I recently attended a workshop on Industrial Robotics.

One of the last things we did was to write a program to control a large robotic arm (with six degrees of freedom) to weld a design onto a 150x100mm piece of metal. Once we’d done that we watched it trace the path on a computer simulator. Then we would use a smaller arm with a red LED on the end to make sure that the welder wouldn’t go out of bounds.

Then it went to the 2m tall robot with a welding attachment.

Final product:

P1040797 (800x600)Welding size comparison

It’s a lambda and crowbar from HL2.

It’s actually fairly heavy, I’d estimate 1-2 kg.

It was great fun and the teacher even asked me to write two functions for next year’s workshop to use! They were functions to weld a full circle (rather than two arcs) and an equilateral triangle.

Interestingly, the ID of this post is 404, but it’s (hopefully) not a 404 page.