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ASME Conference Presenter Attendance Policy and Archival Proceedings

2015;():V009T00A001. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-NS9.
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This online compilation of papers from the ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE2015) represents the archival version of the Conference Proceedings. According to ASME’s conference presenter attendance policy, if a paper is not presented at the Conference, the paper will not be published in the official archival Proceedings, which are registered with the Library of Congress and are submitted for abstracting and indexing. The paper also will not be published in The ASME Digital Collection and may not be cited as a published paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Bio-Mechatronics

2015;():V009T07A001. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46195.

Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO) are externally applied devices that control the foot and ankle joint complex. The goal of this project is to create a smart device and network based mobile control, communicator and mechanical performance analyzer for a prototype AFO, which is powered by artificial pneumatic muscles to aid walking in patients with ankle and foot injuries. The preliminary proof of concept study of the system to improve comfort and offer settings control will be presented. It can potentially provide a higher computing and analyzing power in the design of medical devices by the combination of smart mobile device technology with microcontrollers and Internet.

Topics: Orthotics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A002. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46281.

This paper firstly summarizes a newly developed knee joint mechanism of a gait rehabilitation robot, as well as a modified dynamics model for pneumatic muscle actuators (PMAs). The major sections focus on the development of single-input-single-output sliding mode trajectory tracking controller for the knee mechanism. The sliding mode controller takes the models of the whole system, which include the pneumatic flow dynamics of the analogue valves and PMAs, dynamic model of the PMAs and dynamics of the mechanism, into account. It controls the voltage applied to the valves to track desired angular trajectories of the knee joint. The preliminary experiments on the sliding mode controller have been conducted and the results have indicated that the knee mechanism’s successful tracking of sinusoidal waves with frequencies and magnitudes closed to actual human gait. Currently, the researchers are working on the development of multi-inputs-multi-outputs control of the mechanism for both trajectory tracking and compliance adjustments.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A003. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46309.

In this study, we present a medical imaging method to estimate the preterm infant respiratory rate with a non invasive embedded RGB-D sensor. The respiratory rate is derived by measuring morphological chest wall movements with a depth sensor. The performances of our method are evaluated by comparing the values of respiratory rate measurements obtained using our method with those resulting from a standard reference device, used as a benchmark. Experimental results showed that the proposed method can correctly measure the respiratory rate in preterm infants and activates an alarm signal when respiratory rate values go out of the physiological range or when the infant remains stationary for a long time. As future development, the project can be used as multi-purpose non invasive test on movements and their symmetry or on the infants’ ability to correctly inflate.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A004. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46341.

A control theoretic alternative to Fitts’ Law based on a modified crossover model is proposed. A physical interpretation of the model offers the unification of various different formulations of Fitts’ Law. Model identification and validation is carried out for a target acquisition task using a touchscreen. A brief treatment of noise generated by random relative movement between the human operator and the touchscreen (such as in-vehicle touchscreen based devices) is considered using the proposed model.

Topics: Vehicles
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A005. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46506.

In this paper, an innovative technique was tested to solve the path-planning problem of swarm nanorobots’ navigation within the human environment. Blood elements were treated as obstacles to nanorobot movement. Blood flow was also factored into the movement problem, as was the environment’s physical properties, including blood viscosity and density, both of which can potentially affect nanorobot behavior. To account for all these considerations in a human body environment, two algorithms were combined, yielding a single algorithm responsible for the self-organized control of nanorobots to avoid obstacles during their movement trajectory. The technique is based on modification of the Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm, referred to as the MPSO algorithm which is classified as a swarm intelligence algorithm, and modification of the Obstacle Avoidance Algorithm, referred to as the MOA algorithm. The proposed MPSO algorithm generated the best locations in a given operational area enabling nanorobots to detect the target areas. The proposed MOA algorithm allowed nanorobots to efficiently avoid collision with blood elements. The simulation results show that the combined MPSO-MOA algorithm safely routes all nanorobots past blood elements while navigating within the human body.

Topics: Navigation
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A006. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47005.

Robot-assisted rehabilitation techniques have advantages over conventional physiotherapy in terms of control accuracy, repeatability and objectiveness. Several systematic reviews on the effectiveness of robot-assisted ankle rehabilitation have been conducted. It was found that most were effective for the treatment of ankle injuries, although the comparative results could not be identified. However, evidence involving the clinical effectiveness of robotic ankle therapy on adult patients with cerebral palsy (CP) is lacking. This paper presents a case study of robot-assisted ankle rehabilitation on an adult patient with CP. Biomechanical outcomes were evaluated before and after each session with a 10-week-intervention trial by using a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) device (ARTROMOT®-SP3) for ankle rehabilitation. Both passive and passive-active programs were conducted. Evaluation measures include ankle range of motion (ROM), stiffness and active strength. Experimental results show a distinct recovery progress in ankle movement ability. The participant achieved increased ankle ROM and active strength, and decreased ankle stiffness. This case report demonstrates the effectiveness of robotic training to recover a CP patient’s motor functions and also provides a basis for future study with more clinical trials.

Topics: Robots
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A007. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47895.

Recently, a nonlinear dynamic system has been presented to model the heart rate (HR) response during and after treadmill exercise. The parameters of the model can be estimated and individualized. Based on the nonlinear model, several control techniques for the regulation of HR during treadmill exercise have been proposed. But commercial treadmills may not have equipments to be computer-controlled. In this paper, an optimal manual method is presented to track a predefined HR trajectory. A piecewise constant speed profile is considered as the input to the system and computed by an optimization procedure offline. The objective function is constituted in term of heart rate deviation from its desired. The subject must change manually the speed of the treadmill according to the optimal protocol periodically. The time interval between two speed changes should be long enough so that the subject is able to change the speed. Also, the proposed method is such that, limited attention for control is needed and the controller is not always active.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Design and Verification Methodologies for Mechatronic and Embedded Systems

2015;():V009T07A008. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47357.

Embedded Systems software reliability is increasingly important, therefore methods to harden existing software are needed. In general, hardening software against various failures is a necessity in modern computer systems. A lot of work has been published regarding many possible ways to achieve this non-functional requirement. Relevant topics include, e.g., test procedures, recommended development flows, and hardware measures like watchdog timers. One of these methods seems very promising to be software implemented in modern embedded systems: Control Flow Checking by signatures. Various authors have shown the effectiveness and feasibility of Control Flow Checking (CFC) by signatures for personal computer software. For instance it has been shown for standard computer-systems, that CFC is capable of reducing undetected control flow errors by at least one magnitude.

This survey will focus on the applicability of such software hardening methods to embedded systems, while adhering mainly to software based approaches. Published methods will be summarized and compared. Furthermore methods to simplify derived control-flow graphs to essential states will be emphasized. Finally the possibility to apply run-time verification to the Control-flow Checking Software is considered.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A009. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47472.

Recent advances in design, fabrication, and programming technologies enable the rapid digital manufacturing of functional robotic systems. Novices can quickly fabricate mechanical frames thanks to 3D printers and cut-and-fold techniques and quickly program the control behavior of a robot using modern software environments. However, there is still not a systematic way to design custom printed circuit boards (PCB). In this work, we propose a hierarchical approach that allows casual users to quickly and easily create PCBs. A drag-and-drop graphical interface allows users to intuitively assemble PCBs from a library of predesigned, parameterized components, and a script-based infrastructure automatically composes all of the electronic systems based on user inputs. The final output is a fabrication-ready electronic design. Within this framework, we also propose a verification analysis that allows the user to quickly check that the developed design conforms to electrical constraints like voltage, current, and power limitations. Finally, we validate the proposed co-design environment with experimental results through the realization of a teleoperated segway robot.

Topics: Design , Robotics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Embedded Systems Infrastructure and Theory

2015;():V009T07A010. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46604.

The lifetime of NAND flash is highly restricted by bit error rate (BER) which would exponentially increase with the number of program/erase cycles. While the error correcting codes (ECC) can only provide a limited error correction ability to tolerate the bit errors. To face this challenge, a novel bad page management (BPM) strategy is proposed to extend the lifetime of NAND flash based on the experimental observations in our hardware-software co-designed experimental platform. The experimental observations indicate that retention error is the dominant type of NAND flash errors, which is caused by the charge leakage in memory cells over time. The BER distribution of retention error shows distinct variance in different pages. The key idea of BPM is to excavate lifetime potency of each page in a block by introducing the fine granularity bad page management instead of the coarse granularity bad block management. In addition, to balance the lifetime enhancement and the storage capacity degradation, a configurable threshold of bad page management (CT-BPM) strategy is proposed to utilize in the storage capacity highly demanded applications. The experimental results show that BPM can provide dozens of times (about 35 times for 3x-nm NAND flash) average lifetime extension without additional hardware cost, while experiencing at most 5% degradation in writing speed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A011. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47082.

The complexity of modern embedded systems and tools to develop them is continuously growing. Although there are various efforts to address this issue (e.g., by raising the level of abstraction) it is rather challenging to keep pace with all relevant innovations in the field. For example, various collaboration and version management tools support the development process when multiple developers collaborate on the development of an embedded solution. In this paper, we present a cloud-based integrated development environment that supports the development of software for embedded systems where the entire tool-chain is in the cloud and provides debugging and flashing of hardware as usual. This approach avoids tool version conflicts, enables central upgrade as well as maintainability and provides a unique interface across multiple operating systems to the developers (the latter is often enforced in industrial settings by restricting the software setup and privileges of an individual developer). Furthermore, the cloud-approach enables ubiquitous access to the development platform.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A012. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47759.

