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Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date April 2006

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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): c1
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  • IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics publication information

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  • Guest Editorial Introduction to the Focused Section on Biomimetics and Novel Aspects in Robotics

    Page(s): 117 - 118
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  • High-frequency acceleration feedback in wave variable telerobotics

    Page(s): 119 - 127
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (462 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The human hand is very sensitive to the high-frequency accelerations produced by tool contact with a hard object, yet most time delayed telerobots neglect this feedback band entirely in order to achieve stability. We present a control architecture that both incorporates this important information and provides the ability to scale and shape it independently of the low-frequency force feedback. Leveraging the clean power flows afforded by wave variables, this augmented controller preserves the passivity of any environment that it renders to the user, but is not subject to the limitations of being passive itself. This architecture guarantees stability in the presence of communication delay while achieving a level of feedback not possible with a passive controller. We show experimentally that this feedback augmentation and shaping can present a high-frequency acceleration profile to the user's hand that is similar to that experienced by the slave end effector. Two simple user studies also show that the feedback augmentation improves the user's perception, performance, and confidence with the given tasks. We anticipate that these natural haptic cues will make teleoperative systems easier to use and thus more widely applicable. View full abstract»

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  • Biomechanical design of the Berkeley lower extremity exoskeleton (BLEEX)

    Page(s): 128 - 138
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    Wheeled vehicles are often incapable of transporting heavy materials over rough terrain or up staircases. Lower extremity exoskeletons supplement human intelligence with the strength and endurance of a pair of wearable robotic legs that support a payload. This paper summarizes the design and analysis of the Berkeley lower extremity exoskeleton (BLEEX). The anthropomorphically based BLEEX has 7 DOF per leg, four of which are powered by linear hydraulic actuators. The selection of the DOF, critical hardware design aspects, and initial performance measurements of BLEEX are discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Sensorless temperature estimation and control of shape memory alloy actuators using thermoelectric devices

    Page(s): 139 - 144
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (208 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A method for feedback control of the temperature of shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators without using dedicated temperature sensors is presented in this paper. Thermoelectric devices (TEDs) are used to simultaneously sense and control the SMA temperature by alternating between driving the TEDs via the Peltier effect and measuring the local temperature difference across the TEDs via the Seebeck effect. A low-order ARX model that estimates the SMA temperature is derived. This model is used for feedback control of the SMA temperature in lieu of an external temperature sensor. A controller is implemented, which demonstrates the performance of the estimation technique. This method will enable the production of large arrays of TED-driven SMA tendon actuators, particularly for large DOF robotic systems. View full abstract»

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  • Design of a mechanism for biaxial rotation of a wing for a hovering vehicle

    Page(s): 145 - 153
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    This paper presents a novel mechanism to actuate the wings of a hovering micro air vehicle (MAV). The mechanism uses a single actuator, but each wing can rotate about two orthogonal axes. The goal of this work is to design a light-weight compact mechanism that flaps the wings, inspired from the wing motion of hummingbird and hovering insects, to generate enough lift for the vehicle to hover. This paper explains in detail the proposed mechanism and its working prototypes. Also, the paper presents a dynamic simulation of the mechanism. The proposed dynamic simulation is used to predict the theoretical lift of the ornithopter. Further, the theoretical model is supported by actual experimental data collected from the prototype. The experimental data shows that the vehicle has the potential to develop enough lift to hover. View full abstract»

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  • A robust compliant grasper via shape deposition manufacturing

    Page(s): 154 - 161
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (842 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Joint compliance can enable successful robot grasping despite uncertainties in target object location. Compliance also enhances manipulator robustness by minimizing contact forces in the event of unintended contacts or impacts. In this paper, we describe the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a novel compliant robotic grasper constructed using polymer-based shape deposition manufacturing. Joints are formed by elastomeric flexures, and actuator and sensor components are embedded in tough rigid polymers. The result is a robot gripper with the functionality of conventional metal prototypes for grasping in unstructured environments but with robustness properties that allow for large forces due to inadvertent contact. View full abstract»

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  • Motion control of a novel planar biped with nearly linear dynamics

    Page(s): 162 - 168
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    In this paper, we propose the design of a planar biped for which the model is nearly linear, i.e., the inertia matrix is a constant and the gravity terms in the equations of motion are still nonlinear, but simplified. The legs are designed such that the inertia matrix is independent of the joint variables. As a result, the nonlinear terms in the centrifugal and Coriolis terms disappear. In this design, each leg has two links that are connected by a revolute joint at the knee. The two legs are connected to each other at the hip. The center of mass of each leg is located at the hip, using counterweights. We assume that the stance leg is locked at the knee during the support phase. For this system, dynamic model for complete walking, i.e., swing phase, knee lock, and foot impact are considered. Motion control for trajectory following of this design is studied using a nonlinear controller. The paper discusses the issue of tracking of desired trajectories during the full cycle motion. View full abstract»

