(Dr. Wayne Book, advisor)
"Design of a Hydraulically Actuated Manipulator for a Remote Access Laboratory"
System dynamics and control theory is a required course in all accredited undergraduate mechanical engineering curricula, including Georgia Tech. Typically, this course covers topics such as: modeling of mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and thermal systems, feedback control, time response analysis and design, and frequency response analysis and design. Students often criticize the course for a lack of experimental hardware. They also have a desire to work with equipment that is used in the industry.
In order to improve system dynamics and controls education at Georgia Tech, a remote access laboratory was created which provides students with practically unlimited remote access to a hydraulic manipulator. The manipulator was given the name HAL, Hydraulically Actuated Lifter, because it is designed to function in a manner similar to a forklift. Access to the manipulator is provided through the Internet connection.
The research work that will be presented focuses on the design of the mechanical structure, the hydraulic system, and the electrical interface between the manipulator and its control computer. Mechanical design procedures and hydraulic component analysis techniques will be discussed.
A remote access experiment will be performed to demonstrate the systems capabilities. The potential educational uses for a remote access laboratory of this type are almost unlimited.