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Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on

Issue 3 • Date June 2012

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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): C1 - C4
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  • IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics publication information

    Page(s): C2
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  • Guest Editorial Introduction to the Focused Section on Wireless Mechatronics

    Page(s): 397 - 403
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (263 KB)  

    Wireless mechatronic devices, services, and systems are experiencing fast growth in a variety of application fields, such as manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare. For instance, it is envisaged that service and personal care wireless mechatronic systems will become more and more prevalent at home in the near future and will be very useful in assistive healthcare particularly for the elderly and disabled. Another concrete example is radio-frequency identification-based devices and systems that are showing significant potentials in applications from manufacturing, security, logistics, airline baggage management to postal tracking. In an effort to disseminate current advances on wireless mechatronics, this Focused Section reports some of the latest theoretical developments and applications in this fast-growing area. View full abstract»

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  • Embedded System Integrated Into a Wireless Sensor Network for Online Dynamic Torque and Efficiency Monitoring in Induction Motors

    Page(s): 404 - 414
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    The system proposed in this paper aims at monitoring the torque and efficiency in induction motors in real time by employing wireless sensor networks (WSNs). An embedded system is employed for acquiring electrical signals from the motor in a noninvasive manner, and then performing local processing for torque and efficiency estimation. The values calculated by the embedded system are transmitted to a monitoring unit through an IEEE 802.15.4-based WSN. At the base unit, various motors can be monitored in real time. An experimental study was conducted for observing the relationship between the WSN performance and the spectral occupancy at the operating environment. This study demonstrated that the use of intelligent nodes, with local processing capability, is essential for this type of application. The embedded system was deployed on a workbench, and studies were conducted to analyze torque and system efficiency. View full abstract»

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  • A Magnetically Sprung Generator for Energy Harvesting Applications

    Page(s): 415 - 424
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    The use of vibration energy harvesting systems for supplying energy to wireless sensor nodes is becoming increasingly popular. This paper presents a magnetically sprung vibration energy harvester that has a broadband response and is tunable. The system comprises three annular magnets longitudinally arranged along a shaft, resulting in a nonlinear hardening suspension and consequential “jump” phenomenon characteristic. This paper presents and validates a toolbox that can be used to develop such systems using a time step model and prototype. It comprises accurate models of the magnetic suspension force and electromagnetic coupling coefficient, which links the mechanical and electrical domains. The system is compared with those in the literature using power density and effectiveness metrics. The nonoptimized prototype has an average power density of 600 W·m-3 and is comparable to those in the literature. View full abstract»

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  • A Wireless Sensory Feedback Device for Real-Time Gait Feedback and Training

    Page(s): 425 - 433
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    This paper presents a new sensing and feedback system for a personal gait rehabilitation device based on wireless transmission of ambulation data for real-time sensory feedback for assistive healthcare. An integrated force-sensing insole was designed, using embedded force sensitive resistors that were sampled using a microprocessor, which then transmitted the data to an Android smartphone for presentation to the user. Experiments were performed to verify that the device captured accurate gait data, and was able to influence the gait of the subject. In addition, different sensory methods of feedback were tested to determine their individual efficacy at modulating the gait of study subject. The results show that the feedback system is capable of influencing the gait of the user, without the need for direct supervision by a rehabilitation specialist. In addition, a statistical analysis was performed to establish the reliability and repeatability of the system. From these results, this feedback system is established as a novel, inexpensive, and effective candidate for use in clinical rehabilitation of persons with gait abnormalities. View full abstract»

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  • The WHaSP: A Wireless Hands-Free Surgical Pointer for Minimally Invasive Surgery

    Page(s): 434 - 442
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (594 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    To address the challenges of surgical instruction during minimally invasive surgery (MIS), a wireless hands-free pointer system has been developed. The Wireless Hands-free Surgical Pointer system incorporates infrared and inertial tracking technologies to address the need for hands-free pointing during MIS. The combination of these technologies allows for optimal movement of the pointer and excellent accuracy while the user is located at a realistic distance from the surgical monitor. Several experimental evaluations were performed to optimize the settings of the sensors, and to validate the system when compared to a commercially available hands-free pointing system. The results show improved performance with the proposed technology as measured by the total trajectory travelled by the pointer and the smoothness of the curve. The technology presented has the potential to significantly improve surgical instruction and guidance during MIS. View full abstract»