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  • Screw-theoretic analysis framework for cooperative payload transport by mobile manipulator collectives

    Page(s): 169 - 178
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    In recent times, there has been considerable interest in creating and deploying modular cooperating collectives of robots. Interest in such cooperative systems typically arises when certain tasks are either too complex to be performed by a single agent or when there are distinct benefits that accrue by cooperation of many simple robotic modules. However, the nature of both the individual modules as well as their interactions can affect the overall system performance. In this paper, we examine this aspect in the context of cooperative payload transport by robot collectives wherein the physical nature of the interactions between the various modules creates a tight coupling within the system. We leverage the rich theoretical background of analysis of constrained mechanical systems to provide a systematic framework for formulation and evaluation of system-level performance on the basis of the individual-module characteristics. The composite multi-degree-of-freedom (DOF) wheeled vehicle, formed by supporting a common payload on the end-effectors of multiple individual mobile manipulator modules, is treated as an in-parallel system with articulated serial-chain arms. The system-level model, constructed from the twist- and wrench-based models of the attached serial chains, can then be systematically analyzed for performance (in terms of mobility and disturbance rejection). A two-module composite system example is used throughout the paper to highlight various aspects of methodical system model formulation, effects of selection of active, passive or locked articulations on system performance, and experimental validation on a hardware prototype test bed. View full abstract»

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  • Steerability for planar dissipative passive haptic interfaces

    Page(s): 179 - 184
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (183 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This research addresses the ability of dissipative passive actuators to generate control effects on a passive haptic interface. The ability is first identified as the steerability, i.e., the ability to redirect motions of a manipulator. The force-generation analysis of each individual actuator is then selected as an approach to evaluate the steerability. Passive steerability angle is defined to quantify the steerability for a planar manipulator. Two-sided steerability is defined as a minimum requirement for a planar robot to redirect all motions. A nonredundant 2R manipulator does not have two-sided steerability in all situations. Redundancy brought by serial or parallel structures could improve the steerability of a manipulator. The steerability theorem is developed to determine two-sided steerability for a multijoint manipulator. The research focuses on using brakes, a common type of dissipative passive actuators. View full abstract»

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  • Wheel slippage and sinkage detection for planetary rovers

    Page(s): 185 - 195
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    Mobile robots are increasingly being used in high-risk rough terrain situations, such as planetary exploration and military applications. Current control and localization algorithms are not well suited to rough terrain, since they generally do not consider the physical characteristics of the vehicle and its environment. Little attention has been devoted to the study of the dynamic effects occurring at the wheel-terrain interface, such as slip and sinkage. These effects compromise odometry accuracy, traction performance, and may even result in entrapment and consequent mission failure. This paper describes methods for wheel slippage and sinkage detection aiming at improving vehicle mobility on soft sandy terrain. Novel measures for wheel slip detection are presented based on observing different onboard sensor modalities and defining deterministic conditions that indicate vehicle slippage. An innovative vision-based algorithm for wheel sinkage estimation is discussed based on edge detection strategy. Experimental results, obtained with a Mars rover-type robot operating in high-slippage sandy environments and with a wheel sinkage testbed, are presented to validate our approach. It is shown that these techniques are effective in detecting wheel slip and sinkage. View full abstract»

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  • Design and energetic characterization of a proportional-injector monopropellant-powered actuator

    Page(s): 196 - 204
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    This paper describes the design and energetic characterization of an actuator designed to provide enhanced system energy and power density for self-powered robots. The proposed actuator is similar to a typical compressible gas fluid-powered actuator, but pressurizes the respective cylinder chambers via a pair of proportional injector valves, which control the flow of a liquid monopropellant through a pair of catalyst packs and into the respective sides of the double-acting cylinder. This paper describes the design of the proportional injection valves and describes the structure of a force controller for the actuator. Finally, an energetic characterization of the actuator shows improvement relative to prior configurations and marked improvement relative to state-of-the-art batteries and motors. View full abstract»

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  • Localization and follow-the-leader control of a heterogeneous group of mobile robots