Methods for handling process underruns and overruns when scheduling a set of real-time processes increase both system utilization and robustness in the presence of inaccurate estimates of the worst-case computations of real-time processes. In this paper, we present a method that efficiently re-computes latest start times for real time processes during run-time in the event that a real-time process is preempted or has completed (or overrun). The method effectively identifies which process latest start times will be affected by the preemption or completion of a process. Hence the method is able to effectively reduce real-time system overhead by selectively re-computing latest start times for the specific processes whose latest start times are changed by a process preemption or completion, as opposed to indiscriminately re-computing latest start times for all the processes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A013. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47837.

This paper presents the ChArduino package which is designed to control the Atmel AVR microcontroller based Arduino boards through the C/C++ interpreter Ch. Traditionally, Arduino boards are programmed using the official Arduino IDE or lower-level AVR C libraries. These methods require specific cross-compilation tools to compile the code and upload it onto the board. Whenever a change is made to the source code, it needs to be recompiled and uploaded, making application development cumbersome, especially for beginners and as the size of the application grows. The approach presented in this paper is aimed at reducing the effort associated with code compilation, especially in classroom environments where microcontroller programming is first introduced. In fact, when using this method, code is executed in an interpreted manner and every function call is processed separately by the interpreter, thus compilation and uploading are not required to make changes effective. The ChArduino package consists of a library of functions running on a computer and a specialized firmware loaded onto the Arduino board. The firmware on the Arduino board is pre-compiled and the latest version is automatically uploaded at run time, if not already. At power-up, the firmware initializes the board and then waits for a command from the computer. The use of the C/C++ interpreter Ch also makes available line-by-line debugging, numerical analysis, and plotting capabilities. The supported communication protocols between the Arduino board and the computer are serial and Bluetooth. The application code written using this package is completely compatible with the entire spectrum of Arduino boards and can be ported to the Arduino IDE with minimal changes. The applications of the method described in this paper are general but apply especially to the K-12 education field in that the package creates a simple, user-friendly, environment for the absolute beginner to learn the basic principles of mechatronic systems including programming, microcontrollers, and electrical circuits. Lesson plans are being developed to use the ChArduino package in microcontroller introductory courses and the package is currently being introduced for preliminary testing in schools through the UC Davis C-STEM Center.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Fractional Derivatives and Their Applications

2015;():V009T07A014. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46027.

This paper deals with the fractional order modelling of a heat transfer diffusive interface, which is considered as a prototype problem. Based on the truncation of the diffusive interface model, we demonstrate that commensurate fractional order models, where the basic order is n=0.5, are natural candidates for the approximation of the diffusive model. Then, we show that frequency approximation can be improved by optimization of the models parameters, using a least squares technique. Non commensurate fractional order models can be also considered as an excellent alternative to the approximation of the diffusive interface, with less model complexity. The main conclusion of this paper is that a diffusive interface can be approximated by two families of fractional models with appropriate and necessary complexity.

Topics: Modeling
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A015. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46030.

This article presents a novel model reference adaptive control of fractional order nonlinear systems, which is a generalization of existing method for integer order systems. The formulating adaptive law is in terms of both tracking and prediction errors, whereas existing methods only depends on tracking error. The transient performance of the closed-loop systems with the proposed control strategy improves in the sense of generating smooth system output. The stability and tracking convergence of the resulting closed-loop system are analyzed via the indirect Lyapunov method. Meanwhile, the proposed controller is implemented by employing some fractional order tracking differentiator to generate the required fractional derivatives of a signal. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the effectiveness of our results.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A016. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46175.

Being one of the most used passive components in power electronics, electrolytic capacitors have the shortest life span due to their wear-out failure which is mainly caused by vaporization and deterioration of capacitor electrolyte. Knowing these two phenomena increase Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) of the capacitor, tracking ESR value over the system operating time can be a good indicator for state of health of an electrolytic capacitor. In order to set the maintenance schedule, various ESR monitoring algorithms computing remaining time before failure have been investigated in literature. These real-time algorithms use classical models for ESR and life-time estimation which are not precise enough and leads the maintenance program to be either risky if the prediction is more than the actual life-time or more expensive if it is much less than the actual life span.

This paper presents a generalized equivalent model using fractional order element for electrolytic capacitor to estimate the ESR and impedance of faultless running capacitor. Unlike other existing fractional order models, proposed model considers a fractional order dynamic only in the dielectric losses and the terminal capacitor remains integer order as observed in actual capacitor’s behavior.

Furthermore, a novel failure predictive model using Mittage-Leffler function is proposed to track the ESR increment due to aging of the capacitor and estimate the failure time based on the information which are provided through ESR monitoring system. Using this model increase the life-time prediction accuracy. Hence the predictive maintenance of the system with capacitors nearing their failure time can be set more precisely. These two fractional order models are compared against classical ESR and life-time prediction models to illustrate the enhanced performances of the proposed models.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A017. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46186.

In order to reduce turn-off losses, the switching frequency of power devices, which is sampling rate, is usually chosen to be low in high power inverter application. Limited by the digital sampling, phase lead step should be integer, in which case the repetitive control tends to be unstable under low sampling application. Thus fractional phase lead repetitive control is proposed. This method enables the phase lead step can be fractional, thus enlarges the stability region and improves the tracking accuracy as well. The detailed parameters design is given. At last, simulations of inverter using fractional phase lead repetitive control are presented. The results verify that fractional phase lead repetitive control favors better stability and harmonic suppression.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A018. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46190.

This study is conducted to provide preliminary data that fractional calculus can be used to optimize active automobile suspension systems. Most automobile suspension systems perform their duties using a single spring with fixed damping rates and are referred to as being a passive system. An active suspension system has the ability to directly control force actuators in the suspension system or by varying the damping rates within the shock absorbers to provide control over body position, velocity, and acceleration. A mathematical model for a quarter car suspension system has been obtained to compare passive, integer, and fractionally controlled active suspension systems and show that fractional calculus may be used to improve the performance of any active system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A019. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46192.

This paper presents a factional model for broadband piezoelectric energy harvesting systems. Piezoelectric materials pay a significant role in harvesting ambient vibration energy. Due to their inherent characteristics and electromechanical interaction effect, piezoelectric energy harvesting exhibits the hysteresis characteristic under sweeping environmental vibration. Fractional order model of piezoelectric energy harvesting could capture the hysteresis characteristics. Simulation and experimental results show that fractional model of piezoelectric energy harvesting is more effective in describing the system dynamic.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A020. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46216.

In this paper, a fractional dynamics approach is used to characterize the observed accelerating expansion of the universe. We claim that the evolution of accelerating expansion obeys an α-exponential function, which is the fundamental solution of linear fractional order dynamical equation. We find that the Hubble constant is 67.8807, 68.2546, and 67.9119 for all redshift z < 1.5, z < 1, and z < 0.1 based on the dataset collected by the Supernova Cosmology Project. Furthermore, we verify that the expansion rate of our universe is speeding up and actually obeys a Mittag-Leffler law.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A021. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46223.

The comparison principle of fractional differential equations is discussed in this paper. We obtain two kinds of comparison principle which are related to the functions in the right hand side of equations, and the order of fractional derivative, respectively. By using the comparison principle, the boundedness of fractional Lorenz system and fractional Lorenz-like system are studied numerically. Numerical simulations are carried out which demonstrate our theoretical analysis.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A022. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46279.

The ongoing development of the fractional trigonometry has created a new set of spiral functions, the fractional spiral functions. These spirals include both barred and normal spirals in a common formulation. This paper studies the applicability of the fractional spirals to the mathematical classification of spiral and ring galaxy morphologies. The fractional spirals are found to provide a high quality fit to a variety of ring and spiral galaxies over a significant range of the spiral length. Further, the rs character of the de Vaucouleurs classification is found to relate to particular parameters of the spirals. Additional benefits include; direct inference of galaxies inclination, estimates of major deviations of the galaxy optical center from the geometric center, and further application of the mathematical description of the galaxy morphology.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A023. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46290.

This paper seeks a deeper understanding of the need for time-varying initialization of fractional-order systems. Specifically, the paper determines the energy stored in a fractional-order element based on the history of the element, and shows how this initialization energy is manifest into the future as an initialization function. Further, it is shown that infinite energy is required to initialize a fractional-order system when using the Caputo derivative Laplace transform.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A024. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46291.

The purpose of this paper is to determine physical electrical circuits, in both impedance and admittance forms, that match fractional-order integrators and differentiators, namely 1/sq and sq. Then, using these idealized infinite-dimensional circuits, the energy storage and loss expressions for them are determined, carefully relating the associated infinite-dimensional state variables to physically meaningful quantities. The resulting realizations and energy expressions allow a variety of implementations for understanding the transient behavior of fractional-order systems.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A025. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46570.

