Prime Day Deals Is Now Live!
Don't miss out!

Partnering for Success: A Dialogue with Eureka Robotics Centre

Partnering for Success: A Dialogue with Eureka Robotics Centre

Elephant Robotics is thrilled to unveil the final installment of our exclusive interview series, offering deep insights into our collaborations with loyal customer partners. We had the privilege of featuring a dialogue with 3 academic users from the Eureka Robotics Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University, prominent users of our dual-arm semi-humanoid robot, myBuddy. They are Jiaji Yang, a coordinator and lecturer, Shuyang Hu, a PhD candidate and research assistant, and Jiajin Bai, a postgraduate and research intern. Throughout the interview, they provided valuable feedback on their past teaching or research experiences with our robot arm, myBuddy.

Educational Application Scenario

In terms of educational applications, Jiaji Yang emphasized the pivotal role of myBuddy in elucidating intricate concepts such as kinematic analysis and degrees of freedom, providing students with tangible insights into robotics principles. The myBuddy is a lightweight, desktop-level dual-arm collaborative robot equipped with a 7-inch interactive screen and user-friendly interface. It provides a clear demonstration of complex robotic actions and programming principles, significantly enhancing robotics education and research experiences for both students and educators. Compared to traditional teaching methods, using myBuddy in education allows for hands-on learning and visual demonstrations, enabling students to better understand abstract concepts. For example, students can utilize our fully visual modular programming software, "myBlockly," to program myBuddy with intuitive drag and drop modules. They can observe its actions and adjust the code in real-time, fostering hands-on practical skills and stimulating creativity. Jiaji Yang expressed his desire for more Elephant Robotics’robots in the classroom, stating, "If I can acquire more Elephant Robotics’ robots for the class, I can directly incorporate them into my workshops, which I believe would be more effective."

In teaching and research, all of them emphasized the importance of utilizing simulation platforms, with a preference for Python and ROS. They primarily leverage Python and ROS to acquire fundamental programming and robotics software development skills, which they then apply to practical myBuddy projects. Jiayin Bai emphasized her experience with myBuddy, stating, "As many students may be encountering robots for the first time, I primarily use myBlockly and Python programming to understand myBuddy's mobility. Then, I introduce the ROS system to familiarize them with Linux and ROS for robotics operations."

Dual-arm Robots VS. Single-arm Robots

In the UK robotics landscape, various robotics centres specialize in different areas and then they may use different types of robots. But Shuyang Hu emphasised, "I think the single robot arm is the one that every robotics center must have." This insight reflects the diverse focuses within the field, with single-arm robots being fundamental for various experiments and research. Additionally, the dual-arm design of myBuddy has enabled Jiaji to illustrate the differences between single-arm and dual-arm robots, offering a clearer understanding of the challenges and opportunities in humanoid robot development.

In practice, there are notable distinctions in the application of single-arm and dual-arm robots within both research and education. Single-arm robots are typically employed in teaching to convey fundamental knowledge, such as motion planning and control. Conversely, dual-arm robots, due to their involvement in various control algorithms, are better suited for in-depth exploration in research areas like coordinated control, synchronous motion, and trajectory planning. Single-arm robots are primarily used for simpler tasks like grasping and handling, while dual-arm robots excel in more complex scenarios, facilitating tasks that require cooperation between two robotic arms, such as synchronization and trajectory prediction. These differences hold significant implications for both educational instruction and research endeavors.

Further Cooperation Opportunity

Jiaji Yang expressed keen interest in fostering closer collaboration with Elephant Robotics, with a specific focus on projects involving humanoid robot interaction and student education. This potential collaboration aims to benefit both UK students and international students, particularly those at the undergraduate or early career stages. He emphasized his eagerness to explore these opportunities and utilize Elephant Robotics' robots for these initiatives. We are equally excited about the prospect of deepening our collaboration, particularly concerning the humanoid robot Mercury Series Robots. This expanded partnership holds the potential for innovative projects that mutually benefit both parties and contribute to the advancement of robotics technology in the educational market.

