Executive Summary  

Executive Summary


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Autonomous mobile robots represent a promising future for the improvement of supply chains. The development, production and use of pick-and-place robots specifically, provide advantageous benefits in the world of manufacturing, assembly and distribution. Our smart robot can navigate a warehouse independently, as well as pick and place a chosen list of products in a room filled with merchandise. It can do that using sensors, navigation, manipulators and several other components that you will see within this report which will work together to fulfill the pick-and-place task mentioned.

Through our research, we performed a comprehensive review and were able to study the topic of pick-and-place robots in depth using public thesis, online articles, and selected websites. Also, looking at it from our competitors’ prospects helped us make decisions on the different alternatives to the elements of our robot and our overall plan in general. The overall estimated budget is around 9000AED and the timespan needed to complete this project is around 7 months.

Furthermore, our target companies include factories, medical suppliers, e-commerce industries, and retail shops as well. Even though our robot could prove to be useful during a pandemic of this size, further enhancements can allow our robot to adapt to clients’ future demands.













Table of Contents

  1. Introduction 4
  2. Project Overview 5

2.1 Literature Review                                                                                                                                                            5

2.1.1 Amazon’s Kiva Robot                                                                                                                                               5

2.1.2 Automated library system using SMS based pick and place robot                                                                8

2.1.3 KUKA Robots                                                                                                                                                            12

2.2 Needs of the System to be designed in this Project                                                                                       14

  1. Project Statement 14

3.1 Problem Statement                                                                                                                                                      14

3.2 Project Goals                                                                                                                                                                   14

3.3 Objectives                                                                                                                                                                         15

  1. Design Constraints 15
  2. Design Solution 15

5.1 System Design                                                                                                                                                                 16

5.2 Theory and Design                                                                                                                                                         17

5.1.2 Inverse Kinematics                                                                                                                                                    17

5.1.4 Theory                                                                                                                                                                        20

5.2.4 Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)                                                                                                              25

5.2.5 Barcodes                                                                                                                                                                     26

5.3 Design Selection Chart                                                                                                                                                28

6 Team members and Tasks                                                                                                          33

6.1 Team members and Skills                                                                                                                                          33

6.2 Task Distribution                                                                                                                                                            34

  1. Project Plan 35

7.1 Deliverables                                                                                                                                                                     35

7.2 Budget                                                                                                                                                                                35

7.3 Gantt Chart                                                                                                                                                                       36

  1. Conclusion 38
  2. References 39
  3. Appendix 42






1. Introduction


The unmanned robot is becoming a topic of great interest and discussions due to its efficiency and ability to produce a substantial outcome when performing a task that it is programmed to do. Unmanned robots can perform infinitely different tasks such as collecting trash, sorting products like medicine, and replacing damaged parts in a system. These robots are now being used in different companies to increase productivity. Major companies include Amazon, Zara and Bonobos, who use these robots for handling orders and shipping as well. These robots are expected to increase warehouse productivity by 800% [1].   In addition, these robots will help optimize the supply chain, elevate customers experiences, and assist humans working alongside them.  After realizing the needs and benefits of developing such a project, we decided to work within this field. In our project, our autonomous robot will be able to identify the location of an object or product. then proceed to collect that product using a robot manipulator. Finally, it will place the product in a designated container. Research is an essential tool in understanding the process of robot development and will be used for the purpose of concluding the course with a successful project.









2. Project Overview


2.1 Literature Review


We live in an era where it is necessary to make work easier while improving productivity rates. Pick-and-place robots are designed and automated to pick items from one place to the required position with less monitoring. The invention of pick and place robots serve to minimize human power in various fields while improving productivity and efficiency. This literature review’s objectives are to review different thesis, designs, and solutions of existing robots. This literature review is done for the purpose of learning new approaches, expanding our thinking, increasing our knowledge on the robotics field, and avoiding the reinvention of the wheel. We will be demonstrating a couple of solutions or previous projects which are similar to our design.