This paper presents a comparative study of four numerical schemes for a class of Isoperimetric Constraint Fractional Variational Problems (ICFVPs) defined in terms of an A-operator introduced recently. The A-operator is defined in a more general way which in special cases reduces to Riemann-Liouville, Caputo, Riesz-Riemann-Liouville and Riesz-Caputo, and several other fractional derivatives defined in the literature. Four different schemes, namely linear, quadratic, quadratic-linear and Bernsteins polynomials approximations, are used to obtain approximate solutions of an ICFVP. All four schemes work well, and when the number of terms approximating the solution are increased, the desired solution is achieved. Results for a modified power kernel in A-operator for different fractional orders are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed schemes. The accuracy of the numerical schemes with respect to parameters such as fractional order α and step size h are analyzed and illustrated in detail through various figures and tables. Finally, comparative performances of the schemes are discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A026. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46633.

Proton Exchange Membrane FC (PEMFC) is widely recognized as a potentially renewable and green energy source based on hydrogen. Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is one of the most important working conditions to be considered. In order to improve the searching performance such as convergence and robustness under disturbance and uncertainty, a kind of fractional order low pass filter (FOLPF) is applied for the MPPT controller design based on general Extremum Seeking Control (ESC). The controller is designed with FOLPF and high pass filter (HPF) substituting the normal LPF and HPF in the original ESC design. With this FOLPF ESC, better convergence and smooth performance is gained while maintaining the robust specifications. Simulation results are included to validate the proposed new FOLPF ESC scheme under disturbance and comparisons between FOLPF ESC and general ESC method are also provided.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A027. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46668.

A numerical algorithm is presented to solve the initial value problem of linear Caputo fractional-order differential equations. Error analysis has been done to Taylor series algorithm, the reason has been found why the error of the algorithm is large, the condition of using Taylor series algorithm is presented. A new algorithm called exponential function algorithm is proposed based on the analysis. Nonzero initial value problem could be transformed into zero initial value problem. The obtained fractional-order differential equation is transformed into difference equation, the numerical solution can be found with closed form solution formula. The error of the numerical solution can be modified with prediction-correction algorithm.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A028. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46690.

This brief note considers the solutions of LMIs in the criteria for admissibility for continuous singular systems and discrete singular systems. The new criteria are given which are strict LMI and do not involve equality constraint. The main trait of the criteria is that they simplify and improve the existing results. To judge the admissibility of singular systems, only the lest solved variable P is introduced without involving the additional matrix Q in the corresponding LMIs. With the brief and simple results of this paper, the numbers of solved matrices are reduced from a pair of matrices to just a matrix in which we can analyze singular systems with the completely consistent format as normal systems.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A029. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46692.

This paper considers the stability and stabilization of fractional order systems (FOS) with the fractional order α: 0 < α < 1 case. The equivalence between stability of fractional order systems and D–stability of a matrix A in specific region is proven. The criteria of stability and stabilization of fractional order system are presented. The conditions are expressed in terms of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) which can be easily calculated with standard feasible solution problem in MATLAB LMI toolbox. When α = 1, the results reduce to the conditions of stability and stabilization of integer order systems. Numerical examples are given to verify the effectiveness of the criteria. With the approach proposed in this paper, we can analyze and design fractional order systems in the same way as what we do to the integer order system state-space models.

Topics: Stability
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A030. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46696.

This paper is devoted to the construction of the adjoint system for the case of time fractional order diffusion equations. We first obtain the equivalent integral equation of the abstract fractional state-space system of both Caputo and Riemann-Liouville type by utilizing the Laplace transform and the semigroup theory. Then the adjoint system of time fractional diffusion equation is introduced and used to analyze the duality relationship between observation and control in a Hilbert space. The new introduced notations can also be used in many fields of modelling and control of real dynamic systems.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A031. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46697.

This paper is concerned with the investigation of the regional controllability of the time fractional diffusion equations. First, some preliminaries and definitions of regional controllability of the system under consideration are introduced, which promote the existence contributions on controllability analysis. Then we analyze the regional controllability with minimum energy of the time fractional diffusion equations on two cases: B ∈ L (Rm, L2 (Ω)) and B ∉ L (Lm, L2 (Ω)). In the end, two applications are given to illustrate our obtained results.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A032. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46699.

A numerical algorithm is presented to solve the initial value problem of linear and nonlinear Caputo fractional-order differential equations. Firstly, nonzero initial value problem should be transformed into zero initial value problem. Error analysis has been done to polynomial algorithm, the reason has been found why the calculation error of the algorithm is large. A new algorithm called exponential function algorithm is proposed based on the analysis. The obtained fractional-order differential equation is transformed into difference equation. If the differential equation is linear, the obtained difference equation is explicit, the numerical solution can be solved directly; otherwise, the obtained difference equation is implicit, the predictor of the numerical solution can be obtained with extrapolation algorithm, substitute the predictor into the equation, the corrector can be solved. Error analysis has been done to the new algorithm, the algorithm is of first order.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A033. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46714.

A design method of enhanced robust fractional order PID controller is proposed to control electrical machinery system. Magnitude margin constraint, phase margin constraint and the gain robustness constraints of partly flat phase in specified dots around crossover frequency are adopted to design enhanced robust fractional order PID controller which has stronger robustness to open-loop gain variation compared with integer order PID controller. Besides, nonlinear optimization function is adopted to hunt for optimal parameter solutions of enhanced robust fractional order PID controller, so the five parameters of enhanced robust fractional order PID controller can be solved. The electrical machinery control system models are simulated and tested by MATLAB/SIMULINK, and the results show that the proposed fractional order PID controller has stronger robustness and smaller overshoot, compared with integer order PID controller.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A034. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46808.

In the paper, we show a connection between a regular fractional Sturm-Liouville problem with left and right Caputo derivatives of order in the range (1/2, 1) and a 1D space-time fractional diffusion problem in a bounded domain. Both problems include mixed boundary conditions in a finite space interval. We prove that in the case of vanishing mixed boundary conditions, the Sturm-Liouville problem can be rewritten in terms of Riesz derivatives. Then, we apply earlier results on its eigenvalues and eigenfunctions to construct a weak solution of the 1D fractional diffusion equation with variable diffusivity. Adding an assumption on the summability of the eigenvalues’ inverses series, we formulate a theorem on a strong solution of the 1D fractional diffusion problem.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A035. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46879.

The singularity is an intrinsic property for various fractional order systems. This paper focuses on the time domain analysis of typical “non-proper” fractional order transfer functions, which plays the crucial role in the implementation, stability and control of fractional order systems. To this end, the fractional order system is converted into a weak singularity integro-differential equation, where the non-proper property can be clearly presented. A practical strategy is shown to find out the poles in the first Riemann plane, which is especially applicable to small commensurate order problems. The distributed order and order sensitivity problems are discussed as well. A number of examples are illustrated by using some reliable fractional order numerical methods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A036. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46966.

In this study, three different approaches using seven Hurst estimators to analyze heart rate variability (HRV) are evaluated. Herein, normal sinus rhythm and arrhythmia will be referred to as normal and abnormal HRV, respectively. The Hurst parameter is estimated using the following methods: aggregated variance, absolute value, box periodogram, difference variance, Higuchi, Peng, and rescaled range [1,2]. In this paper, the three approaches used are total time series estimation, cumulative window estimation, and sliding window estimation. These approaches were influenced by previous studies [3–5]. In all three approaches, bilateral results indicate that both normal and abnormal HRV data exhibit long range dependence (LRD), when H > 0.5 [6,7]. However, normal HRV data displayed a noticeably higher amount of LRD. In this novel study, the results display further potential research avenues using Hurst parameter estimation to analyze HRV data to differentiate between normal and abnormal HRV.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A037. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47007.

Tragedies due to people’s crushing or trampling have been observed in recent years. In order to understand the reasons that lead to these accidents, a lot of research has been conducted in modeling or predicting the behavior of crowd pedestrians. A new kind of fractional order dynamic description for crowd-pedestrian system has been developed in microscopic scale in this paper for a better understanding of human collective behavior where fractional order in time domain has been introduced. Due to the freedom provided by Fractional Calculus, a lot of characters of pedestrians can be considered in this fractional order modeling framework, such as memory effects, long range interactions and heterogeneity of each individual. Simulations results using Matlab in microscopic are also presented to show the effects of integer order and fractional order on evacuation time which is useful in evaluating the evacuation process or predicting crowd stampede that is going to occur.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A038. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47015.

Image matching is one of the most important problems in computer vision. Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) algorithm has been proved to be effective for detecting features for image matching. However SIFT algorithm has limitation to extract features in textile image or self-similar construction image. Fortunately fractional differentiation has advantage to strengthen and extract textural features of digital images. Aiming at the problem, this paper proposes a new method for image matching based on fractional differentiation and SIFT. The method calculates the image pyramid combining the Riemann-Liouville (R-L) fractional differentiation and the derivative of the Gaussian function. Thus image feature has been enhanced, and more feature points can be extracted. As a result the matching accuracy is improved. Additionally, a new feature detection mask based on fractional differential is constructed. The proposed method is a significant extension of SIFT algorithm. The experiments carried out with images in database and real images indicate that the proposed method can obtain good matching results. It can be used for matching textile image or some self-similar construct image.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A039. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47029.