In summary, our dialogue with the Eureka Robotics Centre illuminates the wide-ranging applications and educational advantages of Elephant Robotics' robots, reaffirming our dedication to advancing robotics education and research. By continually addressing the needs of educational users, we strive to optimize our products and services accordingly.

As part of our dedication to the education market and our valued customers, we are thrilled to share insights from Jiaji Yang, Shuyang Hu, and Jiajin Bai with our global community. We hope this interview series will offer valuable insights to both current users and potential partners. Stay tuned for more updates from Elephant Robotics by following our official website and subscribing to our newsletter.

The interview script is as follows

**Q refers to the question asked by the interviewer, Penny from Elephant Robotics.**

**Jiaji Yang, Shuyang Hu and Jiajin Bai are the interviewees from Eureka Robotics Centre of Cardiff Metropolitan University.**

Q1. Could you introduce yourself and talk about the Eureka Robotics Centre?

Shuyang Hu: My name is Shuyang Hu. Everyone calls me Shuyang Hu. So I'm from Cardiff Metropolitan University. This is my 1st year in my PhD. I'm a social tutor and also a research assistant. So about Eureka, I think Eureka Robotics Center was established in 2017. And for now, it's the top 11 most good robot institute, a professional center in the UK. And my research mainly to do is healthcare and the oldly care, and also the relevant policy and standard may making.

Jiajin Bai: My name is Jiajin. Now I'm a postgraduation course student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Now I'm a research internship in Eureka Robotics Laboratory. I major in MIC Robotics and AI. I have got touched with AI and practice of robotics and how to use robots to do some works. In my research, I have used Elephant Robotics' myBuddy.

Q2. Could you introduce your major research or main educational applications with Elephant Robotics’robots?

Jiaji Yang: It's my honest actually to get the opportunity to share my experience here. And actually in my class, I use this robot teaching about the autonomous system in my class. So in that class, actually there's some like, knowledge about the kinematic analysis. It's like we need to teach the students, usually we will give them some like, asked them to do the demonstration using a robot arm, but normally it's a very simple structure for the robot arm. But it's not quite enough actually to show them, to ask them to understand very well for the roboic arm moving or complicated kinematic analysis. Because it's based on the 2 dimension demo actually like in 2D space. So the students are very eager to know how the robot arm of the kinematic things moving in the 3D space. So the Elephant Robotics’ robot is quite useful to explain about that kind of things. For example, especially during teaching them is like how to calculate about the degree of freedom for the robot arm, and how many like actuators they can directly use and control a robot arm to move. So they can just very quickly to understand through the Elephant Robotics’ robot, and what the difficulty between the single-arm and the dual-arm robot. Because my research is about the humanoid robot, maybe the fundamental knowledge about the single-arm is just part of the humanoid robots’ knowledge. So I will use that dual-arm robot actually to explain to them if we want to develop from a single-arm to the humanoid robot, what will happen? If we control the one single robot arm, maybe there is not any limitation for the control. We just need to know there are some like space we cannot reach is because the 3 holds for the full arm’s movement. But if we generate the 2 arms, it will be the different. So it will have the conflict with that 2 arms. If we want to ask this, actually the humanoid robot to finish some tasks. So they need to think about what kind of like a conflict base another arm. So this is actually the different and it's quite good actually, for the experience for the students' feedback actually. So I use this way actually directly show the demo, and then they can quick understand what about happened. It's more clearly compared with I explained, using the word. At this moment, it's just because I am do the pilot for the teaching test. So I'm not actually totally to use the Elephant Robotics’ robot in my class. My class actually focus on the undergraduate at this moment. Because I only get one device for the dual robot arm. It just starts tests actually in my class. So some classes and some workshops, I just bring that Elephant Robotics’ robot to explain to them, but not use directly in my class. If I can got more Elephant Robotics’ robots in the class, I can just directly use that one to ask students to practice in my workshop. So I think that's better.