    Page(s): 205 - 215
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (749 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper investigates the control and localization of a heterogeneous (e.g., different sensing, mechanical, computational capabilities) group of mobile robots. The group considered here has several inexpensive sensor-limited and computationally limited robots, which follow a leader robot in a desired formation over long distances. This situation is similar to a search, demining, or planetary exploration situation where there are several deployable/disposable robots led by a more sophisticated leader. Specifically, the robots in this paper are designed for highway safety applications where they automatically deploy and maneuver safety barrels commonly used to control traffic in highway work zones. Complex sensing and computation are performed by the leader, while the followers perform simple operations under the leader's guidance. This architecture allows followers to be simple, inexpensive, and have minimal sensors. Theoretical and statistical analysis of a tracking-based localization method is provided. A simple follow-the-leader control method is also presented, including a method for changing follower's configuration. Experimental results of localization and follow-the-leader formation-motion are included. View full abstract»

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  • MRI/fMRI-compatible robotic system with force feedback for interaction with human motion

    Page(s): 216 - 224
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    This paper presents a robotic system that is compatible with anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as with the more sensitive functional MRI (fMRI), and can safely and smoothly interact with human motion during the imaging. The system takes advantage of the electromagnetic shield that encloses the MR room by placing the interfering or sensitive components outside the shield, in the control room. This eliminates the need for extensive compatibility testing before each use. The concept is based on a conventional actuator placed outside the scanner room and a hydrostatic connection to transmit force and motion to an MR-compatible slave placed next to or inside the MR scanner. A force sensor, based on reflected light intensity measurement over optical fibers, measures interaction forces with the human subject. A robotic interface for wrist motion demonstrates the MR compatibility of this concept and the possibility to interact with various dynamic environments during functional imaging. This technology provides a basis for applications such as assistive devices for interventional MRI and haptic interfaces for neuroscience investigations. View full abstract»

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  • Line-of-sight task-space sensing methodology for the localization of robotic end-effectors

    Page(s): 225 - 232
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    In this paper, the implementation of a line-of-sight (LOS) task-space sensing methodology is presented for guidance-based microlocalization of robotic end-effectors. The novelty of the overall system is its applicability to cases that do not allow for the direct proximity measurement of the end-effector's pose (position and orientation). The mobility of the localization application dictates the minimum number and the type (planar or spatial) of the LOS that would be necessary to use and, consequently, the exact configuration of the sensing system. Although the main focus of the paper is the presentation of the proposed LOS sensing system, a brief discussion of a robot-guidance method, which relies on the use of this sensing system, is also included. Extensive experiments conducted for a high-precision 3-DOF (degrees of freedom) planar robotic platform utilizing the overall guidance system validated our research. View full abstract»

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  • Extremum-seeking nonlinear controllers for a human exercise machine

    Page(s): 233 - 240
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    In this paper, a next generation exercise machine controller is developed for a single degree of freedom (DOF) system to maximize the user's power output and ensure passivity with the user. In an effort to optimize the user's power expenditure, a desired velocity trajectory is developed that seeks the unknown user-dependent optimal velocity setpoint. Two extremum-seeking algorithms are presented (e.g., Kristic and Deng, and Tuekosky et al.) that seek the optimal velocity setpoint while ensuring the trajectory is sufficiently differentiable. To track the reference trajectory and to ensure passivity, two controllers are developed. The first controller is developed based on the assumption that the user's torque input can be measured. A second controller is designed that estimates the user's torque input. Both controllers are proven to ensure that the exercise machine remains passive with respect to the user's power output. The controllers are proven to yield semiglobal tracking through Lyapunov-based analyses. Proof-of-concept experimental results are provided that illustrate the performance of the torque estimation controller. View full abstract»

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  • Application of a 3-DOF parallel manipulator for earthquake simulations

    Page(s): 241 - 246
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    In this paper a formulation and experimental results are presented for a novel application of a 3-degree of freedom (DOF) parallel manipulator to simulate point seismograms and three-dimensional (3-D) earthquake motion. The rigid body acceleration is analyzed to simulate real 3-D earthquakes. Furthermore, first experimental results are reported to analyze earthquake effects on scaled civil structures. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE order form for reprints

    Page(s): 247
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    Page(s): 248
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  • IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics Information for authors

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Aims & Scope

IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics encompasses all practical aspects of the theory and methods of mechatronics, the synergetic integration of mechanical engineering with electronic and intelligent computer control in the design and manufacture of industrial products and processes.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Okyay Kaynak
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Bogazici University
34342 Istanbul, Turkey
okyay.kaynak@boun.edu.tr