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Mechanical Engineering

Mechatronics, Control & Design

This research focus area deals with combinations of electronic and mechanical systems to achieve a desired function. Micro-processor control, sensing and creation of smart mechanical devices (e.g. smart active prosthetics or surgical devices) are at the heart of the mechatronics research activities at our department. The controls research deals with modeling of input-output relationships in a given system, formulation of a control paradigms to reject disturbances and use of sensory information to achieve a certain outcome.

Examples of ongoing research include motion control of mechanical systems, motion control of pneumatic/fluid powered systems and control of novel MRI compatible devices that use non-traditional actuation methods. The design aspects of this research focus area include optimal design of mechanical systems to achieve a desired function, structural and dimensional synthesis and optimization of robotic systems and devices.  

Eric Barth

Research Focus: Dynamic systems and control. Design, modeling and control of mechatronic and fluid power systems, free-piston internal combustion and free-piston Stirling engines, power supply and actuation for autonomous robots, and applied non-linear control.

David Braun

Research Focus: Robotics, optimal control, system dynamics, compliant robot actuators, human performance augmentation technology

Xiaoguang Dong

Research Focus: The design, manufacture and control of miniature soft robots, and their applications in minimally invasive medicine, microfluidics and biomechanics. The design, manufacture and control of miniature swarm robots, and their applications in biomedicine and biomechanics. The modeling, design, manufacture and control of intelligent soft materials

Kevin Galloway

Research Focus: Design of robotic systems from the micro- to the macro-scale, soft robotics, rapid prototyping materials and methods, human-centered design, mechanical design, medical device design, assistive technology.

Jason Mitchell

Research Focus: Human augmentation through engineering, wearable sensors, exoskeletons, prosthetics; mechanical simulation and design

Nilanjan Sarkar

Research Focus: Robotics, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Human-Robot and Human-Computer Interactions, Socially Assistive Intelligent Systems for Healthcare with particular interest in Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Down and Rett Syndrome, Dynamics and Control

Nabil Simaan

Research Focus: Robotic systems for surgical assistance, theoretical kinematics of mechanisms, synthesis and optimization of robots and mechanisms, design of flexure mechanisms and flexible robots, parallel robots, actuation redundancy and kinematic redundancy

Robert Webster

Research Focus: Image guidance, robotic surgery, screw theory, mechanics-based modeling, and optimal mechanism design