Shuyang Hu: For me, I think the main thing to do is deploy in the hospital, and in nursing houses to help assist. I hope the robot can replace the elderly's health. So make their life easier, and also assist the medical work, healthcare stuff can reduce their work or pressure. So that's what I want for use the robot arms. As for now, I think definitely I want to use a multiple robot arm. But for now, I just use a single-arm because it’s easily to collect the oldest data, because I'm not mainly to use the robot optimize the research. I think the multiple arms are more perfect for suiting my research.

Jiajin Bai: In my research, I mainly experience how to use the humanoid robot myBuddy to understand robotics, mobility and autonomous. Mainly use them to have a research of how to use them to interact with students or class classmates to get interested in robots, and how to use them in an exact scenario. About the mobility, first time I maybe get touch myBlockly. As for my undergraduate course, it's mainly used with Java. For this, I get to learn about more about Python to operate it. At first time, I used myBlockly to get more understanding of Python because there are some modules that can show the Python codes through myBlockly. Then I began to program with Python by myself and used Python file to run pogram to let the robots move. And then I begin to have an exploration of the ROS and ROS2. I was first time touch with ROS, and it has some cases that can help me to learn about it. That's what I learned from myBuddy through these 3 main modules, myBlockly, Python programming and ROS. And I begin to learn more knowledge of autonomous of robotics and how to use the ROS to complete more detailed and complex actions of robots.

Q3. Could you share the advantages of the dual-arm robots in educational applications?

Jiajin Bai: First, the robot is a humanoid one. It has an interactive screen and 2 arms, and each arm with 6 joints that we can see the mobility very clearly. Then for my display to my classmates, they may have a more detailed seeing about how the robots move compared with some big robots. And I think this is the advantage of myBuddy. Then for the interaction, I think it’s better than some other robots, and we can have a try, just with the screen and to touch it and use drag & teach to have a better understanding of the mobility of joints and to have a better operation for it.

Q4. Among the widely used simulation platforms which one is frequently utilized in your research,such as ROS, Gazebo and Mujoco?

Jiaji Yang: I think I'm not very actually to use these kinds of tools. But Python actually is the most useful. Because my research focus on how to create it about the artificial intelligence and integrate them to the robot. So I usually use the tools about the Python and also the ROS, because I can create action in ROS, and use the ROS to control of the robot with the different devices. So these 2 tools actually are the most useful and common happen in my research and also in my class.

Jiajin Bai: As many students maybe the first time to get in touch with robots, I mainly use myBlockly and Python programming to get understand of the mobility of robots. Then get to use the ROS system to know how to use the Linux system and ROS to have an operation of robotics. That's mainly what I research about. And I try to use them to have a better explaination to my classmates, and to show my work through the humanoid robotics, especially the 2 arms of myBuddy. Now I mainly use the ROS and Gazebo. They are very basic simulations that we used in our modules about robotics mobility, and they are also what I mainly use. And for my research, using ROS is more and using Gazebo to make more simulations for it. If we don't have the robots, we can also use them through our own PC to have a display of it. And for the real robots, they can also help with it.

Q5. During your past experience, do you encounter any challenges while using Elephant Robotics’ myBuddy?

Jiaji Yang: I think the most difficulty actually is about the documental tutorials. Some like a fundamental knowledge, I still need to explain to them. So they cannot directly like have a very quick understand and control, especially for the ROS system. So they need to have a very basic knowledge about the ROS firstly, and then they can just understand the whole things consists in the documents you provide. But I think it is good enough actually for the student to control the robot with the different languages or something. But I need to explain them actually. For the Python as what the Python is, what the ROS is and how we can control about the robot arm.

Shuyang Hu: I think the most challenges are in 2 ways. The first one is you must have some coding experience. So only the programmer has the coding experience and use Elephant Robotics' robots. So for my research, I think it's a challenge to let the medical staff or older people use really. Thus, I thing better want they to know how to code or how to optimize the robots.

Jiajin Bai: I have some programming basis, but not with the Python or ROS. Jack introduced it is a good chance to use it through myBuddy, because it has a better interaction, and I can get quick knowing about it. Then I like 2 arms. Because it seems much cuter than some big robots and there is also a Linux System for it that I can get more knowing about it. So I chose myBuddy as my main research. And I decided to improve machine learning, or deep learning into it to let it become more intelligent.