2.1.1 Amazon’s Kiva Robot

The industry of E-commerce is constantly and rapidly growing. Online stores are responding to consumer’s different needs by improving automation and work capacity, especially within a warehouse. One interesting research article we came across, discussed the Kiva Robot used by Amazon and optimized to act as a pick-and-place robot [2]. The Kiva robot seen in figure1, is a small rectangular orange robot measured to be 76 cm long, 64 cm wide and 41 cm high. Even with those dimensions, it can lift a 340kg heavy shelf off the ground through a screw device.









 Figure 1: Amazon’s Kiva Robot [3]


The way the robot works, is that first, Kiva receives an order signal which sends it to go pick up a mobile rack with the listed items. It will then insert a screw found on the top of the robot by turning it through an opening at the bottom of the shelf. It will pick that shelf up and move it to a pick-up area, then unscrew. This approach involves a high-speed communication system to ensure the availability of a stable wireless network. The Kiva robot uses Wi-fi for communication to and from a centralized computer but the rate of transmission was not mentioned. As for energy, the robot is powered by four lead-acid 12V 28Ah batteries and is smart enough that it can find its own charging station to power up. On average, 200 Kiva robots in one warehouse or operation center, can deliver somewhere between 10 thousand to 20 thousand orders in one day. Meaning, each single robot can deliver 50 to 100 items per day. These features provide results that show higher efficiency and reduction of timespan, two goals we have set to achieve with our own robot. Furthermore, the sensor systems they used in their robot to avoid collision are infrared sensors and collision-avoidance systems, to detect and avoid obstacles and humans. The sensing system can stop the robot before any collision occurs. When it comes to navigation, Kiva robots are equipped with two cameras. The first camera can read a bar code at the bottom of the rack, while the second one is placed on the bottom of the car to help it read barcodes placed on the floor. The second camera helps the robot identify the route it is taking to reach a designated rack. This is one great idea that would help us with the navigation of our robot. What helps with the movement of Kiva, are two independent DC motors. One motor is place on the front side, and the other motor is placed on the back side. These motors control 6 wheels on the Kiva robot. Finally, comes the control system which is crucial for all these mentioned processes to work. The control system guides the robot into selecting the path it must take. It also helps control the loading and unloading operations, and other functions such as connecting with other systems. Unfortunately, the robot’s algorithm has not been released to the public so we focused more on understanding the design aspect of the robot.

It is safe to say that all projects have room for improvement. In order to improve, you must first identify the weaknesses of the system. In Amazon’s Kiva robot, if many robots need charging at the same time, waiting in line could decrease the overall performance and efficiency of the system. Also, the robot is already familiar with the warehouse as all barcodes and routes are already planned. However, since Amazon is a large company, they might need to switch up their warehouses more frequently than they would like. The process of replacing these barcodes, changing their locations, and changing the routes, could prove to be very time-consuming and inefficient in the long run. One more disadvantage of this robot, is that the sensing system designed to avoid collision, can only stop the robot but it does not change its course to avoid collision. This last disadvantage is also one that exists in our robot as well. For future improvements, we can provide a solution for this by enhancing our robot’s functions without significantly altering the design.

2.1.2 Automated library system using SMS based pick and place robot


Recently, a pick and place robot was suggested in [4] for a Malaysian library to bring the ordered books from the bookshelves to the user who are sat on a table within the same library. In order to provide smooth transactions of borrowing and returning books, the library must be divided to two sections as shown in Figure2.


Figure 2: Suggested design of the library [4]


The first section is the where the robot, bookshelves and disk that will hold the requested books, are located. In this area, black lines are placed on the floor in order to help the robot to navigate and reach the target bookshelves.

