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Design Assesment Board Report

National University of Sciences And Technology

Pakistan Navy Engineering College

Project Title

Design and implementation of a Robotic manipulator

for Remotely Operated Vehicle

Project Members

Wasiq Saleem


Fazeel Ayaz


Project Advisor

CDR Dr. Attaullah Memon



This is to certify that the Design Assessment board entitled, Design and
implementation of a Robotic manipulator for Remotely Operated Vehicle
submitted by Wasiq Saleem and Fazeel Ayaz in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the award of Final Year Project of Bachelor of Engineering
Degree in Electronics Engineering at Pakistan Navy Engineering College
(PNEC), National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) is an
authentic work carried out by them under my supervision and guidance.
To the best of our knowledge, the matter embodied in this Report has not been
submitted to any other University/Institute for the award of any Degree or Diploma.

CDR. DR. Attaullah Memon

Assistant Professor
Department of Electronics & Power engineering
Pakistan Navy Engineering College
Dated: 26th Mar 2015

Table of Contents





Method of Fabrication
Controlling Mechanism





A robot is a system combining many subsystems that interact among themselves as well as
with the environment in which the robot works. In robotics, end effectors/gripper is a device
at the end of a robotic arm, designed to interact with the environment. Gripper is an end
effectors or tool to grasp any physical. To achieve this function we intend to integrate a
simple linkage actuation mechanism. The gripper to be used in our robotic manipulator
performs basic function of picking, holding and grasping of objects by means of a DC motor.
The design and flexibility of a human hand is the main tool in designing our robotic
manipulator. It can be function near to humans ability of grasping and manipulation if
coupled with wrist and elbow.
Robots are normally used in conjunction with auxiliary devices such as machines and
fixtures but in our case it is ROV. Due to technological advancement robot has become an
integral device, hence it has can be used where presence of human is not feasible. The gripper
can perform the basic function of picking, holding, rotating and grasping of objects by means
of a DC motor.


Oceans are an attractive environment because of abundant mineral resources, energy, space,
and so on, and recently lots of research is being carried out in this field. However, the
extreme conditions such as high water pressure, invisibility and non-oxygen become great
barriers for human to access directly. Underwater robotic manipulator are designed and
fabricated in a way in perform efficiently like human arm, hence replacing their need. In
order to realize underwater robotics, the intelligence and accuracy of robots are crucial
factors to be researched and ROVs are the new tools for major underwater exploration
operations. The need for ROVs to perform more and more complex task and to propagate in
areas where humans cant is an inspiration in terms of research and work done in this field.
Therefore, manipulators which are mounted on ROVs are expected to play a crucial role for
complex tasks
A robotic manipulator is a mechanical structure functioning like a human arm. It is
programmed to function in a matter in which we want it to. During designing of this
arm, links are connected via joints allowing either a linear motion or a rotational
motion in various planes. In industrial robots sensor are used for feedback which
indicates the controller about the hardness by which the gripping is done by arm or
directs the arm in directions in which it should move to perform the task or even tells
the system about presence of object in front of it.

Various aspects needs to be considered while designing a robotic arm that are
torque calculation for motor used, amount of weight it can carry, interfacing to
remote controller, ways for interfacing it with ADC (analog-to-digital
converter).We have designed this robotic arm using servos, ATmega32
microcontroller with interfacing analog joystick controller.


The mechanical design of a robotic arm is based on a robotic manipulator with
similar function like a human arm. In order to establish a generalized operating
systems and the technological systems for the analysis, design, integration and
implementation of a humanoid robotic arm.

It is the mentor of the robotic arm we intend to fabricate, as it will enable us to do
all the required underwater tasks.

Features of aluminum gripper

Sleeves in the joints improve rigidity and eliminate the need for adjustment.
A specific gear ratio increases gripping torque while utilizing the full travel of
the servo.
A spring loaded clutch protects the servo gear train while providing spring
tension for gripping objects.

3D CAD Model of our Robotic Manipulator


The material we are using for this part is made of Aluminum, which is light and
cheap. To support the structure and to maintain it balance during movement rods
are inserted between the arm in horizontal direction. About 90% of the whole
space, which this elbow takes, is empty which makes the weight of the robotic
arm quite low. When ROV is working in the water the structure of the robotic arm
can vibrate a little because of the pressure inside water to overcome this problem
the Aluminum parts are thin so they can stretch a bit making them elastic.
The Elbow joint was of primary importance in the design of our robotic arm. Due to
the weight of the arm and its overall length, the imposing moment on this joint is

This part should be made to attach the Arm firmly with ROV. The position of the
elbow will not change during movement of the Arm and because it has to sustain
all the load of the rest of the Arm the Gear Ration is kept high. The dimensions
are kept small in order to make space for the rest of the electronics that are to be
attached with the ROV.
This part of the robotic arm has to bear the entire load that is on rest of the arm.
The material to be used for this is also aluminum.