In this paper, a class of fractional complex dynamical networks is synchronized via pinning impulsive control. At first, a comparison principle is established for fractional impulsive differential equations. Then the synchronization criterion is obtained by using the derived comparison principle. Examples are given to illustrate the results.

Topics: Synchronization
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A040. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47042.

Modeling individuals with physical disabilities in a crowd has previously been in the form of a pure adjustment to velocity representing an entire group. However, current research involving individuals with various types of disability has shown interactions are far more complex and varying. These types comprised of mechanical and electric wheelchair, vision impaired, and various other mobility-related disabilities. Preliminary results have shown that each group varies not only in velocity, but also in composition of their environment. Further results show other differences in interaction within a crowd. This paper provides for some preliminary differences found in the study of individuals with disabilities within a crowd and how those differences change pedestrian interaction. Using the nature of Fractional Order Potential Fields (FOPF), this paper will provide some results for how pedestrian interaction can be adjusted to fit the varying differences found within each disability group.

Topics: Modeling
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A041. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47061.

Currently, reset control focuses on using structures with new resetting rules to avoid the occurrence of limit cycles and improve the performance of the system. A common problem in reset control is the steady-state error since it has not the same characteristic as the linear integrator, which causes the occurrence of limit cycles in many cases, specially in first order systems. It is shown that most of the reported methods to prevail this problem — resetting to non-zero values — are not robust. This paper investigates a robust solution for such phenomena using fractional order control and iterative learning control (ILC). The proposed controller is able to eliminate the limit cycle in presence of model mismatch and repetitive disturbances. Likewise, an easy way to tune is described. Simulation results are given to demonstrate its applicability and performance robustness of the designed controller is discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A042. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47186.

Fractal property has been verified in the research of many kinds of complex media, such as soil, aquifer and concrete. Particle transport in fractal media often does not obey the classical Fickian law, and exhibits anomalous diffusion feature. Several promising physical models have been proposed to describe this kind of anomalous transport in the recent decades. This study will introduce a new Matlab toolbox to investigate three approaches including fractal theory, continuous time random walk (CTRW) model and fractional derivative diffusion equation model on characterizing anomalous transport.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A043. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47296.

In this paper, a fractional-order sliding mode based extremum seeking controller (FO SM-ESC) is proposed as a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm for a PV system. The FO SM-ESC combines extremum seeking controller with FO sliding mode dynamics, in which FO proportional-integral (PI) sliding surface is adopted. The FO SM-ESC can not only guarantee the output power stay around the maximum power point but also have a faster tracking performance and higher accuracy than integer-order (IO) SM-ESC with proportional (P) or PI sliding surface. Simulation and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A044. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47450.

The internal efficiency of the energy storage in a general fractional-order circuit element is analyzed. By use of distributed-circuit representations, integral expressions are derived for the energy stored in a fractional-order integrator or a fractional-order differentiator for any given profile of the distributed state. For either constant-current or constant-voltage charging, these expressions for the stored energy are evaluated and compared with the energy supplied at the terminals of the element, so that the efficiency of the charging process is determined. The result is found to verify a published conjecture on the constant-input charging efficiency of the fractional-order elements.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A045. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47464.

Mathematical models of human operator play a very important role in the Human-in-the-Loop manual control system. For several decades, modeling human operator’s dynamic has been an active research area. The traditional classical human operator models are usually developed using the Quasi-linear transfer function method, the optimal control theory method, and so on. The human operator models established by the above methods have deficiencies such as complicated and over parameterized, even for basic control elements. In this paper, based on the characteristics of human brain and behaviour, two kinds of fractional order mathematical models for describing human operator behavior are proposed. Through validation and comparison by the actual data, the best_fit model with smallest root mean squared error (RMSE) is obtained, which has simple structure with only few parameters, and each parameter has definite physical meaning.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A046. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47508.

In this paper, based on the Asymmetric Barrier Lyapunov Function (ABLF), we firstly develop a backstepping Dynamic Surface Control (DSC) scheme for position constraint control of Brushless DC Motors with a new fractional torque observer technique for friction compensation. The fractional compensator is used to estimate the unknown friction torque and guarantees its convergence with zero steady error. The DSC is introduced to eliminate the repeated differentiations involved in ABLF synthesis and to decrease the negative effects from produced disturbance noise in Brushless DC Motors. Finally, we demonstrate that the proposed control scheme could guarantee output constraints within limit ranges and also ensure prescribed tracking error within a neighborhood of 0. A fractional horsepower dynamometer was developed as a Hardware-In-the-Loop platform to emulate the position tracking of Brushless DC motors and Coulomb friction as a mechanical nonlinearity. Comparison experiment studies illustrate that the proposed controller has a favorable performance bounded within constraints and achieves fast convergence. Furthermore, the new method has a better ability of noise rejection.

Topics: Friction , Motors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A047. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-48016.

In recent decades, the theoretical researches and experimental results show that fractional derivative model can be a powerful tool to describe the contaminant transport through complex porous media and the dynamic behaviors of real viscoelastic materials. Consequently, growing attention has been attracted to numerical solution of fractional derivative model. Radial basis function (RBF) meshless technique is one of the most popular and powerful numerical methods, which are mathematically simple, and avoid troublesome mesh generation for high-dimensional problems involving irregular or moving boundary. Recently, RBF-based meshless methods, such as the Boundary Particle Method and the Method of Approximate Particular Solutions, have been successfully applied to fractional derivative problems. The Boundary Particle Method is one of truly boundary-only RBF collocation schemes, which employs both the semi-analytical basis functions to approximate the FDE solutions. Inspired by the boundary collocation RBF techniques, the Method of Approximate Particular Solutions is one of the domain-type RBF collocation schemes with easy-to-use merit, which employs the particular solution RBFs for the solution of FDEs. This study will make a numerical investigation on the abovementioned RBF meshless methods to fractional derivative problems. The convergence rate, numerical accuracy and stability of these schemes will be examined through several benchmark examples.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Information Technologies for Robotics and Mechatronic Systems

2015;():V009T07A048. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46132.

Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) systems are expected to replace manual inspection especially for flat and flexible electronic component systems, which require high yield and high speed. A high precision AOI system calibrated for 3.5 microns per pixel resolution was previously developed for defect detection of flat glass where imperfections and defects are obtained with minimal image processing techniques. Due to the large image size, cloud based image processing cannot be performed at the moment but cloud based statistical tools and visualization are now becoming more popular. This paper extends the previous work by adding two-dimensional surface profiling and defect detection for a flexible PCB, more specifically, a digitizer for mobile devices. A non-referential inspection method was sought with the widths of deposited metal wires on the digitizer substrate measured using distance transform. The wire width information is then sent to a web server and statistically processed. Display outputs in the form of Shewhart Xbar and S process control charts are then used as basis to quantify the line information and possibly investigate possible surface defects.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A049. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46244.

The maintenance cost of wind turbines has become the significant challenge for the wind power enterprise. One available way to reduce the cost is to monitor the wind turbines and make preventative maintenance. In this paper, an on-line condition monitoring system for wind turbines in plant level was presented. A 4-level monitoring structure was designed for the system, and the network communication was used to transmit the data efficiently. A high performance digital signal processor (DSP) was used as the processing core in the signal acquisition device. A computer software was also developed for data analysis and remote management of the monitoring device. The vibrations, temperature, and some other information of the turbines were gathered synchronously. The monitoring center in wind farm, the data center of wind power enterprise and the remote service center of equipment supplier can know the operation condition of wind turbines well. It would be useful for wind power enterprise to obtain the operation condition of wind turbine and reduce the cost of maintenance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A050. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46251.

This paper presents a new hybrid method, which integrates the structured laser light, decoupled dynamic models, and evolutionary optimization strategy, to identify dynamic parameters of autonomous underwater vehicles. This is the first research that investigates the utilization of laser scanned images for the system identification of underwater vehicles.

The AUV’s equations of motions and the dynamic parameter identification using the AUV’s decoupled motions will be illustrated. The working principles to calculate the AUV’s positons using the structured laser light will be explained with respect to the surge and pitch motions. The evolutionary optimization strategy used to generate the AUV’s dynamic parameters will be presented.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A051. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47436.

This paper introduces the dynamic 2nd-order Smooth Variable Structure Filter (Dynamic 2nd-order SVSF) method for the purpose of robust state estimation. Thereafter, it presents an application of this method for condition monitoring of an electro-hydrostatic actuator system. The SVSF-type filtering is in general designed based on the sliding mode theory; whereas the sliding mode variable is equal to the innovation (measurement error). In order to formulate the dynamic 2nd-order SVSF, a dynamic sliding mode manifold is defined such that it preserves the first and second order sliding conditions. This causes that the measurement error and its first difference are pushed toward zero until reaching the existence subspace. Hence, this filter benefits from the robustness and chattering suppression properties of the second order sliding mode systems. These help the filter to suppress the undesirable chattering effects without the need for approximation or interpolation that however reduces accuracy and robustness of the SVSF-type filtering. In order to investigate the performance of the dynamic 2nd-order SVSF for state estimation, it applies to an Electro-Hydrostatic Actuator (EHA) system under the normal and uncertain scenarios. Simulation results are then compared with ones obtained by other estimation methods such as the Kalman filter and the 1st-order SVSF method.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A052. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47838.