In the design of the pick-and-place robot, the authors suggested RFID readers, optical reflex reader, and ultrasonic sensor to help localize the target bookshelf and the target book within the target bookshelf. As shown in Figure 3, the robot is equipped with optical reflex sensor which is placed at its bottom side in order to scan the black line in the ground. The robot also comprises one ultrasonic sensor to guide the robot to move within the black line in the floor. In addition, the RFID reader, placed at the top side of the robot, to localize the books within the bookshelf.

Figure 3: the placement of the optical reflex sensor [4]

Figure 4: the attached the RFID reader [4]


The system starts to operate after receiving a request via an SMS message. Thus, the robot comprises a GSM modem with an active SIM card number [4]. The embedded processor receives the command from GSM modem using RS232 protocol. Subsequently, the data will be processed through the control board. It will then give a signal to a motor drive board. This motor drive board consists of an LM298 motor control which is used to control the speed and direction of the DC motor. Then, the optical reflex reader will detect the section where the requested object is placed . Afterwards, a signal will be sent to the RFID readers to scan for different tags in the book in order to locate the specific place of  it by matching the serial number. After locating the target book, the robot will pick it and deliver it.

In order to design and build a suitable robot, several parameters were considered such as the pay load of the robot which ranged 250 g to 1000g, Additionally, how many books will the robot carry each request which was selected to be 1. Another thing to be looked at was the number of stages per bookshelves which was deiced to be 3 per bookshelf. Also, the difference in the height of the bookshelves which is 1.05m, and the height of the robot which is 1.1m. as well as the length of the manipulator arm which is 30cm. Also, the suitable mass that the robot needs to achieve equilibrium under usage was calculated to be 1.8kg.

Another important topic is the degree of freedom that the robot must have to perform the tasks. The degree of freedoms used were an effective vision based kinematic that calibrates three translation DOFs and one rotational DOF. For the three DOF, the vision system takes an image and find the position of a fixed reference cross mark [4]. When the robot moves, the relationship between the displacement of the robot and the position parameters of the cross mark in the vision system will be the most important factor to adjust. Therefore, to improve accuracy, a computer vision was utilized to provide adjustment to the signal. Furthermore, to achieve the mobility of the robot a 2-DC motor wheels was installed .

Figure 6: Pick-and-place robot [4]


However, to improve the project even further, the robot could use wireless communication to provide better instructions, monitoring and control. Also, by using wireless communication, the robot could operate in large libraries. Another suggestion is to use level detectors in the bookshelves to identify the level of the shelves more precisely, and provide feature extraction techniques to improve the accuracy of the system. Moreover, to improve the practicality of the robot even more, we could adjust the arm grip to withstand heavier weight for the collection of heavier items.




2.1.3 KUKA Robots


The KUKA articulated robot is an example of a pick-and-place robot that has been used in most assembly industries. KUKA is a 6-axis articulated robot arm that resembles the design of a human arm [5]. KUKA articulated arm has been positively embraced in the packaging industry, mostly in the conveyor belts.

 Figure 7: KUKA robot [6]

The KUKA robot shown in Figure5 can handle a maximum payload of 16 kg. Since the robot is articulated with six axes, it has a wide degree of freedom and has a reach of 1,610 cm. Additionally, the robot can identify more than 100 products moving in the conveyor belt per second. The robot operates by receiving commands with Programmable Controllers (PC) or Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) under Robot controller C4. After the robot has received the instruction, it uses the vision sensor to perceive its environment, pick products up, and position them correspondingly to the required destination. This task is accomplished using the KUKA_3D perception sensor. When the robot’s software is combined with the 3D perception sensor, it becomes easy for the robot to distinguish the smooth surfaces from the rough surfaces [7]. The robot’s grippers are fixed with force-feedback sensors, which aid the robot in determining the correct amount of force that should be applied to handle the object comfortably. Generally, the sensors equip the robot with a sense of touch. The gripper incorporates servo motors that grab the object from the conveyer belt and place it to the desired package or transfer it into another conveyer belt.