Why chose Aluminum?

Pure aluminum is a silvery-white metal with many desirable characteristics. It is

light, non toxic (as the metal), non magnetic and non sparking. It is decorative.
It is easily formed, machined, and cast. Alloys with small amounts of copper,
magnesium, silicon, manganese, and other elements have very useful
properties. Strength depends on purity. 99.996 per cent pure aluminum has a
tensile strength of about49 mega Pascal (MPa), rising to 700 MPa following
alloying and suitable heat treatment. Although not found free in nature,
Aluminum an abundant element in the earths crust. A key property is low
density. Aluminum is only one-third the weight of steel. Aluminum and most of
its alloys are highly resistant to most forms of corrosion. The metals natural
coating of aluminum oxide provides a highly effective barrier to the ravages of
air, temperature, moisture and chemical attack. Aluminum is a superb
conductor of electricity. This property allied with other intrinsic qualities has
ensured the replacement of copper by aluminum in many situations. Aluminum
is non-magnetic and non-combustible, properties invaluable in advanced
industries such as electronics or in offshore structures. Aluminum is non-toxic
and impervious, qualities that have established its use in the food and
packaging industries since the earliest times. Other valuable properties include
high reflectivity, heat barrier properties and heat conduction.
The metal is malleable and easily worked by the common manufacturing and
shaping processes.

Wire cutting process:

The Design process of our Robotic arm is completed. We finally have what we
wanted. The last thing that remains is the process of manufacturing the arm.There are
two things that are of great concern for us while manufacturing the Robotic arm , (i)
The process should be accurate , (ii) It should not take a very long time.

Advantages of Wire cutting process:

1) Efficient Production Capabilities - Because of the precision and high-speed of


2) Reliable Repeatability - The constant reliability of wire EDM is one of the

greater advantages of this process. Because the programs
are computer generated and the electrode is constantly being fed from a spool
(the wire electrode is used only once), the last part is identical to the first part.
The cutter wear found in conventional machining does not exist. In addition,
tighter machining tolerances can be maintained without additional cost.
3) Reduced Costs - The high-speed cutting Wire EDM machines of today have
dramatically reduced costs for many manufactured parts. Conventional
machining often leaves sharp edges and burrs, but a radius can be made with
Wire EDM without any additional cost. This eliminates a filing or sanding
4) Unlimited Possibilities - Many parts can be economically produced with wire
EDM, such as: precision gages and templates, keyways, shaft and collet slots,
splitting tubes, gears, internal splines, hexes, cams, extrusion molds, punches
and dies from one piece of tool steel, short run stampings from stacked
material, and many other exotic shapes.
5) Exotic Materials - Wire EDM can cut any electrically conductive material hard
or soft. In fact, the EDM manufactures use hardened D2 to rate the cutting
speed of their machines. Hardened D2 cuts faster than cold roll steel. What can
become a nightmare with conventional machining, does not faze wire EDM at

How does Wire EDM work?

1) EDM stands for "Electrical Discharge Machine".
2) An electrical charge is applied to an electrode, a brass wire,
copper, sterling, or graphite.
3) The electrode then makes a electrical connection with the steel.
4) A spark jumps from the electrode to the work piece and disintegrates the
steel with a controlled electrical charge.
5) This process happens thousands of times per second. The mirror image of
the electrode is formed in the work piece.

The various stages we went through while designing is frequently depicted in these
sequence of events.

Laser Cutting
The laser cutting process uses a strong focused laser beam, produced by a laser diode.
The high energetic laser beam heats the surface of the material and melts.Laser cutting
offers a high precision, CNC controlled method of cutting plastic, metallic and thin
ceramic components. It is a mechanised, thermal, non-contact process capable of
cutting most materials with a high degree of precision and accuracy.