An interactive, web-based C/C++ computing environment has been developed to facilitate programming education. An editor with syntax highlighting is provided for students to solve the educational lessons designed to introduce computer programming concepts. The system uses SafeCh, a secure C/C++ interpreter that sandboxes the user to protect against server access, to execute code written by the user. Node.js, a JavaScript framework, is used to interface with SafeCh to redirect user input and output data from client to server and vice versa, creating an interactive programming environment. Users are able to access the learning environment conveniently using any internet-enabled device, including mobile phones and tablets. Most other web-based interactive programming tutorials teach scripting languages such as Python or JavaScript. The few existing web tutorials for C/C++ use server-side compilation and thus lack the same interactivity as is available with this system. Given the increasing popularity of programming education events such as Hour of Code, this web-based computing system can be a simple, interactive method to introduce and teach C/C++.

Topics: Cloud computing
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Mechatronics and Embedded Systems for Energy Systems

2015;():V009T07A053. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47200.

The aim of this work is to describe an innovative smart floor based on a self powered system able to allow the localization and analysis of the movement of the users in a specific area. The solution presented involves the use of capacitive sensors on a polymeric support to be inserted between solid wood and a wooden part of a floating parquet. A detailed architecture and implementation of the smart floor is proposed together with an exhaustive test phase. In this paper we first describe the measurement system used to perform reliability and efficiency test of the system. Then the results are discussed and compared with the expected results and the performance of other solutions already known to the state of art. The proposed system is part of HDOMO, an Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) project aimed at developing smart solutions for active ageing.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A054. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47468.

Refreshable Braille Display (RBD) is a device that enables people with visual imparity to read digital text through tactile interface. Braille literacy is essential for empowerment of visually impaired people and offers several advantages over auditory aids. Commercially available RBDs have not been able to penetrate the market due to their high cost. Shape memory alloy (SMA) based Braille display is a low cost alternative but faces the challenge of high power consumption, heat accumulation and low refresh rate. This paper discusses the design, analysis and experimental validation of a cantilever based compliant mechanism for SMA based RBD to solve these issues.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Mechatronics and Embedded Systems in Education

2015;():V009T07A055. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46358.

This paper presents the design of an experimental platform for rapid prototyping, testing, evaluation, and validation of different sensor types and configurations for Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) applications. Two example IMU designs are rapidly prototyped and tested on this experimental platform. The first design was based on a triad of gyroscopes, three dual-axis accelerometers and a triad of magnetometers to provide information on the Earth’s magnetic field for the purpose of bounding the attitude drift. The second system was based on twelve accelerometers and again a triad of magnetometers. An Unscented Kalman Filtering technique is used to fuse the IMU and magnetometer data in both cases for an Inertial Navigation System (INS). Test results are presented comparing the two IMU designs to each other and to ground truth with minimal magnetic interference and with introduction of deliberate magnetic interference. The results indicate that the two systems have excellent performance for high-speed applications, while at lower speeds the first design outperforms the second design. It is also shown that external magnetic disturbance degrades the performance of both designs.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A056. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47262.

This paper deals with the application of the flexible production system in the education of students of different specialties. System allows for the provision of teaching in the same facilities, both for the students of specialized field of study like Mechatronics and such as introductory courses in production management methods for students of Management. The biggest advantage of this system is its modularity allows for any change in the system without having to redesign actuators. These advantages are result of use a lot of flexible solutions, what was precisely described. Line construction involves the cooperation of all the elements, with particular emphasis on robots cooperate with vision system. This will be discussed on the example of the tasks of varying difficulty and educational purpose, implemented using a modular flexible production system.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A057. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47375.

Car tracking algorithms have recently found a major role in intelligent automotive applications. They are mainly based on the state estimation techniques to solve the maneuvering car tracking problems. The dynamic 2nd-order SVSF method is a novel robust state estimation method that is based on the variable structure control theory. It benefits from the accuracy, robustness, and chattering suppression properties of second-order sliding mode systems for robust state estimation. The main contribution of this paper is to present and implement a new tracking strategy that is a combination of the dynamic 2nd-order SVSF with the IMM filter. It benefits from the robust performance of the dynamic 2nd-order SVSF and the switching property of the IMM filter. This strategy is simulated and examined under several car driving patterns and experimental position data that are captured by a GPS device. The robustness and efficiency of this strategy is then compared with the Kalman filter-based counterparts.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A058. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47419.

The number of industrial and household robots is fast increasing. A simpler human-robot interaction is preferred in household robotic applications as well as in hazardous environments. Gesture based control of robots is a step in this direction. In this work, a virtual model of a 3-DOF robotic manipulator is developed using V-Realm Builder in MATLAB and the mathematical models of forward and inverse kinematics of the manipulator are coded in MATLAB/Simulink software. Human hand gestures are captured using a smartphone with accelerometer and orientation sensors. A wireless interface is provided for transferring smartphone sensory data to a laptop running MATLAB/Simulink software. The hand gestures are used as reference signal for moving the wrist of the robot. A user interface shows the instantaneous joint angles of robot manipulator and spatial coordinates of robot wrist. This simple yet effective tool aids in learning a number of aspects of robotics and mechatronics. The animated graphical model of the manipulator provides a better understanding of forward and inverse kinematics of robot manipulator. The robot control using hand gestures generates curiosity in student about interfacing of hardware with computer. It may also stimulate new ideas in students to develop virtual learning tools.

Topics: Manipulators
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A059. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47705.

The design of RoboSim, a virtual environment for modular robots which controls simulated robots with code written for the hardware robots without modification, is described in detail in this paper along with its applications in educational environments. RoboSim integrates into the Ch programming environment, a C/C++ interpreter, that provides the ability to remotely control robots through interpreted C/C++ code allowing users to alternate between hardware and virtual robots without modifying the code. Open source software projects Open Dynamics Engine, OpenSceneGraph, and Qt are employed to produce the virtual environment and user interface which provide the capability of running on all major software platforms. The design of the software includes multiple library modules each specific to a particular task; therefore the simulation library and Graphical User Interface (GUI) can link against only the necessary libraries. The GUI links against the graphical library and XML library to give an interactive view of the RoboSim Scene as users are adding robots and obstacles into both the GUI and simulation. Execution of Ch code generates a new RoboSim Scene window which has the entire simulation that utilizes the simulation, graphical, xml, and callback libraries, in addition to the identical Scene from the GUI. It generates its own window for the user to view and interact with the progress of the simulation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Mechatronics for Advanced Manufacturing

2015;():V009T07A060. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46047.

Growing industrial demand for faster machine tools, makes feed-rate and trajectory optimization a challenging problem in machining processes. One of the most challenging machining operations for computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools is corner tracking. In this scenario, most of the conventional feed-rate optimization approaches sacrifice speed for accuracy. This paper, proposes a new feed-rate and trajectory optimization algorithm for CNC machines. At each corner of the trajectory, the presented algorithm regenerates the trajectory, using a circular move within a desired tolerance limit. Then, a new feed rate optimization method is employed, which enables the machine tool to travel at the maximum feasible velocity through the corners, while taking acceleration constraints into account. Experimental results for different desired tolerances indicate that the new algorithm achieves significantly shorter travel times than the theoretical minimum time trajectory with zero tolerance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A061. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46303.

The mix-up is a phenomenon in which a tablet/capsule gets into a different package. It is an annoying problem because mixing different products in the same package could result dangerous for consumers that take the incorrect product or receive an unintended ingredient. So, the consequences could be very dangerous: overdose, interaction with other medications a consumer may be taking, or an allergic reaction. The manufacturers are not able to guarantee the contents of the packages and so for this reason they are very exposed to the risk in which users rightly want to obtain compensation for possible damages caused by the mix-up. The aim of this work is the identification of mix-up events, through machine learning approach based on data, coming from different embedded systems installed in the manufacturing facilities and from the information system, in order to implement integrated policies for data analysis and sensor fusion that leads to waste and detection of pieces that do not comply. In this field, two types of approaches from the point of view of embedded sensors (optical and NIR vision and interferometry) will be analyzed focusing in particular on data processing and their classification on advanced manufacturing scenarios. Results are presented considering a simulated scenario that uses pre-recorded real data to test, in a preliminary stage, the effectiveness and the novelty of the proposed approach.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A062. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46458.

There is reduction in implementation costs of systems considered too complicated and expensive caused by increasing efficiency and availability of hardware and software. The paper contains a proposal to extend features of standard vision system by 3D scanning capability. System is expected to be implemented in new and existing robotic stations. Basic mathematical equations and hints for the selection of system components are provided.

Topics: Robotics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A063. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46562.

In this paper, an integrated acceleration/deceleration with dynamics interpolation scheme is proposed to confine the maximum contour error at the junction of linear junction. The dynamic contour error equation is derived analytically and then it is utilized for the interpolation design. Based on the derived formulations which could predict the command and dynamic errors, the advanced interpolation design could adjust the connecting velocity of the two blocks to confine the overall contour errors under the given tolerance. Simulation results validate the proposed algorithm can achieve higher accurate trajectory as compared to the other interpolation algorithm proposed in the past.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A064. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46797.

