Part of Unit: Industrial Engineering Processes
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
Students learn how robotic end-of-arm tools (EOATs) are used to pick-up material and operate tools in manufacturing. They use this knowledge to create a working robot arm that simulates an actual industrial robot application found in manufacturing.
- 4 Class Periods - Each Period
- 90 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- ED.D.D5.1 Understand the steps in the design process.
- ED.D.D5.6 Build a prototype from plans and test it.
- ED.FS.4.2 Understand the use of technological resources to gain access to, manipulate, and...
- ED.FS.5.1 Apply appropriate problem-solving strategies and critical thinking skills to wor...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.5 Extend ideas presented in primary or secondary sources through original analysis...3
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.6 Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical direction...2
Objectives and Goals
- Students discover how end-of-arm tools are used in manufacturing
- Students learn the 3 general classifications of EOATs
- Students learn the industrial applications for each type of EOAT
- Students develop their engineering design skills
- Students solve a technical problem in small teams
- Students safely use hand tools to create a working robot arm
- Students experience interfacing their design ideas with other student teams
Notice to Teaches
I am using VEX Robotics parts for this lesson. VEX is a popular brand of robot kit used in high school robotics competitions throughout the United States. I have also successfully done this lesson using Lego parts.
The end of lesson assembly line was constructed using 10 VEX "Protobot" kits and several metal spare parts and gears that we had in our parts bin. I can only imagine how incredible this assignment would be if our school had a larger selection of VEX parts.
Activities in this Lesson
- Introductory Activity - Hooks / Set
Students see a VEX Robotics robot claw, a bucket filled with golf balls, and an empty bowl set out on the demonstration table in the front of the classroom. The teacher is operating the robot claw and picking golf balls out of the bucket and dropping them into the bowl. Students watch this "Pick-and-Place" robot operation for several cycles of golf balls. See attached picture.
After several minutes watching the robot move golf balls, the instructor plays the attached 46 second U-Tube video of an industrial robot doing the same operation on an assembly line.
After the video I allow several students to take a turn operating the claw on my demonstration robot. This generates questions that are discussed before we start the actual lesson.
- Introduction to End-of-Arm Tools - Lecture
Teacher presents a short lecture assisted by a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (attached) which introduces students to the types of end-of-arm tools used in manufacturing including terms and vocabulary associated with the lesson.
Before beginning the lecture I hand out a lecture organizer to each student. The students fill in the answers to the 10 questions on the lecture organizer while listening and participating in the lesson (attached). I collect the organizer at the end of the lecture and it becomes part of the assessment for this lesson.
- Students design their own robot - Projects
Students working in teams of 3 design and build their own pick-and-place robot using VEX Robotics parts, gears, and motors. They incorporate what they learned from the end-of-arm tools lesson into their design. Their robot must use an EOAT of their own design to pick up a golf ball move it across a 2 foot section of a "Robot Assembly Line".
Each student team is responsible for creating a 2 foot section of the "assembly line" and each team must also interface with the robots that proceed and follow them. The first robot on the line must pick a golf ball out of a bucket and hand it to the second robot in the line. The second robot hands off to the third robot and so on until the assembly line winds around a circle and the last robot places the golf ball back into the bucket. Each student team is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining their own 2 foot section of the robot assembly line.
See attached written instructions and pictures of this activity being performed by the students in my classroom (PowerPoint picture presentation).
- Pick and Place Robots Activity.ppt [ Download ] Directions and pictures of the student project in action.
- Assessment Types:
Student teams complete the design, building, and testing of their robot arms. The student teams then combine their team robots into a working robot assembly line where each robot team must interface with their neighboring teams. The finished product for this project is the culminating activity where 10 or 12 teams operate together to pass golfballs down a complete assembly line. If we do this correctly, we can have several golf balls passing between robots at the same time as they work their way around the robot assembly line.
I assess this as an "Activity" in my gradebook. Students receive full credit for the activity if they design, build, and complete their robot on the due date, and the robot functions properly. The teamwork necessary to pull this activity off is substantial. The students must not only design and build their part of the activity, they must also work with the teams on both sides of them to perfect and practice the handoff of the golfball. The design of the handoff is the most difficult part of this activity. Students do not want to be seen as the weak link in the assembly line. The robot assembly line is run in a very public part of our campus. Students work very hard to make this entire robot line work and work well. I give them full credit for the assignment it that accomplish that goal.
I also collect and grade the 10 question lecture organizer that the students completed while listening to the lecture.