Jonas Neubert

… works with bits and atoms

Mitsubishi Movemaster (2007 - 2008)

Reverse engineering and reviving a 20-year old robot arm

    This was my Final Year Project for my 4-year undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. They gave me a really old robot arm without a control box and without documentation, and my job was to make it do that robot thing again. In the process I learned to always use a fuse and enough about LabVIEW and National Instruments products to author a case study for one of their PR brochures.

    Project Abstract

    A twenty year old Mitsubishi Movemaster RM-501 five-axis articulated robot has been reverse engineered and a National Instruments CompactRIO programmable controller is programmed to provide an interface to control the robot from a PC. This report includes information on components and circuitry of the RM-501 robot. This information is then used to build a hardware interface between CompactRIO and the robot. On the CompactRIO’s FPGA, a hardware driver is implemented, which reads the robot’s encoder signal and provides a pulse width modulated signal to the robot driver. Forward and inverse kinematics of the robot as well as a proportional controller are implemented using LabVIEW. Concluding, an evaluation of the RM-501 as project focus is given and recommendations for further work are made.