UBC Undergraduate Research

Manipulator arm control system for characterizing large-area photosensors Kugel, Harish


This project is a continuation of a previous ENPH 479 project, completed by Aaron Zimmer and Nils Smit. The original project, for Dr. Hirohisa Tanaka of TRIUMF, sought to characterize the optical properties of a new acrylic shielding used on PMTs employed by the Super-K neutrino observatory. To perform this characterization, a PMT Testing Rig was constructed at TRIUMF. This Testing Rig consists of two robotic manipulator arms, a water tank and a set of Helmholtz coils. It was the task of the previous project team to write control software for the manipulator arms. While they were successful in completing basic control and collision detection, much remained to be finished. Therefore, in order to move the project closer to its objective, this report details improvements to both the Testing Rig and its control software. The improvements proposed for the Testing Rig were moving it to its final location, wiring the limit switches on the rotational axes of the manipulator arms, reducing vibrations by fixing a free-swinging counterweight and cleaning up the wiring. The improvements proposed for the control software were the addition of scan routines to perform Magnetic Field Surveys. Furthermore, additional improvements were requested during the project. These include: constructing cable brackets, wiring all four controllers, wiring the remaining limit switches for X, Y and Z axes, running cables through cable trays and rewriting the initialization routine in feMove. All of the above improvements were successfully completed except for the fixing of the free swinging counter-weight. The methods, equipment used and results for these improvements can be found in the body of the following report. It is the overall recommendation of this report, that work continue as planned.

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