Advantages of Laser cutting:

Laser light can be well focused from 2" (50 mm) to .007" (.2 mm).
Variable cutting speeds.
laser cutting is used in the most diverse areas, specifically wherever high
accuracy for the component geometry and the cut edge is required.
Minimum material is melted and the laser energy is used very efficiently.
No material deformation due to contactless material processing
Clean cut edges without burr or dust formation.
Disadvantages of Laser cutting:
When using the laser-cutting process for plastic, the fumes that the plastic
produces when melted can be toxic. This means that the machine will need to
be placed in a well-ventilated environment, which can take a lot of time
and money to create.
Rate of production is not consistent when laser cutting is used. It highly
depends on thickness of the workpiece, type of material, and type of laser used.
Carelessness in adjusting laser distance and temperature may lead to burning of
some materials. Certain metals tend to discolor if the intensity of the laser
beam is not as per requirement

3D printing
3D printing (or additive manufacturing, AM) is any of various processes used to make
a three-dimensional object. In 3D printing, additive processes are used, in which
successive layers of material are laid down under computer control. These objects can
be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or other
electronic data source. A 3D printer is a type of industrial robot.

Additive manufacturing gives great freedom in design.
Metal 3D printing can produce highly customized parts with added improved
functionalities that are not possible through traditional processes.
Different types of alloys suits perfectly the needs of lightweight applications.
Mixing different raw materials as titanium, aluminium, stainless steel or nickel
based alloys and constantly discovering new alloys with various strength and
temperature resistance is close to impossible trough conventional
manufacturing methods.
Doesnt require any additional tooling.

Controlling Mechanism
During early discussions we thought to use BLDC motors to provide controlling
for the robotic arm. BLDC motors have high torque and normal BLDC motors
can lift up to 10 kg of load from the ground. But the idea of using BLDC motors
was punctured because they require very high current and since our arm would be
working in the water about 10s of amperes of current could damage the whole
system if some fault occurs. Other problem with BLDC motor was its complex
controlling mechanism. We needed Hall sensors to detect the position of the poles
inside the BLDC motors to keep the motor rotating as we desire. Further
problems that forced us to use servo motor was that we couldnt find our required
BLDC motor on internet and in different markets in Karachi. Using Servo motors
comforted us in many ways.
Advantages for us for using servo motors:
It was easy to find the best one which suited our project.
The controlling mechanism was simple.
Servomotors that are used in boats are water proof (Water proof servo motor
was a bonus for us).
We easily decided what number of servo motors do we need
Servo motors required less current than first chosen BLDC motors.
We had a good past experience on working with servo motors (we had done
many mini projects before in which we used servo motors).
Servomotors dont cost much.
No additional motor controlling drivers were required .We only needed a micro
controller and a power supply.
Servos are best for robotics.
At the start of our project we decided to make a 3D robotic arm but due to the
flexibility in controlling which servomotors provided we shifted to a higher level, we
decided to make a 4D robotic manipulator.
When we are working with servomotor the speed of rotation becomes a main
problem. As the load increases the speed of the servomotor slows down. In order
to maintain the speed we had to decrease the load by decreasing the weight of
the arm. That was also a reason why we decided to use Aluminum instead of
other metal.
Our decision was to use Vigor VSD-11YMB HV servo motor which has
maximum torque of 40

After when we had selected which servo motor are we using we searched more and
more on servo motors because we wanted to make our robotic arm suitable for our
ROV. Before going into further detail I would like to explain first about servo

Servo motors:
Servo refers to an error sensing feedback control, which is used to correct the performance of a system.
Servo or RC Servo Motors are DC motors equipped with a servo mechanism for precise control of
angular position. The RC servomotors usually have a rotation limit from 90 to 180. But servos do not
rotate continually. Their rotation is restricted in between the fixed angles. The Servos are used for
precision positioning. They are used in robotic arms and legs, sensors canners and in RC toys like RC
helicopter, airplanes and cars.
The Servomotors come with three wires or leads. Two of these wires are to provide ground and positive
supply to the servo DC motor. The third wire is for the control signal. These wires of a servomotor are
color coded. The red wire is the DC supply lead and must be connected to a DC voltage supply in the
range of 4.8V to 6V.The black wire is to provide ground. The color for the third wire (to provide control
signal) varies for different manufacturers. It can be yellow (in case of Hitec), white
(in case of Futaba), brown etc. Unlike DC motors, reversing the ground and positive supply connections
does not change the direction (of rotation) of a servo. This may, in fact, damage the servomotor. That is
why it is important to properly account for the order of wires in a servomotor.

Servo Control program

- Moves a Servomotor through a range of positions in response
to the position of a Potentiometer attached to an Analog input.

