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Students develop tile polishing robot

Final year Mechanical Engineering students of Don Bosco College of Engineering, Goa, have developed and tested a prototype of a “Tile Polishing Robot”. The project was guided by Prof. Swapnil Ramani, Assistant Professor and Prof. Ajit Salunke, HOD Mechanical Engineering Department.

In the present scenario, tile polishing is a tedious and time-consuming process with high dependency on efficiency of human workers. The conventional machine is also big in size and very expensive. The new prototype not only helps reduce the dependency on human workers but also reduces the time taken for the entire polishing process. It is also smaller in size and overall makes the entire polishing process more economically viable.

In this device, electricity stored in a battery is used to drive two motors for vehicle movement and one motor for the polishing disc. The polishing disc holds the abrasive material used to grind and polish the tiles. The disk also has provision for holding and easily replacing the abrasives depending on the type of flooring. The motion of the robot is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller which is aided by using two ultrasonic proximity sensors for obstacle avoidance. A universal joint connected to the shaft driving the polishing disk keeps the wheel in constant contact with the surface. The vibration sensor attached to the device determines the duration of polishing.

The robot consumes 0.5 HP power and can polish an area of 100sqm in approximately two hours for a normal coarse finish. The time required will vary depending upon the desired surface finish and the type of surface.

The cost of this prototype is approximately Rs 12000/- and if implemented as a product on a larger scale can be a boon to the construction industry and also for domestic use for floor polishing in households.

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