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Mechatronics educational institution chooses Apex Dynamics gearbox for delta robot

How do you teach students to control and build an x,z robot with an assembly line? The Hague University of Applied Sciences has a practical in the first and second year that focuses on the delta robot. The first year they learn to drive, the second year they start building. Apex Dynamics is proud that we were able to supply the gearboxes that provide the drive together with the Siemens motors. In this article we tell you more about the assignment, delta robots and our gearbox.

The Hague University of Applied Sciences invites everyone to change and improve the world together, by developing students, teachers and partners into global citizens. These global citizens think without boundaries, stand firmly on their feet and approach the world with their own convictions. The school emphasizes the importance of collaboration, creativity and skilled effort in developing solutions. It offers a safe and committed environment for development and innovation, supported by values such as curiosity, care and connection. This is reflected in their diverse student population, current curricula, research themes and international collaborations.

Delta robots in Mechatronics training

In the Mechatronics course, students receive a practical in their first year in which they learn to control an x, z robot with a conveyor belt. This robot, also called Single-belt or H-bridge robot, is a 2-axis gantry robot consisting of a double guide in the horizontal X-plane and a vertical Z-axis. The strap is fixed and tensioned at the load end. The whole is driven by a rotating belt, which remains connected by various deflection points. The movement is realized by two motors. The coordinate is diagonal to the deflection points of the X-axis and Z-axis. This system allows you to move small masses and therefore achieve higher accelerations.

In their second year, the students use the same equipment to build a delta robot. The PLC must then be programmed in such a way that the delta robot can pick up tangram pieces and place them in a square box.

What is a delta robot

A delta robot is a 3-axis, parallel robot in which the three motors are attached to the frame of the robot. The motors have light arms that come together in the end-effector. This ensures a light construction that allows rapid movements. The special thing about the delta robot is that the end-effector always remains horizontal. You often see that the end-effector can still rotate around a vertical axis so that products can be rotated and put away after picking up.

The first delta robot was invented in the early 1980s by Professor Raymond Clavel and his team at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland) and was intended to pick up chocolates from a conveyor belt with a suction cup and place them in a blister pack. A fun fact: Despite the fact that it is a Swiss invention and that a Swedish company launched this robot, the largest players in this global market are Dutch machine builders.

Gearbox delta robot

Apex Dynamics, together with partner Siemens Netherlands, has supplied 36 drives, so that 12 Delta robots can be built and tested. We supplied our gearbox from the PD series, a compact gearbox with an output “robot” flange that ensures a stable and rock-solid drive. Its lightweight construction and low inertia make this the ideal gearbox for these applications.

Mr Ernst Kouwe and Frank Goedhart are the driving forces behind this initiative. During a tour through the practical rooms, it is noticeable that many students are enthusiastically building and programming in the mechatronics practical room.

We are happy that we were able to make a small contribution to a training course that is so important for Dutch mechanical engineering. Would you like to know more about this project or our products?
Please contact Apex Dynamics.