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Research of the Robotics And Motion Laboratory at the University of Michigan focuses on the design, simulation, and control of legged robots and other nonlinear systems. Drawing inspiration from biology and biomechanics, we are particularly interested in the effect and exploitation of natural dynamic motions, the role of different gaits, and the possibility of force/torque controllable systems; both in conceptual models as well as in hardware realizations.
Embedded actuation and biomimetic compliant systems
While all compliant mechanisms are biologically-inspired in their dependence on elastic deformation, Sridhar Kota is working to take biomimetic design several steps further, beyond singly-actuated, planar isolated mechanisms. The goal is to include actuators, sensors, structures, and other material needs all in one optimization problem. Thus, the research effort is to move from compliant mechanisms to compliant systems.
Molecular docking simulation for flexible protein
In drug discovery researches, it is necessary to screen of millions of compounds for a particular receptor such as protein and DNA. In order to enhance such screens, novel molecular docking tools which can predict accurately the bound conformation and interaction energy between small organic molecules (the ligand) and biomacromolecules (the receptor) are essential. The goal of Kazu Saitou's research is to build a molecular model able to represent both receptor's and ligand's dynamics and to develop an optimization method to explore conformational space effectively.
Surgical thermal management system
Albert Shih's research involves using the surgical thermal management system (STMS) with a cooling channel to minimize the thermal spread for collateral nerve damage in surgery.
Design is an act of creating products and systems to fulfill specific needs of humankind under physical and social constraints. In the global marketplace where commoditized products are imported from the countries with lowest production cost, design innovation is a key for industrialized nations to stay competitive. Mechanical Engineers research tools, methods and processes to create and optimize innovative products and systems in a wide variety of domains and complexity: micro/nano structures and devices, surgical and medical devices, smart materials and structures, mechatronic devices and systems, mass-produced assemblies, automotive and aerospace products, manufacturing enterprise, global supply chains, product lifecycle, and technology-policy systems.
Micro and nano precision systems
Smart structures and materials
Sustainable manufacturing, vibration control, mechatronics
Multidisciplinary design optimization
Design and control of legged and rehabilitation robots
Assembly, disassembly and supply chains
Medical device design
Global health design, medical device design
Sustainable products and policies