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  • Shared Nonlinear Control in Wireless-Based Remote Stabilization: A Theoretical Approach

    Page(s): 443 - 453
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1462 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper proposes shared control in wireless-based remote stabilization for nonlinear systems. Shared control that is newly named in this paper can be regarded as simultaneous stabilization of plural nonlinear systems (in different places) by a single (common) controller. This paper consists of two parts. The first part addresses the basis of wireless-based remote stabilization for a single nonlinear system with time-varying delay. We derive a delay-dependent sufficient condition for ensuring the stability of Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy models with time-varying delays that are globally (or semiglobally at least) equivalent to nonlinear systems with wireless communication time delays. A feature of the derived condition is to be able to obtain the maximum time delay for ensuring the stability of wireless-based remote control system for given feedback gains. The second part presents shared control of plural nonlinear systems via a single controller. To design a (common) shared controller to stabilize plural nonlinear systems, we derive also a shared control version of the stability condition for T-S fuzzy models with time-varying delays. Design examples demonstrate the utility of this proposed design approach. View full abstract»

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  • A Smartphone-in-the-Loop Active State-of-Charge Manager for Electric Vehicles

    Page(s): 454 - 463
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    Environmental concerns and the steadily decreasing oil supplies have promoted a significant interest in electric vehicles as a solution for the mobility of the near future, especially in urban environments. The correct handling of the energy behavior on board is one of the most critical problems to be addressed, particularly in urban driving scenarios where the speed profiles - even on fixed routes - are affected by significant unknown disturbances. To address this issue, this paper proposes a novel, spatially distributed and hierarchical control architecture that is capable of regulating the battery state of charge by imposing a desired discharge rate. The effectiveness of the overall control system is assessed by experimental results obtained on a prototype of a light-electric two-wheeled vehicle. View full abstract»

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  • Hand-Motion Crane Control Using Radio-Frequency Real-Time Location Systems

    Page(s): 464 - 471
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    Human operators have difficulty driving cranes quickly, accurately, and safely because the heavy structure of the crane responds slowly and its payload oscillates. Manipulation difficulty is increased by nonintuitive control interfaces (such as buttons, levers, and joysticks) that require substantial experience to master. This paper presents a new type of interface that allows operators to drive a crane by simply moving a hand-held radio-frequency tag through the desired path. Real-time location sensors are used to track the movements of the tag and its position is used in a feedback control loop to drive the crane. Unfortunately, crane movements usually induce large-amplitude payload oscillations. Therefore, an input-shaping control element is used to limit payload swing. Experimental results on an industrial bridge crane validate the controller performance. View full abstract»

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  • Wireless Piping Inspection Vehicle Using Magnetic Adsorption Force

    Page(s): 472 - 479
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1286 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A robot is developed which is able to climb on a perpendicular branched piping and moves on the ceiling in the piping with the radio control. This inspection robot adsorbs to the piping using the magnetic adsorption force of a magnetic crawler and moves in piping. Therefore, the crawler should be composed of magnets that have optimal adsorption force. In order to design the crawler, the magnetic adsorption force is analyzed, and the design method of the inspection robot in the piping is shown. The robot mounts a radio control unit and a compact radio camera so as to inspect inside of piping. To validate it, a compact crawler type radio control robot is made, and traveling performance or inspection performance in the piping is examined. View full abstract»

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  • Transparent Virtual Coupler Design for Networked Haptic Systems With a Mixed Virtual Wall

    Page(s): 480 - 487
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (528 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, a virtual coupler is designed for the Phantom Omni haptic system in the wireless networked environment with 1 degree-of-freedom interaction. The manipulator and the control computer are connected through wireless communication links over which the position of the manipulator and the torque of the motor are transmitted. The virtual environment consists of multiple materials with different stiffness and damping that is termed as the mixed virtual wall. The contact point between the avatar and the virtual wall switches among different materials, where the movement is characterized by a stochastic process. To achieve the free oscillation for the haptic device with the human operator based on the passivity theory, the stability condition is established. After transforming the transparent virtual coupler design problem into an H optimization problem for a delayed jump linear system, we propose a design scheme for the switching virtual coupler. The performance of the proposed virtual coupler is verified and tested on the Phantom Omni haptic system. View full abstract»