KUKA robots used in assembly and conveyor belts are equipped with KUKA Vision Tech. This software provides the robot with 2D object recognition. Moreover, for identification of the commodities, the software incorporates optical character recognition (OCR). The OCR technology employed enables the robot to perform code recognition and simplifies the ability to trace the products [3]. When it comes to placing the object in the required position, the robot has KUKA TRACC TCP software which has the predefined commands and necessary calibration. The software also determines the robot’s inaccuracies and offsets and therefore determines the Tool Centre Point (TCP). The software also collects every joint’s measurements and location in a particular axis about the robot’s position. It displays it on a smartPAD in plain text method and graphical format. Another critical feature that is incorporated in the robot is the KUKA Conveyor tech. This software organizes all the operations the robot makes and adapts the robot’s actions to the conveyor’s motion. That way, the robot can work on a fast-moving conveyor belt.

All innovative projects like the KUKA robots have some room for advancement. So that the niche can be identified, one should first identify the weaknesses in the robot. One of the disadvantages is that the robot perceives its surroundings in 2D. However, the incorporation of cameras at the grippers can improve the robot’s vision to a more precise 3D view of objects. The other disadvantage of the robot is that it uses predefined positions to place the objects that it picks. In case there is any change in the robot’s surroundings, recalculation and calibrations will have to be done for the robot to function efficiently.

2.2 Needs of the System to be designed in this Project


As was mentioned earlier, pick-and-place robots can be used to increase output production and relieve human labor. Some people fear that robots will take over their jobs, but overall the robots bring more advantages than disadvantages. For example, dangerous tasks that deal with heavy-lifting and sharp objects, can be delegated to robots to ensure the safety of humans. Our robot is designed to handle these tasks. Moreover, with the Covid-19 pandemic, major companies need a new contact-free method to deliver shipments to customers’ houses [8]. That is an area in which our robot can evolve into with new and future enhancements.

3. Project Statement


3.1 Problem Statement


With the continuous increase of worldwide population and the recent apparition of the COVID19 virus, online shipment is increasing exponentially. However, the number of human operators involved in the online shipment is not enough to timely respond to the huge demands. Thus, a sustainable and scalable solution is required


3.2 Project Goals


Robots can be customized to meet specific production requirements so they can be used for multiple applications. Therefore, the main objective of this project is to build a robot that will reduce human power in the work field and increase productivity time using the pick-and-place mechanism. Our academic objectives are to implement a robotic arm with four degrees of freedom (DOF) permitting, to be able to control the displacement and movement of the robotic arm using a motor for the robot to pick and place objects from shelves to the basket. It will also be used to control the robot’s directions.


3.3 Objectives


  • The robot must be able to select the shortest path to an object during navigation in order to achieve minimal power consumption.
  • The robot must move within the lines, meaning in between rows.
  • The power consumption of the robot is estimated to be around 22000kWh
  • The speed of the robot is approximately 4 products per minute but it will differ depending on how far the objects are from one another.

4. Design Constraints


In order to properly execute the project design, we must recognize where our limits lie. Handling the constraints is an important responsibility to ensure that we can complete this project within the set timeframe and within budget, while using the appropriate allocated resources. For our project specifically, the main constraints include:

  • The weight of the objects must not exceed 1kg so that it can be easily carried by the robotic arm or manipulator.
  • The warehouse to be used as the robot’s testing zone should have multiple shelves, preferably 3-4 rows, each with 2-3 stages at different heights.
  • The number of items within a stage is around 6-10 items.

5. Design Solution





5.1 System Design


After conducting a comprehensive literature review, a preliminary design of the system for autonomous shipment within the warehouse was initiated. The system comprises two main components: the warehouse which may consist of different non-electronic components (e.g. barcodes, RFID tags, and colored landmarks) and electronic elements as well. It also comprises the mobile robot with an embedded manipulator. The design of the warehouse tacking will be done in such a way it facilitates the design of the mobile robot and its navigation within the warehouse is done accurately, within a reasonable amount of time, and in a smooth way.