In this paper, we propose a multi-agent systems approach for wireless sensor node tracking in an industrial environment. The research builds on extant work on wireless sensor node clustering by reporting on the development of a set of simulation models to support our distributed management approach for tracking mobile nodes in a large-scale industrial wireless sensor network. Our simulation models build on models and concepts from the literature on wireless sensor networks and wireless communication, with adaptations to address the needs of an industrial environment. An example of mobile node tracking with our distributed management approach is presented, showing accurate tracking performance for both fixed and random mobile node paths.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A065. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47006.

The needs for using robots to assist human workers in accomplishing heavy tasks in a variety of industries are increasing. Almost by default this implies sharing the work space between robots and human operators. As a consequence, safety issues must be carefully taken into account. We have implemented a pilot system based on a standard industrial robot (KUKA KR120 R2500) for interactive handling of heavy and/or large parts and loads. Here we report the safety analysis and risk assessment of such a system following the harmonized robot standards (ISO 10218-1 & -2), including Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA), Use Case Safety Analysis (UCSA) and analysis of system functions and communications.

Topics: Safety , Robots
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A066. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47045.

This paper introduces a control system for human/robot interactive handling of heavy parts and loads. The aim of the study was to demonstrate the feasibility of human/robot cooperative handling of heavy parts and loads with a robot as a load carrier and a human as a motion guide. The control system included a medium sized industrial robot and two 6-dof F/T sensors adjusting the robot motion via parallel impedance compensators. This paper shows the principles for designing stable impedance compensators for hard contact with the environment as well as for soft contact with the human operator. The impedance compensators were evaluated in MATLAB Simulink and the target impedance models were verified with the real robot system. The result was a pilot system for flexible handling of heavy and large-size parts which can substantially improve the production performance and ergonomic work conditions in mechanical and manufacturing shops.

Topics: Robots , Stress
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A067. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47697.

Adaptive navigation is the process by which a vehicle determines where to go based on information received while moving through the field of interest. Adaptive sampling is a specific form of this in which that information is environmental data sampled by the robot. This may be beneficial in order to save time/energy compared to a conventional navigation strategy in which the entire field is traversed. Our work in this area focuses on multi-robot gradient-based techniques for the adaptive sampling of a scalar field. To date, we have experimentally demonstrated multi-robot gradient ascent/descent as well as contour following using automated marine surface vessels. In simulation we have verified controllers for ridge descent / valley ascent as well as saddle point detection and loitering. To support rapid development of our controllers, we have developed a new testbed using wireless transmitters to establish a simple, large-scale, customizable scalar field based on the strength of the radio frequency field. A cluster of six land rovers equipped with radio signal strength sensors is then used to process sampled data, to make adaptive decisions on how to move, and to execute those moves. In this paper, we describe the technical design of the testbed, present initial experimental results, and describe our ongoing research and development work in the area of adaptive sampling and multi-robot control.

Topics: Robots
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Mechatronics for Electrical Vehicular Systems

2015;():V009T07A068. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46720.

New technology trends are spreading in selective waste collection, which apply real-time based info-communication systems defining the saturation of the containers. Merely defining the routes to containers is not enough; saturation of the waste gathering vehicle should also be measured for optimization. In practice, the compression scale of homogenous recyclable waste types is different meaning that saturation optimization cannot be based on this value. This study aims to provide answers to the above-mentioned problem. In order to have an extended analysis the whole city traffic should be taken into account as waste collection traffic may be obstructed by traffic itself. The RPC (Route Planning Center) will apply optimal control for the entire traffic network, which is elaborated by a network analyst pre-calculating network state parameters. The extended approach is based on a determined complex road network modelling technique. Thus further research will be able to integrate the circumstances of the entire traffic network like the definition of traffic network dependent optimal trajectory in chapter 8.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A069. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46724.

The transmitted power of motors can be defined by test bench examinations, in which the motor needs to be dismounted. By applying diagnostic methods only minimal disassembly, or indeed none at all, is necessary. In this paper diagnostic methods are systematized by different studies. Moreover, a new diagnostic procedure (established by the authors) is also introduced, which can be carried out by a relatively cheap measuring system design.

Power measurement on a roller test bench is a well-tried technique for vehicle examination. Basically, the wheel parameters (tractive force, torque, power) are measured, but there are also procedures for motor power measurement. By applying the new procedure, the diagnostic method, (simple construction and test bench construction at a favourable price) torque and power characteristics of the mounted motor can be defined. The theoretical considerations of the new measuring technique and the implementation of the measuring system are introduced in this paper.

Test bench for drive motor power and torque curve determination.

In this study the diagnostical measuring systems and, for the first time, the measuring principle and technology of the new theory-based roller power test bench are presented. For its construction measurements have been carried out which make an important contribution to the research.

The results of the research contribute to the development of diagnostics methods and to making them more wide-spread.

Topics: Torque , Vehicles
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A070. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47075.

The analyses apply new complex model to analyze both road traffic transport processes and spatial nonlinear vehicle dynamic effects. Therefore also the network traffic processes can be analyzed and in a united system the spatial vehicle dynamic processes realized on networks can be attained. Objective the raising the dynamic safety, risk and hazard analysis, reducing the environmental impact of vehicles.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A071. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47077.

Modeling traffic processes on large-scale road networks leads to the application of positive non-linear systems, Luenberger (1979). Running profiles can be gained from the applied large-size network model based on previous validations, which are sufficiently complex, complicated and built up by accelerations, decelerations and frequent stops. To develop accelerated methods for analyzing complex environmental impact on urban trajectories.

Our planned researches on emission encourage the further standardization and beyond that, the bilateral interoperability. According to our goals we point out on the differences, which have to be taken into account in the urban traffic also, and of which the lab measurements may vary. Real processes operate like this, which differ from those applied in laboratories and on roller brake test bench. In reality, however, vehicle emission strongly depends on driving style; moreover, it is also affected by any change in traffic flow. Significant differences can be realized in various regions and countries. The role of the optimal vehicle control is highlighted in every case. The same can be stated of the environmental loads of pollutant emissions and concerning the vehicle and environment dynamic. The detailed analysis introduced above has big impact on further automotive researches as being rapid and applicable for big number of vehicles providing statistical support.

Topics: Cities
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Robotics and Mobile Machines

2015;():V009T07A072. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46732.

This paper investigates the design, modelling and control of a novel contactless active robotic joint using active magnetic bearing (AMB). A robot with such joint avoids dust generation, oil lubrication and friction. This makes such robot suitable for applications in clean environments such as clean and surgery rooms. Also, such joint can be used in space robots, self-reconfiguration robots and robots with selective compliance. In contrast to the passive joint with AMB that needs the control of 5 degree-of-freedom (DOF), the proposed joint here needs the control of 6-DOFs. The additional variable to be controlled is the robot joint angle. Frameless, brushless, direct drive, high torque DC motor (BLDC) is used to control the robot joint angle. A contactless sensor for robot joint angle measurement is proposed. The mutual interaction between the control of the BLDC motor and the AMB is studied. Although in this paper tracking control of the robot joint angle and stabilization of the other 5-DOFs to their null values are carried out, it is possible to carry out tracking control of all the 6-DOFs. This leads to enlarge the mobility of the joint from 1-DOF to 6-DOFs. Feedback linearization controller is used to track the robot joint angle desired trajectory. State feedback controller is used to stabilize the AMB. The proposed system is designed and simulated using CATIA and MATLAB/Simulink. The results prove the feasibility of the proposed robotic joint from design and control view points.

Topics: Design , Robotics
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A073. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46960.

Many real-world applications of robot path planning involves not only finding the shortest path, but also achieving some other objectives such as minimizing fuel consumption or avoiding danger areas. This paper introduces a 2D path planning scheme that solves a multi-objective path planning problem on a 3D terrain. This allows the controller to pick the most suitable path among a set of optimal paths. The algorithm generates a cellular automaton for the terrain based on the objectives by applying various weighting factors via an evolutionary algorithm and finds the optimal path between the start point and the goal for each set of parameters considering static obstacles and maximum slope constraints. All the final trajectories share the same characteristic that they are non-dominated with respect to the rest of the set in the Multi-Objective Optimization Problems (MOP) context. The objectives considered in this study includes the path length, the elevation changes and avoiding the radars. Testing the algorithm on several problems showed that the method is very promising for mobile robot path planning applications.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A074. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47140.

In robotics, both the analytical and numerical studies play a vital role to predict the dynamic behaviours of robotic systems. Nevertheless, dynamic modelling is essential to predict the system behaiours. In this paper, both the analytical and numerical approaches are worked out for a leg of a hydraulic quadruped robot. The research aims at the identification of system parameters like inertial and geometrical magnitudes of a complex assembled leg at various cases. Due to the articulated mechanism, the model owns a significant mathematical complexity which should be possibly reduced through a combined use of analytical and multibody tools as a preliminary step to experimental identification. Both simulations and experiments results have been carried out for the goal.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A075. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47371.

The paper presents the preliminary design of a novel gripper able to grasp large non-rigid materials that has been conceived to face the challenge of automatic handling tasks in the leather industry. The design has been driven by the requirements to limit production costs and the complexity of the grasping device. A statistical analysis of the different templates sizes has allowed to identify a fixed configuration of the gripping points able to properly pick all the sheets within a great confidence interval. According to the varying shape of the leather templates themselves, that is due to their stacking in plies on the beam, the trajectory of the gripping points has been studied and arranged. Due to the irregular shape of the large sheets that are handled, the edges of the non-rigid materials out of the gripping area might flutter during the transferring phase: a four-bar linkage has been specifically designed, so that the motion of its end-effector prevents unwanted leather creases.

