A Physical Design Computing Environment


We are exploring how a robotic arm manipulator, environmental sensors and integrated electronics can support and enhance creative design processes. The goal of this project is to empower designers to work interactively with a robotic arm instead of through programming predefined motion paths. Creating robotic operations such as reflecting, rotating, and arraying will be the primary mode of design development by which the designer works with the robotic arm. Physical command objects (e.g., a mirror-stick and touch sensors) are being developing to facilitate human-robot interaction.

Undergraduate Researchers: Dana Gretton, Jaguar Kristeller, Steven Homberg, Raghavasimhan Sankaranarayanan, Rachael Rotteveel

 Illustration by Dana Gretton

Illustration by Dana Gretton

Interactive Kuka Robot Manipulator Arm

Using the Robot Operating System (ROS) framework and JOpenShoVar, we have built an interactive program that enables a Kuka robot to sense its environment and generate real-time motion planning.

For now the program can recognize and distinguish 2.5D shapes such as circles, squares, and triangle on a flat plane, and generate the inverse kinematics to move the arm into picking location, activate a suction gripper and translate the shape at a designated X,Y position relative to the starting position.

In the future we plan to develop programs that allow the manipulator arm to perform computational operations such as mirroring, arraying and rotating shapes.