Robotics, Control and Instrumentation Group

robot arm welding, Shutterstock

About the Robotics Control and Instrumentation Group

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.

Name Areas of study
Geoffrey Chase Control systems; system modelling/dynamics and FEA, speech/signal processing, smart structures and MEMS devices; robotics.
XiaoQi Chen Smart products and systems design; robotics; mobile machines; manufacturing automation.
Stefanie Gutschmidt Linear and nonlinear dynamics and vibrations, bifurcation and stability analysis, array and collective group dynamics, multi-scale and multi-physics interactions/crosstalk phenomena.
Rodney Elliott Technical Officer in Robotics and Applied Mechanics Laboratories.
  • Large scale control of dynamic systems
  • Fluid flow control
  • Embedded DSP algorithms and applications
  • Parallel link mechanisms and structures for robotics and control
  • Motion simulation platforms
  • Prosthetic hands and robotic manipulators
  • Servo actuators, hydraulics, switched reluctance, step, DC and brushless DC motors
  • Instrumentation in digital systems, data logging and recording
  • Embedded microcomputers and digital signal processors
  • Software for Expert Design assistance and teaching
  • Robust control of flexible structures
  • Dynamics and control of flexible manipulators
  • Co-operating robots in the presence of structural flexibility
  • Dynamics and control of flexible oceanic structures
  • Bandsaw vibration control
  • Control of nitinol wire actuators
  • Embedded video applications for programmable DSP's
  • MEM-based control of turbulent vortex shedding and drag

Research Opportunities

Postgraduate Research Projects Available.

If the research direction of the Robotics and Control Group is of interest to you, and you are in possession (or about to be) of a good Honours degree in Engineering, please contact:

Geoff Chase

Distinguished Professor
Advisor to Students with Disabilities
Civil Mechanical E502
Internal Phone: 92182

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