Automation in the industry

Materials:

  • Fable robots
  • Hub (dongle)
  • Passive modules
  • Accessories
  • Computer with Fable Blockly installed
  • Possibly a smartphone med Fable Face installed
  • Cardboard/paper for making prototypes

Assignment:

Previously when you used robots in production, they were kept separate from people, among other reasons because they could be dangerous. Today a lot of companies do not do this anymore, because today’s robots are not dangerous and are able to work with people.

Imagine you are the owners of a company, which up until now has carried out all tasks “the old fashioned way” – you may search for inspiration online.

You have to try to analyze the tasks of the company and consider where it would make sense to use solutions, that depend on automation.

Then pick one of your ideas to develop further

By using the Fable robot system and possibly cardboard and paper (or 3D-printer and laser cutter) build and program prototypes of robos, that would be able to solve your problem.

Then prepare a presentation or video, where you go through your analyses as well as present your robot solution.

Things to consider

The strengths of robots are: processes with many repetitions and repetitive work, that is predictable. The strengths of people are: unpredictable work and the ability to “read between the lines”.

  • What is programming?

Programming can be in text e.g. Python, html, javascript, java, C. The thing that the different languages have in common is that, there is a certain syntax, that is very important to stick to. If you don’t do that, the program doesn’t work, or it can make things crash. Generally, it is a good idea to make sure you keep testing your program, every time you have added something new or made a change.

There is also icon-based programming – so called “block-structured programming”, which is kind of like puzzle pieces, that represent a matching piece of text code. It makes great sense to use block-structured programming in the beginning, as it is much easier to get started with, and in general it doesn’t make things crash. When you feel ready, you can switch to text code, if it’s relevant, or you can stick to the blocks.

When you use the block-part of Fable Blockly, you are able to see the matching code in Python:

You can also switch to purely Python and program the robot like that:

In Python you can do more than you can do with the blocks, but only if you know your code.

  • What is an industrial robot?

Industrial robots used to be robot, that carried out different automated tasks in the industry e.g. robots used to paint cars. They were generally built for a specific purpose and were only able to do one task. If this task was no longer relevant in the company, it would not be able to be reused.

Today robots are made, that are universal for instance Universal Robots.

The smart thing about this type of robot, is that it can be set up to solve a specific task for a period of time, and when the company no longer needs that task solved, it can be rebuilt and re-programmed to solve another assignment.

You can also program it fairly easy in a program called thread.

This type of robot is not dangerous to people, like the “old” type was. 

They function as a type of “cobots”, where people and robots can work in the same environment, and in this way it is possible to utilize the things that people are good at (different, unpredictable tasks) and the things robots are good at (predictable work with infinite repetitions). 

If you are stuck

Getting started with Fable

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