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Video: Lego Machine Produces Paper Cubes Fully Automatically
Making programming with Java exciting and at the same time vivid - this is Andreas Baumgart's goal with his Papercube project at the Jade University in Wilhelmshaven. As a teacher for special tasks in the field of management, information and technology, he developed a fully automated paper cube production together with a team of students. Using Lego Mindstorms technology, the system cuts, folds and glues a cube from a piece of paper.
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Working on the project is intended to promote abstract thinking and structured work by the students. "They can also learn the Java programming language in practice and have to solve challenges that they will face later in their day-to-day work," explains Baumgart. "In the past year, we have further developed the technology so that we can now implement fully automated production."
New laser optimizes cutting work
The cutting work could be optimized with a new laser. However, special safety precautions had to be taken into account when using the laser, since the radiation from the laser is dangerous for the eyes and skin. A special laser protection glass is used to filter the scattered radiation. In addition, the housing of the system is provided with a protective film from the inside.
During the production process, the paper is transported in a frame and punched out in the folding unit. There it is fully automatically glued and then folded. Papercube is controlled via a Java-based dashboard. The interface provides extensive calibration options, logs the production process and provides information about various status information of the system.
Didactic project combines many tasks
In May 2016, Baumgart was awarded the teaching prize for special didactic projects at the Jade University. "Papercube is interdisciplinary, so the variety of tasks is inexhaustible: design, programming, electrical engineering, distributed applications, databases, and process modeling - all areas can be integrated into different abstraction hierarchies," summarizes Baumgart.
The project started at the Jade University in spring 2015. A first version of the production line was presented at the Ideas Expo in July 2015. In November of the same year, Baumgart presented Papercube with a revised cutting unit at the finale of the World Robot Olympiad in Qatar. Student Fabrice Weinberg will be at this year's finale in New Delhi at the end of November. The international competition aims to get young people interested in engineering or IT and to make it easier for them to access technical subjects. The project team from Wilhelmshaven forms an expert team with Lego Mindstorms developers from Great Britain, Japan, Canada, Greece and the USA at the connected exhibition.
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