Research Group Summary
Control and mechatronics research is carried out in three grouped laboratories: the Applied Mechanics Laboratory, the Robotics Laboratory, and the Hydraulics Laboratory. Much of the work involves the design and control of mechanical structures such as those used for robots.
The measurement of the system movements and the processing of the measurements is mostly done with computers. The computer sets the required actuator or motor actions needed to carry out a specified system movement. The result is a digital control system applied to the mechanical structure which can then do things which would not be possible without the use of the computer.
Every day examples are the use of microcomputers to control car engines so that more power produced with less fuel consumption and less pollution, and the use of microcomputer controlled washing machine cycles.
Less obvious examples include prosthetic limbs or the light weight space shuttle robot arm which bends and sways when used to move quickly.