#include <Servo.h> // Comes with Arduino IDE

/*-----( Declare Constants and Pin Numbers )-----*/

#define ServoPINone

#define ServoPINtwo

#define ServoPINthree

#define ServoPINfour

#define PotPinone


// Analog input 0 (zero)

#define PotPintwo


// Analog input 1 (one)

#define PotPinthree


// Analog input 2 (two)

#define PotPinfour


// Analog input 3 (three)

#define ServoMIN 88 // Don't go to very end of servo travel

#define ServoMAX 98 // which may not be all the way from 0 to 180.

Servo myservo_one; // create servo object to control a servo

Servo myservo_two;
Servo myservo_three;
Servo myservo_four

int PotValueone; // User moves the pot.

int PotValuetwo;
int PotValuethree;
int PotValuefour;

int Positionone; // variable to store the servo position

int Positiontwo;
int Positionthree;
int Positionfour;

void setup()
myservo_one.attach(ServoPINone); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
void loop()
{ //for servo one
PotValueone = analogRead(PotPinone);
moves pot

// Get the value as user

Positionone = map(PotValueone, 0, 1023, ServoMIN , ServoMAX); // scale it to use it

with the servo (value between MIN and MAX)

// tell servo to go to position

// for servo two

PotValuetwo = analogRead(PotPintwo);
Positiontwo = map(PotValuetwo, 0, 1023, ServoMIN , ServoMAX);
//for servo three
PotValuethree = analogRead(PotPinthree);
Positionthree = map(PotValuethree, 0, 1023, ServoMIN , ServoMAX);
// for servo four
PotValuefour = analogRead(PotPinfour);
Positionfour = map(PotValuefour, 0, 1023, ServoMIN , ServoMAX);

// wait for the servo to reach the position

Circuit Diagram

Using Joystick in place of potentiometer

How does it work?

To provide a controller to our servo controlling mechanism we need something that
varies with its resistance (because using simple potentiometers for this purpose is not
a grand idea).Now, Lets imagine a volume control or other knob. These controls are
generally made from potentiometers, which are variable resistors. By connecting the
potentiometer as a voltage divider, we can get a varying voltage out of the device,
which can be fed to an Arduino microprocessor. This allows the servos to rotate the
way we want.
The joystick which we intend to use now contains two potentiometers. These
potentiometers connected with a gymbal mechanism that separates the "horizontal"
and "vertical" movements. (If the joystick is flat on a table, these movements are more
"front / back" and "left / right", but you get the idea.) The potentiometers are the two
blue boxes on the sides of the joystick. If moved the joystick while watching the
center shaft of each potentiometer, it can be seen that each of the potentiometers pick
up movement in only one direction. Clever, isn't it!
Gimbal Mechanism:
The problems that we extensively confronted with the designing of this project were,
that we as students of Electronics Engineering were not familiar with all the stuff
related to mechanics. We only knew basics mechanical physics which we studied in
high school. This all meant that we had to do a lot of research work in order to
develope a perfect design that would suit the ROV.
Both of us never heard these words gimbal mechanism. This is one of those things
that we came over for the first time.
A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis.
A set of three gimbals, one mounted on the other with orthogonal pivot axes, may be

used to allow an object mounted on the innermost gimbal to remain independent of

the rotation of its support (e.g. vertical in the first animation). For example, on a ship,
the gyroscopes, shipboard compasses, stoves, and even drink holders typically use
gimbals to keep them upright with respect to the horizon despite the ship's pitching
and rolling

Gimbal mechanism allows us to control two servos with a single joystick. It also
allowed us to limit the number of joystick to only 2 joysticks for four servos. If this
was not the case and we had to go with four joysticks in one controller board then we
had to design a large controller which would then look very ugly.
This joystick also contains a switch which activates pushed down on the cap. The
switch is the small black box on the rear of the joystick. If pushed down on the cap,we
can see a lever pushing down on the head of the switch. The lever works no matter
what position the joystick is in. Cool!

Transmission meduim:
There are two types of transmission meduim (i) wired and (ii) wireless. The
second group under Mr. Noman Ashraf which is designing ROV has stick
towards a wired medium for transferring data.They have planned to bind all
the power and the signal wires togather and attach it with ROV as a single
cable.So, as they have demanded we cant go for a wireless channel because
other wise we would have ROV that will be controlled by a wired mechanism
and a Robotic arm attached that will be controlled via wireless channel.There
are other reasons for why a wire medium is better for this project.

Wireless medium for this project is not suitable in all situations
shown below:
1) Very expensive

2) Will require more power.