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  • Wireless Haptic Communication Under Varying Delay by Switching-Channel Bilateral Control With Energy Monitor

    Page(s): 488 - 498
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1002 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A switching-channel bilateral control with energy monitor (EM) is newly proposed to realize haptic communication through a wireless network. The varying delay in the communication line and the situation of duplex operation are considered. In such a system, human operators on two sides of the master-slave robots system feel the hardness of the remote environment placed on the contralateral side. The EM approach is presented to judge the role of the robot (manipulated by an operator or contacting an environment), which provides a beacon for the switching algorithm. The position tracking of the system is improved by switching off the channel of force control in the human manipulated robot. The problem of position drift in traditional methods is overcome. Disturbance observer is applied to simplify the design of the bilateral control law, and to guarantee the efficient force switching. Because of improved position tracking and satisfactory force fidelity, the proposed approach achieves more vivid haptic transmission. By experiments, the validity is verified. View full abstract»

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  • Wireless Mobile Sensor Network for the System Identification of a Space Frame Bridge

    Page(s): 499 - 507
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1058 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This research investigates the field performance of flexure-based mobile sensing nodes (FMSNs) developed for system identification and condition monitoring of civil structures. Each FMSN consists of a tetherless magnetic wall-climbing robot capable of navigating on steel structures, measuring structural vibrations, processing measurement data, and wirelessly communicating information. The flexible body design of the FMSN allows it to negotiate with sharp corners on a structure, and attach/detach an accelerometer onto/from structural surface. Our previous research investigated the performance of the FMSNs through laboratory experiments. The FMSNs were deployed to identify minor structural damage, illustrating a high sensitivity in damage detection enabled by flexible mobile deployment. This paper investigates the field performance of the FMSNs with a pedestrian bridge on the Georgia Tech campus. Multiple FMSNs navigate to different sections of the steel bridge and measure structural vibrations at high spatial resolution. Using data collected by a small number of FMSNs, detailed modal characteristics of the bridge are identified. A finite element (FE) model for the bridge is constructed. The FE model is updated based on the modal characteristics extracted from the FMSN data. View full abstract»

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  • An Experimental Vehicular Wireless System and Link Performance Analysis

    Page(s): 508 - 518
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    Reliable wireless communication is a key component for intelligent transportation systems (ITS). This paper develops a wireless module for ITS using an AR7100 series embedding platform. The module consists of a low-cost multi-interface wireless mesh and control unit to provide high quality of services for different applications. It acts as a node in a vehicular wireless network with a pure software extension without costly hardware modifications. The developed system was tested in the urban area of the Wuhan city, China. It is observed that the fast fading effect plays a significant role in the performance of vehicular communications. To characterize these effects, a physical-level model of the radio link between two moving vehicles is proposed. This model takes the impacts of Rician K-factor, vehicle speed ratio, and Doppler spectrum into consideration. Compared with the existing physical models, the proposed physical-level model is shown to be more accurate in describing the packet-level characteristics of vehicle communications. Furthermore, the analysis of the proposed physical-level model indicates the necessity of cross-layer design of vehicular wireless networks. View full abstract»

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  • Wireless Vision-Based Stabilization of Indoor Microhelicopter

    Page(s): 519 - 524
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    This paper presents wireless vision-based stabilization of an indoor microhelicopter via visual simultaneous localization and mapping. The so-called parallel tracking and mapping (PTAM) technique using a small single wireless camera on the helicopter is utilized to detect the position and attitude of the helicopter. We construct the measurement system that is able to calibrate the mapping between local coordinate system in the PTAM and world coordinate system and is able to realize noise detection and elimination. In addition, we design the guaranteed cost (stable) controller for the dynamics of the helicopter via a linear matrix inequality approach. Although path tracking control only via the small single wireless vision sensor is a quite difficult task, the control results demonstrate the utility of our approach. View full abstract»

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  • Performance of a Prototype Traveling-Wave Actuator Made From a Dielectric Elastomer