Figure 8: Top-view of the warehouse

The figure above shows a top-view of the warehouse in order to understand the setting better.

5.2 Theory and Design


After conducting a comprehensive literature review, a preliminary design of the system for autonomous shipment within the warehouse was initiated. In order to better understand how our manipulator will work and how we can make our robot navigate a room, we had to look at the theory and the design of the different elements involved.


5.1.2 Inverse Kinematics



In robotics, the theory of kinematics inverse is the mathematical process of putting the end of a kinematic chain by calculating the variable joint parameters. An example of the end of a kinematic chain would be a robot manipulator or an animated skeletal system in each position and direction comparative to the beginning of the chain. Inverse of kinematics is different than forward kinematics in that it can be given as the unchanged position for an end effector.

Equation (1)

This inverse function represents the position of the joints, so the parameter p represent it position and  represent the joint scalars [9]. This mathematical equation can be solved using one of two methods. The first method is to solve it analytically by finding the solution. The solutions of this equation are precise, but the larger the chains become, the more complex they get. [9] If a model has a finite number of solutions, this means that there are enough number of degrees of freedom. In contrast, if it has a lower number of degrees of freedom, this means that there is no solution. In the latter case, there will be no values for the solver to position the model [10]. In other words, if the input and output degrees of freedom are not the same, the inverse can either has infinite solutions or no solutions. For example, for the equation  if x˃ l there will be no solution.





The above equation is solved analytically for a two dimension. P denote a joint with degree of freedom, and L represents the length of the segment. Also,   represents the angular scalar.


The second method used to solve the equation above, is to iteratively calculate that equation by repeatedly using a simpler version of it. [9] With the computation of the Jacobian matrix, one can get good approximations. Also, it is like the analytical method, it has a function for each joint instead of their position.


The following equation shows that each column in the Jacobin matrix describes that the position varies with joints scalars. Therefore, the change of position over the change of joint scalars.

In general, the inverse of kinematics is complicated to solve. However, there is a strategy to solve. That strategy involves using a motion pattern. In the first pattern, the robot can move in a straight path (α(t) = 0), whereas the robot in the second motion can rotate in its place (α(t)=±π2) [11]. Where α represent the angle of motion.




5.1.3 Manipulator Robot

Figures shows the cases of robot manipulator having 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 degrees of freedoms (DOF) respectively which can be potentially used in our project.  All manipulators have different DOF we are going to discuss them and then we are going to choose only one that fulfill the requirements of the client in less time and less consumption of power.













Figure 9: 2 DOF[11]                                                                           Figure 10: 3 DOF [12]












                        Figure 11: 4 DOF [13]                                                                 Figure 12: 5 DOF [14]




Figure 13: 6 DOF [15]


Commonly all the robots have a flexible link described with the classical Bernoulli-Euler model, and the interactions with the dynamics of the rigid link are explicitly considered using the Lagrange equation. The control law consists of a proportional derivative (PD) block for the rigid links and an optimal state-feedback control block for the flexible one. The states are reconstructed using a Luenberger observer. With the inverse kinematic solution, it will be able to determine the angles between the links at each joint in order to place the arm at the desired position and orientation [12].

5.1.4 Theory



          Robot Manipulator with four degrees of freedom:


A four degrees of freedom (4 DOF) manipulator can have three rigid links and a terminal long flexible link with a known mass on its tip. To solve inverse kinematics, it is required to know the joint variables θ1, θ2, θ3 and θ4, for given positions dx, dy and dz [12]. This type of manipulator can be considered in our design as it can be used in a small area without more degree of freedom which is needed for more complicated work.