3) Water is good absorber for radio wave under water.
4) Not good for long distance experiments.
5) The wireless network would be slower.

To cope with the above situation we require under water wired

Ethernet Cable(Cat-5):
Category 5 cable (cat 5) is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type
of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet.
The cable standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable
for10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet).
Cat 5 is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video.This cable is
commonly connected using punch-down blocks and modular connectors. Most
category 5 cables are unshielded, relying on the balanced line twisted pair design
and differential signalling for noise rejection.
Category 5 has been superseded by the category 5e (enhanced)
specification and category 6 cable.

Cable standard
The specification for category 5 cable was defined in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A.
Each of the four pairs in a cat 5 cable has differing precise number of twists per metre
to minimize crosstalk between the pairs. Although cable assemblies containing 4
pairs are common, category 5 is not limited to 4 pairs. Backbone applications involve
using up to 100 pairs. This use of balanced lines helps preserve a high signal-to-noise
ratio despite interference from both external sources and crosstalk from other pairs.
The cable is available in both stranded and solid conductor forms. The stranded form
is more flexible and withstands more bending without breaking. Permanent wiring
(for example, the wiring inside the wall that connects a wall socket to a central patch
panel) is solid-core, while patch cables (for example, the movable cable that plugs into
the wall socket on one end and a computer on the other) are stranded.
The specific category of cable in use can be identified by the printing on the side of
the cable.

Most Category 5 cables can be bent at any radius exceeding approximately four times the
outside diameter of the cable. The maximum length for a cable segment is 100 m which is
enough for this project .

This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such
as Ethernet over twisted pair. Cat 5 is also used to carry other signals such
as telephony and video.

Power Supply:
About 48V(DC) and 40A(max) will be available for us from the main power supply
board.The reason for these limitations are that since we are working under water we
cant allow very high currents and voltages under water.There are two problems now,
(i) 48V is much greater than our operating voltage that is 5-7 V ,so we have to step
down the voltage using DC-DC converters.(ii)40A is for whole ROV so the current is
also limited.

First we will look at how much current is available to us


Current required (max)

Operating voltage


10A x 4



2A x 2



0.5 x 2


Servo motors



Arduino microcontroller

0.5A x 2


Figure below shoes wave form of a step down converter.

The output voltage and current of a DC-DC converter is the average of the above
waveforms. As t1 gets smaller average value decreases and so the output voltage.

Value of the Load Current and voltage at output

The value of k(duty cycle) is between 0-1.If k decrease the output voltage will also
decrease. But the current will increase by amount 1/k , this is because the power at
input is equal to the power at output.

By decreasing the voltage at the output the current rating of the supply can be
increased by the same ratio. For example if the whole robotic arm requires 20A and
5V then this would be equal to 48V and 2A.We can increase the current at the output
by decreasing the voltage using buck converters.

48V to 24V Step Down Regulator

Takes 48V input and outputs 24V.The maximum output current is 10A.It water proof
and has high conversion efficiency. Working temperature is between -40 C ~ +85 C.

Stable performance, waterproof, Damp-proof & anti-shock protection

With output short circuit protection, Overheat protection

Input voltage: DC 48V

Output voltage: 24V

Output power: 240W

Rated output current: 10A
Conversion efficiency: up to 95%
Applications: Bus, CMB, large trucks, motor car, solar power, bus display, taxi
advertising screen, car audio, LCD TV, LED, intercom and monitoring system.

Buck DC Voltage Converter 24V to 5V

Input voltage: DC 24V
Output voltage: DC 5V
Output Current: 10A MAX
Enough power, stable performance
Efficiency: more than 96%
Used in Motors, audio, gps navigation, surveillance, LED car display, air
conditioning, electric fans, solar energy, photovoltaic energy, DVD, LED
lights, motors, pumps, electrical appliances and industrial equipment .



Seafloor mapping
Rapid response to oceanographic and
Geothermal events
Geological sampling

! Long term monitoring (e.g., hydrocarbon Spills, radiation
leakage, pollution)
! Environmental remediation
! Inspection of underwater structures, including pipelines,
dams, etc.
! Shallow water mine search and disposal
! Submarine off-board sensors
Ocean mining
! Ocean survey and resource assessment and oil industry
! Construction and maintenance of undersea structures
Other applications
Ship hull inspection and ship tank internal inspection
Nuclear power plant inspection
Underwater communication & power cables installation
and inspection
! Entertainment-underwater tours
! Fisheries-underwater ranger


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