Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Conference Name

2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 26-29, 2022, Minneapolis, MN


Robotic motion control methods and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are critical in engineering automation and process control applications. In most manufacturing and automation processes, robots are used for moving parts and are controlled by industrial PLCs. Proper integration of external I/O devices, sensors and actuating motors with PLC input and output cards is very important to run the process smoothly without any faults and/or safety concerns. Most traditional electrical and computer engineering (ECE) programs offer high level of motion theory and controls but little hands-on exposure to PLCs which are the main industrial controllers. This paper provides a framework for a hands-on project to integrate PLCs in robot arm motion control, troubleshooting, and testing the real sensors and motors with PLC experiments which complements the virtual calculations and theory. This PLC with Robot Arm Motion control integration concept idea was introduced and tested in a 600-level graduate capstone project class. By the end of the semester long class, the students used their PLC hardware and software skills to wire a robot arm sensing elements and actuating motors to pick and place objects from one location to a bin. The assessment demonstrated that the course learning objectives were met.


ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education.

Original Publication Citation

Chitikeshi, S., & Dhali, S., & Jovanovic, V. (2022, August), Integrating PLCs with robot motion control in engineering capstone courses [Paper presentation]. 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.


0000-0002-7886-3987 (Dhali), 0000-0002-8626-903X (Jovanovic)