Robot Manipulator with five degrees of freedom:

Five degrees of freedom (5DOF) manipulator is similar to a human arm in that it has the same number of joints. It also has five directions of motion and a gripping movement. The joints points provide shoulder rotation, elbow motion, shoulder movement in a back-and-forth motion, wrist in an up-and-down motion, wrist rotation, and gripper motion [13]. This is a reason why this type of manipulator can be considered in our design. The desired target position of the gripper in Cartesian space is (x, y, z) where z is the height, and the angle of the gripper relative to ground, ψ users can move objects without changing the object’s orientation. The angles θ1, θ2, θ3, θ4 and θ5 correspond to shoulder rotation, upper arm, forearm, wrist, and End effectors.






















Robot Manipulator with six degrees of freedom:


Six degrees of freedom (6 DOF) manipulator is the freedom of movement of a rigid body in three-dimensional space and it is the minimum DOF needed to reach a volume of space from every angle. The longer the arm, the greater the volume that can be reached. If the manipulator has more than six joints, the robot would become kinematically redundant, meaning it can reach the same spot at the same angle in more than one way [14]. This is the reason why this type of manipulator was not considered in our design. Assume that the orientation and position of the end effector is known (for the desired position). Knowing the orientation and position of the end effector for the desired position, the transformation matrix for a given point is calculated and is expressed below.

Figure 15: Free body diagram of 6 DOF robotic arm [14]
















5.2.4 Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)


Navigation of the robot is mostly connected to the programming of Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) tags and barcodes. On the other hand, localization is the process in which the robot can determine its current position with respect to its environment [16]. On that note, RFID is known to be used for deliveries such as medication delivery used in hospitals [17]. On the other hand, localization can help a robot make future decisions like going to the next product instead of returning to its original starting position first.

These RFID tags are used to identify items through a tracking system that uses a smart barcode. It utilizes radio waves to transmit data from tags to the reader. The RFID tags operate through transmitting and receiving information using an antenna, a microchip, and sometimes an IC [18]. The tags contain electronically stored information that act as a label for the object [19]. Applications that utilize RFID tags include pet tracking, grocery tracking, and medication tracking as well. We will use these RFID tags to track and identify which row the object to be retrieved belongs to.

Figure 16: RFID system structure [20]


There are two types of RFID tags battery, operated and passive. The first type of battery-operated RFID tags or active RFID tags contain an onboard battery as a power supply. These active tags mainly use two frequencies, either 433MHZ or 915MHZ. The first, active RFID tags that uses 433MHZ frequency. there reading range start from 30cm (1feet) to over 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) [21]. The second active RFID tags that uses 915MHZ frequency read within range of 0.3 meter (1feet) to 9 meters (30feet) [22].

The active tag’s battery has a certain lifespan when it dies it must be replaced. The active RFID tags are divided into two types which are known as Beacons and transponders. The beacons send an information ping and the transponders require a reader within a range to transmit information. The second type of RFID tags are the passive RFID tags. These passive RFID tags are divided into two types, which are the inlays and the hard tags. Also, these passive RFID tags can be categorized to three types depending on the frequencies used to transmit information. The first low frequency which typically read the object within the distance of 10 cm [19]. The second is high frequency which usually obtain the read within 1meter [21]. The last is ultra-high frequency which normally read over 2 meters [21].


5.2.5 Barcodes


Barcodes is a machine-readable representation of numerals and characters. These barcodes are square or rectangular image consist of parallel black lines called bars and space [23]. Barcode consists of two components which are quite zones and barcode symbol [23].

Figure 17: barcode component [23]


The first component quite zone which is the blank margin that is located at the sides of barcode symbol.  If the width of the quite zone is insufficient, the scanner of barcode will find difficulties in scanning to read the data. The second component is the barcode symbol which consists of start character, stop character, data or message and check digit. Firstly, the start character is a character that represents the start of the data. this character differs depending on the barcode type. Secondly, the stop character which represents the stop of the data. This character varies with type that is used of the barcode. Thirdly, the check digit which is used for checking the encoded of the barcode data if it is correct or not. There are two type of barcodes first is 1-demensional (1d) and second 2-demensional (2d) [24].

