In the seminar the students will be introduced on how to develop hardware projects covering the whole process including research, prototyping and documentation.


Open source movement has unleashed human creativity, having a big impact in production, prototyping and innovation. It has enabled anyone to make IoT devices, drones, robotics and also customization to fit specific contexts.


We will see how the advances made in the last years in the open source hardware and software ecosystem have allowed a fast growth of costly and complex systems with a lower budget and more friendly learning curves. Also we will walk through the main differences between open source hardware and industrial proprietary software.


In this seminar the students will be introduced on how to develop hardware projects covering the whole process including research, prototyping and documentation. 


We will focus on actuators like different types of motors, solenoid valves, pneumatics, relays, electromagnets  and how to control them from a microcontroller.




Learning Objectives 

The objective of the seminar is to give an overview of the state of the art in robotic actuation, discuss the practical implementation of such actuators, and brainstorm how these actuators  and the robotic arms could bring new levels of versatility, agility and efficiency to the production and construction processes.


At course completion the student will learn:

  • How to use microcontrollers and embedded systems
  • How to control different actuators like motors, relays, electrovalves, etc..
  • Communication between ABB arm robot and custom end effector


Faculty Assistants

Projects from this course


The objective of this project is to expand the capabilities of specific robotic processes in additive manufacturing, known as impact printing, Impact Printing, a novel additive manufacturing  Robotic technique that consolidates pliable soft particles through a robotic shooting process. The cohesion among these soft particles arises from the conversion of kinetic energy, acquired during acceleration, … Read more

Stapler of Art

A Stapler Gun End Effector Description The project aims to deal with art in new different techniques that keeps up with the technology by getting the best of the robotic arm in a way to create staple art pieces that can achieve new ways of art depending on the robots. The main idea evolved around … Read more

Virtuoso Robotico

A robot that plays the synthesizer Project description This project aims to create an end-effector for the ABB140 that can push down the keys of a piano, and play a variation of different intervals. For this purpose, we had to integrate three servo motors that were programmed using a python script which runs raspberry pi … Read more

A Canadian tried to make a pizza…

Robotics in food manufacture Exercise Create a moving end effector to be installed on the ABB arm robot using the actuators and electronic components reviewed in class. Inspiration Inspiration for this device stemmed from the integration of robots in the food industry. Additional inspiration was drawn from the Latching End Effector (LEE) on the Canadarm. … Read more