Training Robot Manipulation Skills through Practice with Digital Twin of Baxter
Keywords:virtual twin, Baxter, robot manipulations, first-year students
This study explores an opportunity to engage first-year engineering students in practice with a modern industrial robot Baxter and provides training in spatial skills. We developed a laboratory exercise in which the students operate the robot to perform spatial manipulations of objects. We implemented the exercise on a digital twin of Baxter in the Gazebo virtual environment. The digital twin was calibrated to mimic the physical properties of the Baxter and correctly simulate its spatial manipulations with oriented cubes. The exercise was delivered to a class of 25 students as part of the robotics workshop in the Introduction to Industrial Engineering course. We administered a post-workshop questionnaire with focus on the analysis of the learning outcomes and students' spatial difficulties. The students noted that the workshop and particularly the exercise effectively exposed them to industrial robotics and raised their spatial awareness in robot operation.
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