In this project the 2-demensional (2d) barcodes will be used which are more complex than 1-demensional (1d) barcodes. Since, it can include even more s such as price, quantity and image. However, the linear barcodes scanners cannot read but smartphones and another image scanner can read them. These barcode scanners usually consist of illumination system, sensor and decoder.

These barcode scanners illuminate the code with red light then convert it to matching text [25].

Then the sensor detects the reflected light and generate an analog signal that is sent to the decoder [25]. Subsequently, the decoder interprets the signal, validates the barcode by checking the digit and convert it to text [25]. The converted text is delivered to computer software that hold database with all information about the barcodes [25]. There even more types of barcode however it can be narrowed depending in the applications. There are many benefits of using barcodes such as low-cost implementation, better accuracy, data availability and improve inventory control.




5.3 Design Selection Chart


​            We used a decision-maker to narrow down our selection on the different options of elements we can use in our project. The purpose of Table1 was to help us weigh the pros and cons of the different alternatives involved in order to pick the best one. As a result, we found this table very useful in helping us ultimately achieve the desired goals and objectives we had planned for.









Decision-Maker Table

Component Options Advantages Disadvantages Our Selection Reason(s)
Manipulator 4 DOF It has flexible links.


In inverse kinematics, we will be able to determine the angles between links at each joint.

Movement is restricted to low number of joints 4 DOF Simplicity of the warehouse requires a lower number of DOF


Task execution with good speed and accuracy


Intuitive programming can be performed by students who took programming classes

5 DOF It has shoulder rotation, elbow motion, shoulder movement back and forth motion, wrist up and down motion, wrist rotation and gripper motion, Inverse kinematics analysis is complex. Each manipulator needs a particular method.
6 DOF More than six joints, so it can reach the same spot at the same angle in more than one way.


Inverse position kinematics and orientation can mathematically be solved.

Takes a longer time to program
Bottom Part of the Robot Magni Silver Payload of 100kg


Speed of 1m/s


2 Strong hub motors (2 X 200W)


High Power of 7A 5V DC power 7A 12V DC Power


ROS-based programming


Expensive with a price of $1600 Electrical car for kids It has an appropriate payload.


It is cheaper than the other options.


It is readily available and easy to acquire.


It comes it many shapes and sizes so we have more option in choosing the right one.


It can be easily modified to our preference


Low cost


Open-Source Software


ROS-based Programming


Popularly used for educational purposes

Low payload of 5KG
Electrical cars for kids Low cost


Accessible and easy to find


Can withstand up to 50 kg.




Remodel the design of it to suite our need.


Need to be programmed to move according to the position of the object.



Identification Tags/Labels RFID Tags No camera required for identification


Long life


Long-range reading


Many tags can be scanned at once


It is a ‘near field’ technology


RFID readers are costly


Takes a longer time to program


Susceptible to environmental damage

A Combination of RFID Tags and Barcodes RFID tags will be used for faster performance and placed on the sides of each row of shelves.










Barcodes will be used on each shelf within the row because the robot will be in a range close enough to read the barcodes accurately.

Barcodes Better accuracy than RFID


Cheaper than RFID


Does not require camera


Accurate and rapid data collection by barcode reader


Susceptible to environmental damage


Requires maintaining a line-of-sight for each code


One scan at a time

ARToolkit Tracking of simple black squares


Free and open source software


Easy and fast recognition of tags

High computational cost when decoding tags


Tags will not be recognized if it has a simple occlusion like a fold or a tear.

Sensors 2D/3D Camera Sensors Low cost




Easy to Implement

  A combination of all the mentioned sensors Barcode Scanner and RFID Reader is needed for our chosen identification tags.