    Page(s): 525 - 533
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    The primary aim of the research is to demonstrate the fabrication and operation of a traveling wave actuator made from a silicone dielectric elastomer. Multiple folded stack configurations of a silicone are assembled to create individually controllable regions in a single device, allowing a traveling-wave pattern of electrical stimuli to be applied to each active region. The prototype actuator is sandwiched between two friction surfaces allowing motion in response to the traveling wave. A number of issues related to the research and development of the prototype actuator are considered, including traveling-wave principle, folded stack design, actuator fabrication, and electrical control. A prototype is tested with a bespoke multiple-channel high-voltage converter to assess the performance characteristics of stroke, force, and frequency. Practical velocities and forces are achieved; however, a number of challenges are discussed in order to increase performance to comparable levels exhibited by commercial actuators with high-force long-stroke capabilities. View full abstract»

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  • Pressure-Based Clutch Control for Automotive Transmissions Using a Sliding-Mode Controller

    Page(s): 534 - 546
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1074 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Clutch shift control is critical for efficient and high-performance transmission designs, including automatic, dual clutch, and hybrid transmissions. To ensure a smooth clutch to clutch shift, appropriate controls for two consecutive processes are critical. One is the precise coordination between the on-coming and off-going clutches, which requires the on-coming clutch to be filled and ready for engagement at the predetermined time (clutch fill). The other is the proper torque control during clutch engagement. In this paper, we will investigate the closed-loop “wet” clutch control enabled by a pressure sensor in the clutch chamber. The main challenges of the pressure-based “wet” clutch control lie in the complex nonlinear dynamics due to the interactions between the fluid and the mechanical systems, the ON/OFF behavior of the clutch assembly, the time-varying clutch loading condition, the required short time duration for a precise and robust clutch shift, and the lack of the displacement information. To enable precise and robust pressure-based control, this paper focuses on the following three aspects. First, a clutch dynamic model is constructed and validated, which precisely captures the system dynamics in a wide pressure range. Second, a sliding-mode controller is designed to achieve robust pressure control while avoiding the chattering effect. Finally, an observer is constructed to estimate the clutch piston motion, which is not only a necessary term in the nonlinear controller design but also a diagnosis tool for the clutch fill process. To validate the proposed methods, a transmission clutch fixture has been designed and built in the laboratory. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed controller and observer. View full abstract»

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  • Automatic Hysteresis Modeling of Piezoelectric Micromanipulator in Vision-Guided Micromanipulation Systems

    Page(s): 547 - 553
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (659 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Conventional hysteresis modeling of piezoelectric actuators using interferometers or capacitive sensors is often performed off-line. However, the hysteresis of the piezoelectric actuator changes as the load acting on it or the driving frequency of the input signal alters, demanding that the hysteresis of the micromanipulator be modeled on the fly. The employment of interferometers or capacitive sensors is a challenging task in micromanipulation systems due to their special requirements, e.g., the micropipette tip is desired to provide mirror-like reflection of the incoming beam if an interferometer is employed while a capacitive sensor might not be easily placed in the workspace. An automatic Prandtl-Ishlinskii hysteresis modeling method is proposed and implemented using vision-feedback. The method can be conducted on the fly in real time making it suitable for time critical vision-guided micromanipulation, while providing comparable accuracy with that of using interferometers. View full abstract»

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  • Hydrodynamics of an Undulating Fin for a Wave-Like Locomotion System Design

    Page(s): 554 - 562
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1244 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Motivated by the interest to develop an agile, high-efficiency robotic fish for underwater applications where safe environment for data-acquisition without disturbing the surrounding during exploration is of particular concern, this paper presents computational and experimental results of a biologically inspired mechanical undulating fin. The findings offer intuitive insights for optimizing the design of a fin-based robotic fish that offers several advantages including low underwater acoustic noise, dexterous maneuverability, and better propulsion efficiency at low speeds. Specifically, this paper begins with the design of a robotic fish developed for experimental investigation and for validating computational hydrodynamic models of an undulating fin. A relatively complete computational model describing the hydrodynamics of an undulating fin is given for analyzing the effect of propagating wave motions on the forces acting on the fin surface. The 3-D unsteady fluid flow around the undulating fin has been numerically solved using computational fluid dynamics method. These numerically simulated pressure and velocity distributions acting on the undulating fin, which provide a basis to compute the forces acting on the undulating fin, have been experimentally validated by comparing the computed thrust against data measured on a prototype flexible-fin mechanism. View full abstract»

