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Mechatronics & Robotics
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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.
Shorya Awtar works on the design of next generation instruments and machines that are needed in large-scale metrology and fabrication of nano-scale devices. He is currently developing high-precision, large range and high bandwidth multi-axis nanopositioning systems. In this work, Awtar brings together theoretical principles of flexure mechanism design, non-linear dynamic analysis, and advanced controls algorithms, as well as practical aspects of precision engineering, sensing and actuation technology, drivers and signal conditioning electronics, and real-time controls implementation.
Awtar's group is also developing a family of novel and low-cost minimally invasive surgical tools with enhanced dexterity, intuitive control and hand-tremor reduction.
The design philosophy is inspired by biology and differs significantly from use of multiple rigid parts and joints of traditional engineering design approach. Designs in nature are strong but are compliant. By exploiting compliance, we develop methods of designing joint-less, monolithic mechanisms with embedded elastic sensors and elastic actuators to create systems that are strong and compliant. By eliminating joints, we reduce part count, eliminate friction, wear, backlash, and simplify or at times eliminate the need for assembly.
MEMS Compliant Motion Amplifier integrated with an electrostatic drive. The device tested for 10 billion cycles without failure. MEMS Compliant Motion Amplifier integrated with an electrostatic drive. The device tested for 10 billion cycles without failure.
A 2-degree of freedom prosthetic wrist with distributed compliance.
Mechatronics is the synergetic integration of mechanical disciplines, electronics, controls, and computers in the design of high performance systems. Most modern products - automobiles, household appliances, personal transportation devices, digital cameras, printers, scanners, hard-disk drives, surgical tools, to name a few - embody numerous 'intelligent' or 'smart' features enabled by mechatronics.
The objective of mechatronic design is to deterministically produce higher performance at lower costs, which is critical for the technological sector in today's economy. The ME department is actively engaged in mechatronic systems research covering micro and nanopositioning systems, haptic devices, bio-inspired compliant systems.
Nanomanipulation and nano manufacturing
Micro/nanomanufacturing, sensor integration, controller integration and implementation
Design, smart materials and structures
Structural health monitoring, nonlinear unsteady aerodynamics
Haptic interface and robotics
Production and application of nanostructured materials
Kinematics and synthesis of mechanisms and mechanical systems
Sustainable manufacturing, vibration control, mechatronics
Optimal robust control, vibration control
cooperative control of ground robots and autonomous vehicles, human-robot interactions
Design and control of legged and rehabilitation robots
Biomedical device design, optical metrology
Sensory augmentation systems; Medical devices