Penny: Thanks to Jiaji Yang, Shuyang Hu, and Jiajin Bai for sharing the feedback on the challenges they encountered while using myBuddy. In fact, we have comprehensive text-based tutorials available, and we continuesly update these materials. You can visit our official website, click on the myBuddy product page, and find the Gitbook entry in the top right corner of the navigation bar. Once on the Gitbook page, you can open the corresponding chapters based on your needs. Actually, for each robot, the tutorials can be found by clicking the Gitbook button on the corresponding product's details page. In addition to text-based tutorials, we also offer video tutorials. You can search for Elephant Robotics on YouTube and visit our channel. Scroll down on the homepage to find the Tutorials and Educational Robots playlists. And then you can view the relevant video tutorials according to your needs. Besides, we actually have a dedicated support section in our official website. Just visit our official website and click on the "Support" section in the navigation bar. In the "Product Support Center" section, you can find the corresponding Gitbook links by clicking on each robot. You can also view tutorial videos, KOL review videos, user cases, technical cases, as well as related software or development libraries, and other relevant materials. If you want to download related softwares, you can find the corresponding Windows, Linux, or Mac versions by checking the "Downloads" section. Besides, if you want to see what creative projects that others have done with our robots, you can click on the "Project Hub" section to view. Of course, we also welcome you to upload and share your own creative projects with us. Additionally, in May last year, we launched an integrated comprehensive Robotics Education Solution. It caters to diverse academic needs and includes a range of software courses. The solution encompasses fundamental courses, tool training courses, and practice and application courses, covering topics such as robotics, mobile robots, machine vision, and human-computer interaction. Therefore, this solution could enhance teaching efficiency, promote student engagement, flexibility, and initiative.

Q6. Which type of robots are primarily used in the UK robotics institutes?

Shuyang Hu: I think for the difference of type of robotics because different robotics centers mainly in different areas, for example like Oxford University. They mainly do is the soft robotics, doing some, like robotic dogs, and also they have single robot arms. I think the single robot arm is the one that every robotics center must have one.I think that's the only way that you can qualify you are a robotics center. So you must do some research about the robot arms. This is the Top 11 robotics centers in the UK. So as we can see, we are the 3rd one. So we are focusing on the social and service robot. But different robotic centers, they are good at different parts. Most of them I visited, they all have the single robot arms. But, let's see the multiple robot arms in the robotics center or the robotics lab. That's very important. If the robotic for educationally, for doing some research because we have a panda arm. The year before last year, we visited the Oxford Robotics Institute, what they mainly to do is the autonomous system, and also AI, and we saw, as softer robotics. And the Oxford Robotics Institute also had one panda arm, which cost 40k around pound for the robot arm. I think that's not suit for the education, that's suit for the research. So even for the researchers, saometimes we are afarid to let the robot arms broken. But it is a very high cost for the robot arm. So we hopefully can have some qlike, a more valuable one or suit for the student one. Also,a we have some project. For the local students, you know, doing some AI education for inspirating their thinking. So we have a continued project, maybe 5 or 10 years. So to have a lot of connection with the primary schools and high schools and let the students have some like talking about what the robot is and how to program. I think it's also very good for telling them or teaching them how to code or how to touch the AI and do this kind of fun.

Q7. Is there any ongoing projects, or would you opening any new project in the coming years that we can participate with you and to show our products?

Jiaji Yang: Yes. Thank you so much. So you mean actually the project is right. We can just explore together, and actually I got many projects. Maybe it's really for the humanoid robot interaction and also for the student education, maybe for the Chinese students or the UK students actually, especially for the maybe undergraduate students or some like in an early career. So I will explore this kind of like maybe opportunity, and if I got any, like an opportunity, I can use about the Elephant Robotics' robots to do this career, I will contact you, so keep in touch. So thank you so much for your support.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

What are you looking for?