Topics: Grippers
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A076. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47399.

This paper presents the design of a reconfigurable parallel kinematics machine endowed with three degrees of freedom of pure translation, or alternately of pure rotation. Such reconfigurability results from the use of lockable spherical joints, which realize the connection between each robot leg and the moving platform. Three actuated legs are used to drive the platform motion. The change of configuration occurs only at a specific pose, called home configuration. A control strategy allows to manage the shift phase and activate the two mobilities one at a time. Multibody simulations allowed to analyze the dynamic behavior of the manipulator and to verify the choices made with regard to the robot mechanics and the size of actuation systems. Position and differential kinematics of the manipulator are briefly introduced in order to demonstrate the simplicity of the analytic expressions and the mechanical feasibility of the manipulator.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A077. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47845.

Meso-scale power systems (10 W to 1000 W) are needed to power untethered mobile robots and assisting devices such as powered exoskeletons. Air-breathing combustion driven actuators, used in a direct acting manner, can be used for such applications and take advantage of the high power density of fluidic actuators and the high energy density of chemical fuels. However, fuel-to-mechanical energy conversion efficiency is critical to make such chemical systems viable over electrical systems. This paper presents the efficiency-based design and experimental characterization of two combustion driven actuators intended to reach high specific power and specific energy. First, efficiency oriented design principles are derived from internal combustion engine theory: (1) an ideal-cycle thermodynamic model of a generic constant volume combustion system suggests that compression ratio and the expansion/compression ratio should both be maximized, and (2) the practical effects of heat, mass and friction losses as well as fuel choice in a small scale combustion chamber context are discussed. Second, two simplified prototypes are built and tested. The first prototype uses a rolling diaphragm seal to limit the effect of mass and friction losses. The second prototype consists of a standard air cylinder that minimizes heat losses by reducing the surface-to-volume ratio of the combustion chamber. Hydrogen is selected as fuel because it allows lean combustion which limits the effect of heat loss with low combustion temperatures. Compression ratio and equivalence ratio are varied experimentally to evaluate their effect on efficiency. Experimental results demonstrate an energy conversion efficiency of 15.3% at a compression ratio of 4.15 and a low equivalence ratio of 0.3. Ragone analysis of relevant meso-scale power systems for mobile robotic suggest that, with proper optimization and system integration, combustion driven power systems can become a viable solution for lightweight and long range meso-scale robotic applications.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A078. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47862.

This article describes the design and mechanism of ChMindstorms, a cross-platform multi-robot controller, for controlling and programming Lego Mindstorms robots, NXT and EV3, with C/C++ code. Heterogeneous multi-robot systems are facing unique control and programming challenges due to cooperation between different types of robots. ChMindstorms not only has a Graphic Users Interface (GUI) for controller each robot, but also provides Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) integrated with Ch, a C/C++ interpreter, so that robots can be controlled remotely by C/C++ code without compilation. In addition, different types of robots can cooperate with each other effectively, such as sharing sensing abilities. Debugging process is also simplified since a debugger is implemented in Ch so that even beginners can also easily program Lego robots.

Topics: Robots
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A079. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47982.

We have developed a tracked mobile robot which is equipped with four legs at its body. This robot is able to not only move on rough terrain robustly, but also perform handing tasks such as carrying an object and removing small obstacles in its movement by using the legs as manipulation arms. This paper describes mechanisms and characteristics of the robot. Several experimental results showed the validity on basic movements by legs and tracks and handling tasks of this robot.

Topics: Mobile robots
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Sensors and Actuators

2015;():V009T07A080. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46031.

In the present study, we propose an innovative autofocusing (AF) voice coil motor (VCM) actuator to replace the traditional AF VCM actuators with springs for smart phone camera modules. In the proposed electromagnetic structure, the magnetic pre-compression force between the two guide rods and permanent magnet is used to replace the restoring resilience force of the two springs in the traditional AF VCM actuators. The proposed AF VCM actuator is characterized numerically using the simulation analysis of commercial software Infolytica MagNet and then verified experimentally using a laboratory-built prototype. The experimental results presented in this study show compared to traditional AF VCM actuator, the proposed AF VCM actuator has excellent AF performance to be able to replace the traditional AF VCM actuators. As a result, the proposed device provides a promising solution for smart phone camera modules or industrial applications.

Topics: Actuators
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A081. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46037.

Automotive Theft has been a persistent problem around the world. Design and manufacture of anti-theft systems have become more and more intricate due to the rise in complexity of theft in the system. Most of the anti-theft systems existing in the market, are the alarm types which audibly prevent some thieves away but do not prevent one’s car from being stolen and even are not good enough to meet the growing complexity of theft in the country. This paper presents a simple and an efficient anti-theft system which provides enhanced security by the use of efficient access mechanisms and immobilization systems. This security system can immobilise an automobile and its key auto systems through remote control when it is stolen. It hence deters thieves from committing the theft. It also effectively prevents stealing of key auto systems for reselling by introducing four layers of security features written in the form of firmware and embedded on the Electronic Control Units (ECUs). The particulars of system design and operation are defined in the paper. The experimental outcomes show that this system is feasible and the owner can steadily control his vehicle within a few seconds.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A082. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46166.

This paper develops a light-weight compact three-axis force senor for high-precision manufacturing application. This sensor uses a cubic three-axial translational compliant parallel mechanism to undergo the loading on its end-effector thereby producing voltages through strain gauges on the deformed beams. The cubic compliant parallel mechanism and sensor system are described at first. Force sensing theoretical analysis is then presented followed by the initial experimental testing and analysis. A linear matrix based multi-axis loading decoupling method is also proposed so that the sensed force can maximally reflect the actual applied force in each axis. The work in this paper is expected to lay a foundation for further investigation into the online force sensing in the high-precision machine tool.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A083. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46729.

Magnetic linear encoder has been increasingly integrated in various position control system while demands for high precision machine tool to produce high precision products increase. During the manufacture of magnetic encoding medium, the medium is not expected to be flat due to packaging induced plastic deformation and residual stress. Medium deformation will result in damaging the performance of the medium such as the accuracy and magnetic flux density distribution. In this paper, the research efforts are devoted to develop a roller leveling system to flatten the curved magnetic medium, validated by parameter studies to investigate how roller leveling can be integrated into the manufacture of magnetic encoding medium in order to improve mechanical deflection and residual stress. The mechanical design of the roller leveling cycles has been completed. Experimental results demonstrate that roller leveling can significantly improve mechanical deflection of pre-stressed curve magnetic medium up to almost 60%.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A084. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47209.

This paper proposed a novel Pneumatic Artificial Muscles (PAM) actuator to solve critical problems that bring about buckling and disturb linear motion due to structure characteristics. The traditional PAM actuators in a relaxed state require an additional mechanism due to bucking. Also the PAM actuator need to precise external sensors. As a result, the size of the entire system is large and heavy, so it is difficult to miniaturize and integrate. Also the PAM actuators cannot be used in a small mechanism such as a robot hand tip. Therefor we proposed a novel PAM actuator that do not need to an additional mechanism such as link, joint, tendon and transmission and external sensors in order to eliminate these problems.

Topics: Sensors , Actuators , Muscle
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A085. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47213.

Humans can discriminate surface roughness using fingertip’s touch. It is believed that surface roughness is perceived by static and dynamic deformation of human skin. Recent findings have shown that subcutaneous slowly adapting mechanoreceptor (SA) detect static deformation of finger skin. However, there are difficulties to infinitely increase density of SA in limited skin space. [1] So, we focused on dynamic deformation is related with rapidly adapting mechanoreceptor (RA). In the process of scanning surface of objects with fingertips, RA detects vibrations induced by skin deformation. In this study, we suggest that sensors mimicking roles of RA can detect surface roughness. We used a polymer having similar characteristics of skin surface that transduce physical vibrations into electrical signal. And an array of polymer structures discriminates surface roughness. In other researches, they were tried to use one mechanoreceptor to acquire total range of vibrations. From the point of view which RAs have different vibration sensing ranges, we divided range of vibration through polymer structures and analyzed frequency element.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A086. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47734.

This paper presents the design and calibration of a 3D high-resolution surface profiling system using photometric stereo (PS). This system is mainly composed of a high resolution DSLR camera with a macro lens facing perpendicularly to the target surface, and several LEDs tilting towards the surface constrained by a light fixture. With each LED turned on at a time to create one lighting direction, the camera fixed at the same position captures an image. PS with surface normal integration (SNI) are then performed to reconstruct the surface in 3D. Methods of four calibrations for the developed system are proposed to achieve better accuracy, which are the camera radiometric calibration, the camera geometric calibration, the light direction calibration and the light intensity calibration. Experiments have demonstrated that the developed system with the calibration processes could achieve the accuracy in the order of 10 microns.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A087. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47760.

