assembly plans.

Virtual pillars and camera motion are used for  model building.

Virtual pillars and camera motion are used for model building.

This work was developed at the Wise-ShopFloor research group from the Skövde University, wher he worked with J. Cana Quijada, under the tutoring of Abdullah Mohammed.

A remote programming interface was also developped

A remote programming interface was also developped

The project report (3D model driven distant assembly) was written in english and includes an abstract in spanish.


Premio OMRON 2012

El Comité de Selección del Premio Omron de “Iniciación a la Investigación e Innovación en Automática”, que está formado por miembros de la Junta Directiva de CEA y un representante de la Empresa Omron, y que está presidida por el presidente de CEA, ha decidido: Proponer por unanimidad para el Premio OMRON convocatoria 2011/12 al trabajo “Sistema de montaje de componentes SMD mediante manipulador paralelo”, presentado por los alumnos Andrea Mª Maidana Gómez,  Antonio Javier Pérez Vigo y  Fernando Sabarit Peñalosa, de la Universidad de Málaga, con el tutor Jesús M. Gómez de Gabriel.

El robot tipo delta ha sido diseñado  mediante SolidWorks en base a servomotores brushless de 200W con encóders ópticos de alta resolución y construido  con aluminio aligerado y tubos de fibra de carbono para reducir inercias.


Delta Rbot UMA

Delta Robot Built at the Department of Systems Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Málaga

El robot robot paralelo está basado en sistema de control de movimientos de Omron con controladora NJ501 y programado con Sysmac Studio.

Control System Schematics for the SMD station

Control System Schematics for the SMD station

El modelo cinemático inverso está implementado en el controlador de tiempo real.

Se ha diseñado y construido una estación de ensamblado de circuitos con componentes SMD completamente realizado por los alumnos con la colaboración de Omron y el Departamento.

SMD Station

SMD Station