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  • MASUV-1: A Miniature Underwater Vehicle With Multidirectional Thrust Vectoring for Safe Animal Interactions

    Page(s): 563 - 571
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    In this paper, we present the design and proof of concept of a streamlined, low-cost, and smooth-hulled underwater vehicle, miniature animal safe underwater vehicle (MASUV-1), utilizing an entirely enclosed propulsion and steering system. This allows for safely operating MASUV-1 in the vicinity of marine mammals, and thus, facilitates animal behavior research as well as coping with traditional engineering and scientific missions in marine mammal populated environments. The vehicle utilizes an ad hoc designed multidirectional thrust-vectoring system for steering, based on multiple servo motors and pushrods. Tests of the vehicle in a stillwater environment show high maneuverability at speeds comparable with similar torpedo-type class underwater vehicles. View full abstract»

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  • A New Approach for Modeling Piezoresistive Force Sensors Based on Semiconductive Polymer Composites

    Page(s): 572 - 581
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    Semiconductive polymer composites are used in a wide range of sensors and measurement devices. This paper discusses the development of a model and a new theoretical formulation for predicting piezoresistive behavior in semiconductive polymer composites, including their creep behavior and contact resistance. The relationship between electrical resistance and force applied to the piezoresistive force sensor can be predicted by using the proposed theoretical formulation. In order to verify the proposed formulation, the piezoresistive behavior of Linqstat, a carbon-filled polyethylene, was modeled mathematically. In addition, some experimental tests, such as thermo gravitational analysis and SEM, have been performed on Linqstat to find the volume fraction and size of carbon particles, which are essential for modeling. In addition, on a fabricated force sensor using Linqstat, a force versus resistance curve was obtained experimentally, which verified the validity and reliability of the proposed formulation. View full abstract»

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  • Design, Modeling, and Control of a Novel Automotive Transmission Clutch Actuation System

    Page(s): 582 - 587
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (586 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Clutch fill control is the key enabler for a smooth clutch-to-clutch shift, which is critical for the performance and fuel economy of both automatic and hybrid transmissions. While a precise and robust clutch fill is crucial, its control is very challenging as the traditional approach is still in the open-loop fashion due to the lack of a feedback sensor. To address this challenge, a new clutch actuation mechanism is proposed, which realizes an internal feedback structure without any sensor measurement. The proposed mechanism is novel as it embeds all the control elements in the orifice area regulation, which successfully solves the precise and robust control of the hydraulic system with nonlinear dynamics. In this paper, we first present the working principle of the new clutch actuation mechanism. Then, the mechanical system design is shown and the system dynamic model is built. To this end, the proposed internal feedback control mechanism is fabricated and validated in a transmission testing fixture. The new mechanism performance is finally presented through a series of simulation and experimental results. View full abstract»

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  • Integrated Design of Machine Body and Control Algorithm for Improving the Robustness of a Closed-Chain Five-Bar Machine

    Page(s): 587 - 591
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (387 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    An integrated design approach, namely, design for control (DFC), is further studied in this paper. Previous work on the DFC approach usually takes the proportional-derivative (PD) control algorithm. It is revealed in a closed-chain five-bar machine case that the PD-based DFC approach can only obtain a desired performance in set-point control task rather than tracking control task. In order to improve the robustness of this mechatronic system in terms of change of tasks, this paper suggests to use a “PD plus robust term” control algorithm in the DFC approach. Theoretical analysis shows that a satisfactory performance can be achieved by the proposed DFC. And it is also shown that the gain in the robust term plays an important role in bridging design of control algorithm and design of machine body. The general design principle of machine body is to design parameters of machine body to minimize the lower bound of this robust gain. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed approach is validated by simulations. View full abstract»

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  • Erratum to “Reconfiguration of Distributed Embedded-Control Systems” [Aug 11 684-694]

    Page(s): 592
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    In the above titled paper (ibid., vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 684-694, Aug. 2011), due to a production error by the publisher, the second author was incorrectly identified as "Fellow, IEEE" in the byline. We sincerely regret this error. The correct byline is included in this record. View full abstract»

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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.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

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