2D/3D camera sensors will be placed on top of gripper for vision.



Barcode Scanner Barcodes advantages and disadvantages are as mentioned above in the ‘Identification tags/label’ section
RFID Reader RFID advantages and disadvantages are as mentioned above in the ‘Identification tags/label’ section
Ultrasonic Sensors Detect obstacles to avoid collision


Detect position of object


Not affected by dust, moisture, and dirt

Occasionally inaccurate readings


Table 2: Decision Maker table






6 Team members and Tasks



6.1 Team members and Skills


The team is divided into two groups. Each group is performing different tasks based on whether they are working on the robot’s upper or lower part. This group of electrical engineers are researchers, and task organizers who can reach objects or goals set by the group. The team members have experience in writing, problem solving, communicating, designing, building, management, and planning. More importantly, as engineers, we are experienced in computer programming such as C++, MATLAB, MultiSim and PSpice. This group can most definitely achieve and adapt to customers’ requests. All team members have specific strengths at which they are good at. Therefore, we have divided the tasks among us to finish the project in a shorter time.


Team member Skills
Mouza Proofreading

Leadership and communication

Prototype construction

Mariam Presentation skills

Computer programing: MATLAB and Multisim

Research skills

Salma Critical Thinking skills

Computer programing: Viso and Pspice

Creativity and Innovation

Khadija Time management and responsibility

Research and writing

Prototype construction


Table 3: Summary of Team Members key Skills

6.2 Task Distribution


We divided our team into two groups with the help of our project supervisors so that we can focus our energy and research into one area, and then share the knowledge. The first team was selected to oversee the upper part of the robot which includes the robot manipulator and the sensors that come with it. Maryam and Salma oversee the upper part. The second team was selected to take control of the lower part of the robot which includes the moving parts, navigation, and the sensors that come with. Mouza and Khadija oversee the lower part.

Each group is aware of the progress and decisions of the other group. We have regular twice-a-week meetings held to discuss any issues, suggestions, or updates.








7. Project Plan


7.1 Deliverables


            The deliverables of this project will demonstrate to the client our revised client statement. The milestones of our project are shown in Table 3.





Due date
Project proposal submission 11-Oct-2020
Proposal presentation 14-Oct-2020
Progress report submission 25-Dec-2020
Progress presentation 28-Dec-2020
Progress report 2


Progress presentation 31-Mar-2020
Final report 28-May-2020
Final presentation 28-May-2020


Table 4: Summary of the deadline tasks


7.2 Budget


The overall budget of our project is estimated to be around 9000 AED. Here is the breakdown for the cost of each element in our project:



Robot Manipulator 3,500 AED
Base of the Robot 2,000 AED
Cameras and associated processors 1,000 AED
Sensors and Actuators 2,500 AED


                        Table 5: cost of each element in the project


The costs of the elements are only an estimation.






7.3 Gantt Chart

For time-management and the production of deliverables, we have created the following Gantt Chart shown in figure 16 below. It shows the milestones and responsibilities, and who they are assigned to as well. It also shows the timespan of the tasks, and how much we have progressed in each of those tasks. This chart helps us keep track of time, making sure we meet all due dates with no delays.



Figure 18: Gantt chart














8. Conclusion


This report serves as the baseline or the roadmap for the duration of our senior design project. We have taken a look at all the requirements and alternatives and so we now have a well-rounded idea of how to progress properly during the year. First, the robot will have a manipulator which includes the suction gripper for picking and placing objects due to their fast-response and gentle handling of objects. We have the sensors, 2-D and 3-D, the Runcam to use as a camera, the RFID readers, and the barcode reader to identify rows of shelves and objects alike. After that, we will have to program the movement and localization of the robot so that it could move from one product to the next with reference to its current position. This would lead to low power consumption and would increase speed of object retrieval as well. Even though nothing is set is stone yet, this is the current plan and we will be working on our robot accordingly.


















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