Structured-light (SL) sensing techniques have been emerging as a popular non-contact optical method for 3D surface profiling of complex objects in manufacturing inspection applications. The measured object is illuminated with sinusoidal phase-shifted projection patterns that are deformed based on the 3D surface profile of the object. To-date, no methodology exists to determine the number of multiple fringe patterns needed in order to improve the measurement accuracy of an SL sensory system. In this paper, we present a novel design methodology that encompasses a detailed procedure for designing the projection patterns in order to minimize system noise and provide accurate 3D measurements. Experiments are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.

Topics: Sensors , Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A088. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47872.

Soft robotics integrates compliant actuators and sensors that expand design possibilities beyond classic robotics based on rigid modular components. In particular, deformable elastomer-based actuators used in soft robots, such as air-muscles, offer the possibility of having large numbers of embedded degrees of freedom. However, air-muscles fatigue life and strain capability call for a tradeoff, limiting their practical use in demanding applications such as physical rehabilitation, medical robotics, and mobile robots. This paper presents the design of a durable high-strain air-muscle composed of a silicone tube and an axially elastic sleeve (radially rigid), which integrates a flexible Dielectric Elastomer (DE) position sensor. The uniformity of the sleeve, by opposition to usual braids, makes for a reinforcement without local stresses that cause membrane failure. Designed based on fatigue failure principles, this air-muscle withstands 145 000 cycles at 50 % elongation, which demonstrates its potential as a durable high-strain actuator. Performance maps of the air-muscle confirm good linearity between force, pressure and strain and demonstrate bi-directional force capability. Furthermore, the integration of a DE sensor allows for accurate position control of the air-muscle (0.17 mm), making the air-muscle/sensor unit a relevant building block for complex soft robotics systems. The all-polymer high-strain actuator/sensor unit proves to be accurate and durable as well as cost-effective, thus making it ideal for soft robotics applications requiring large numbers of actuators and integrated sensing.

Topics: Sensors , Design , Robotics , Muscle
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

2015 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications: Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technologies and Applications

2015;():V009T07A089. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46187.

Conventional vehicles are creating pollution problems, global warming and the extinction of high density fuels. To address these problems, automotive companies and universities are researching on hybrid electric vehicles where two different power devices are used to propel a vehicle. This research studies the development and testing of a dynamic model for Prius 2010 Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD), a power-split device. The device was modeled and integrated with a hybrid vehicle model. To add an electric only mode for vehicle propulsion, the hybrid synergy drive was modified by adding a clutch to carrier 1. The performance of the integrated vehicle model was tested with UDDS drive cycle using rule-based control strategy. The dSPACE Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) simulator was used for HIL simulation test. The HIL simulation result shows that the integration of developed HSD dynamic model with a hybrid vehicle model was successful.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A090. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46335.

In this paper, a chaotic chemical reaction optimization approach to receding horizon control is proposed for multiple unmanned aerial vehicles formation. To keep the coordinated formation with the minimum cost value in all of the planning horizons, the unmanned aerial vehicles formation problem is converted to online optimization problems by giving a receding horizon control scheme. The chemical reaction optimization algorithm is a new optimization inspired by the nature of chemical reactions. Furthermore, the chaotic operator is utilized to help the optimization algorithm avoid of the local optimum and find better optimal parameters. Comparative results show that our proposed method outperforms over traditional particle swarm optimization algorithm.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A091. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46401.

Real-time and accurate detection of the voltage sag characteristics is the premise to achieve dynamic voltage restorer compensation. An improved αβ-dq transformation detection method is presented for the limitations of traditional detection methods. In this method, the α-axis component of the αβ static coordinate system is deduced according to the single-phase voltage. The virtual β-axis component is constructed from the derivative of the α-axis component. The magnitudes, duration, phase-angle jump of the voltage sag are detected quickly and accurately by αβ-dq transformation and low-pass filter. The original data is real-time, which ensures faster detection response speed and reduces the computation greatly. In addition, an optimization design method for digital low-pass filter is presented against the contradictions existing in real-time and filtering effect of common low-pass filter. This adopts inertial filter to improve the characteristics of Butterworth low-pass filter and enable them to better adapt to the needs of the voltage sag detection thus improving the real-time quality and precision of dynamic voltage restorer.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A092. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46656.

This paper presents the development of a wireless instrumentation system for estimation of air turbulence patterns in real-time. The proposed system uses off-the-shelf RC helicopter flying in wind turbulent regions and uses the oscillations caused by wind gusts to measure turbulence. This paper presents the proposed system as a tool to measure off-board ship air wake patterns generated by a cruising naval patrol craft. Two aviation grade Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) with onboard filters are used in this system. These filters precisely measure the dynamics and the location of the helicopter with respect to the vessel. The data is then wirelessly transmitted to a base station on the vessel where Back Propagation neural networks are used to remove the effects of pilot inputs from vibrational data in real time to extract the oscillations caused by the turbulence alone. The system was tested in Chesapeake Bay in a wide range of wind conditions and the results are shown as air wake intensity patterns plotted on helicopter trajectory around the cruising vessel. The proposed system will be used for experimental validation of CFD models to predict ship air wakes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A093. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46695.

Lots of drone crashes happen when the operator goes out of the control loop. In drone controlling scenarios, exerting force feedback to the operator keeps the human in the loop and improves the performance of the operation. Thus, having the required knowledge about human force sensitivities will have a great influence on applying the proper amount of force-feedback to the operator. One of the important human factors is the so-called “just noticeable difference” (JND) that describes the minimum noticeable difference for any stimulus, which has been investigated in the literature.

The goal of this study is to utilize the results of previous researches on extracting force JND values for human wrist and shoulder, use them in a drone control scenario to present the effects of these factors. Even though the final goal of this project is to control a drone in the real world situation, we focus on a simulated case with 1 DoF. We create a virtual environment that a drone can be controlled with a 1 DoF haptic device. Any change in the drone state will be reflected as a force change on the haptic interface that is applied to the operator. We calculate the force change in different ways, and report the influences on the control performance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A094. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46998.

In this paper, a novel active disturbance compensating tracking control method is presented with applications to an unmanned quadrotor helicopter. First, a normal state feedback tracking controller is optimized to guarantee stable operation in a calm environment and then, a retrofit control mechanism including a disturbance estimator and an adaptive compensator are developed that asymptotically stabilize the closed-loop system in the presence of constant external force disturbances. To evaluate the presented scheme, numerical simulations based on a nonlinear quadrotor helicopter model are conducted by comparing the performance of a normal control method and the proposed control approach.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A095. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47537.

Safety assurance of railway tracks is an important task because defects on the railway track may cause trains to be derailed. Unfortunately, there are many fatal train crashes reported in Turkey, Spain and India caused by derailment of the trains. Besides the fatalities, derailment of the trains causes significant economic losses, delay of the timetables and discomfort. Manually investigating the railway tracks are substantially time consuming and expensive. In addition to this, it is human dependent so that the task is prone to error, which may end up without noticing important defects. In this study, a robust and economical method, which automates the investigation of railway tracks, is proposed. The proposed method scans the railway track by a high-resolution optic camera mounted on an UAV. Obtained optic images of the railway track are georeferenced by automatically extracting the Ground Control Points (GCP). The railway track is extracted from the optic image by edge detection. Afterward, any defect on the railway track such as missing bolt or damage on the sleepers and any impropriety of ballasts can be detected by performing image analysis techniques. Advantages of the optic system are its lightweight, higher georeferencing accuracy, and low power consumption. Sony HX300 DSLR camera with 20.4 MP resolution is calibrated on the ground and optical images are obtained at similar imaging geometry. For this reason, flight altitude is fixed as 12 foot above the railway track. The optical camera is mounted on quadcopter, which has 6 kg of maximum take-off weight. The system is tested in Pittsburgh and satisfactory initial test results are obtained. Consequently, site tests showed that the proposed robust and economic system is a good candidate to be implemented for monitoring the railway tracks.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A096. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47789.

We present a method to visually track and follow a target using a platoon of three unmanned aerial vehicles for the purpose of surveillance, monitoring or escorting. A coordination control technique that enhances specification and monitoring of high level formation parameters such as position, orientation and size is used as a basis for the coordination. A model of a video camera is employed to obtain relative positions with respect to the target of interest. An open-source simulator of Parrot Ar.Drone quadrotors running on the Robot Operating System environment is used to demonstrate the system functionality. Two test cases are presented to illustrate the validity of the approach.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2015;():V009T07A097. doi:10.1115/DETC2015-47790.

This paper discusses a position and height limitation control for a quadrotor UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) using Model Predictive Control (MPC) approach. Nonlinear dynamics of the quadrotor is discussed first, and decoupled linearized dynamics is obtained. For the implementation of MPC, extended state vector of vehicle is generated, and augmented linear dynamics is constructed. The MPC in this paper utilizes a set of Laguerre function as basis to approximate the future movement of modeled vehicle. Position/height constraints and vehicle actuator characteristics enter the dynamics as linearized inequalities, which could be solved on-line via a recursive optimization approach. While validations based on experimental tests will be conducted in future, currently simulations have been completed. Based on the simulation results, when state of the vehicle is laid within the permissible bound, it retains the same dynamics of original vehicle. However, if predicted response exceeds the limits, however, MPC will take effect and restrict associate vehicle states. The discussed MPC framework in this paper is considered to be applicable.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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