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Title: First Prize for Advanced Technologies Students in Design and Implementation of a Wireless Accessible Network of Industrial Robots: Undergraduate Student Project.

Author(s): Donald T. Carter, Sidney M. Blankenship,
Supervising faculty: Ognjen Kuljaca, PhD, Pritpal Dang

Undergraduate student project poster presentation by Advanced Technologies Department students Donald T. Carter, Sidney M. Blankenship has won first prize at 7th Annual HBCU-UP research conference poster competition in Computer Science and Information Systems section. The conference was held on February 9-12, 2006 Bowie State University, Maryland. The poster was presented by Mr. Donald Carter. The student research on this project was supported by Alcorn State University HBCU-UP grant funds and Alcorn State Foundation.

Abstract of presentation

A wireless accessible network of robot controllers can be of great benefit in a manufacturing environment. An Ethernet network of Fanucís R-J3iB Controllers enables users to conduct real time operations such as transfer robot programs, controller backup and restore, monitor robot operation, collect production data and troubleshoot robots from a remote computer. Such a network can also be made accessible via the internet allowing users from various geographical locations the capacity of performing Internet-based control of robots remotely. This work addresses the design and implementation of a wirelessly accessible network of Fanucís R-J3iB Controllers. The prototype network was designed and implemented at the Nissan Training Facility in Canton, Mississippi. The security for such a network is of a paramount nature. The issues related to security are discussed. The work describes the architecture of both a wired and a wireless network and illustrates the differences between wired network and wireless accessible networks. Special attention was given to the network protocols FTP, TFTP, and Telnet as they are utilized in the network implementation on the factory floor. The Web Server located on Fanucís R-J3iB Controller is a vital component that facilitates real-time monitoring of the robot itís attached to. The Web Server, although not a network protocol, is discussed in its usage in monitoring the network. The protocols and equipment used for networking are described. The features of the R-J3iB Controllers as they relate to the network design and implementation are also discussed in detail. The implementation of the network creates the capacity for the design of a dynamic database of robot error codes and a condition based maintenance program. Such a maintenance program will involve predicative failure of both robots and its respective components.

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