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MECHATRONICS Mechatronics is centred on mechanics, electronics, control engineering, computing, molecular engineering(from nanochemistry and biology) which

, combined, make possible the generation of simpler, more economical, reliable and versatile systems. The portmanteau "Mechatronics" was first coined by Mr. Tetsuro Mori, a senior engineer of the Japanese company askawa, in !"#". Mechatronics may alternatively be referred to as "electromechanical systems" or less often as "control and automation engineering". Description $ngineering cybernetics deals with the %uestion of control engineering of mechatronic systems. &t is used to control or regulate such a system (see control theory). Through collaboration the mechatronic modules perform the production goals and inherit fle'ible and agile manufacturing properties in the production scheme. Modern production e%uipment consists of mechatronic modules that are integrated according to acontrol architecture. The most known architectures involve hierarchy, polyarchy, hetaerachy (often misspelled as heterarchy) and hybrid. The methods for achieving a technical effect are described by control algorithms, which may or may not utili(e formal methods in their design. )ybrid*systems important to Mechatronics include production systems, synergy drives, planetary e'ploration rovers, automotive subsystems such as anti*lock braking systems, spin*assist and every day e%uipment such as autofocus cameras, video, hard disks, +,*players, washing machines. - typical mechatronic engineering degree would involve classes in engineering mathematics, mechanics, machine component design, mechanical design, thermodynamics, circuits and systems, electronics and communications, control theory, programming, digital signal processing, power engineering, robotics and usually a final year thesis

Cybernetics .rom /ikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. +ybernetics is closely related to control theory and systems theory. 0oth in its origins and in its evolution in the second*half of the 12th century, cybernetics is e%ually applicable to physical and social (that is, language*based) systems. +ybernetics is preeminent when the system under scrutiny is involved in a closed signal loop, where action by the system in an environment causes some change in the environment and that change is manifest to the system via information3feedback that causes changes in the way the system then behaves, and all this in service of a goal or goals. This "circular causal" relationship is necessary and sufficient for a cybernetic perspective.4citation needed5

$'ample of cybernetic thinking. 6n the one hand a company is approached as a system in an environment. 6n the other hand cybernetic factory can be modeled as a control system. +ontemporary cybernetics began as an interdisciplinary study connecting the fields of control systems, electrical network

theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology, neuroscience,anthropology, and psychology in the !"72s, often attributed to the Macy +onferences. Other fields of study which have influenced or been influenced by cybernetics include game theory, system theory (a mathematical counterpart to cybernetics), psychology (especially neuropsychology,behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology), philosophy, and architecture.4!5

Components of robots
The structure of a robot is usually mostly mechanical and can be called a kinematic chain (its functionality being similar to the skeleton of the human body). The chain is formed of links (its bones), actuators (its muscles) and 8oints which can allow one or more degrees of freedom. Most contemporary robots use open serial chains in which each link connects the one before to the one after it. These robots are called serial robots and often resemble the human arm. 9ome robots, such as the 9tewart platform, use a closed parallel kinematical chain. 6ther structures, such as those that mimic the mechanical structure of humans, various animals and insects, are comparatively rare. )owever, the development and use of such structures in robots is an active area of research (e.g. biomechanics). :obots used as manipulators have an end effector mounted on the last link. This end effector can be anything from a welding device to a mechanical hand used to manipulate the environment. Actuation

- robot leg powered by -ir Muscles -ctuators are the "muscles" of a robot, the parts which convert stored energy into movement. 0y far the most popular actuators are electric motors, but there are many others, powered by electricity, chemicals, and compressed air.

Motors: The vast ma8ority of robots use electric motors, including brushed and brushless ,+ motors. Stepper motors: -s the name suggests, stepper motors do not spin freely like ,+ motors; they rotate in discrete steps, under the command of a controller. This makes them easier to control, as the controller knows e'actly how far they have rotated, without having to use a sensor. Therefore they are used on many robots and +<+ machines. Piezo motors: - recent alternative to ,+ motors are pie(o motors or ultrasonic motors. These work on a fundamentally different principle, whereby tiny pie(oceramic elements, vibrating many thousands of times per second, cause linear or rotary motion. There are different mechanisms of operation; one type uses the vibration of the pie(o elements to walk the motor in a circle or a straight line.4"5 -nother type uses the pie(o elements to cause a nut to vibrate and drive a screw. The advantages of these motors are nanometer resolution, speed and available force for their si(e.4!25 These motors are already available commercially, and being used on some robots.4!!54!15 Air muscles: The air muscle is a simple yet powerful device for providing a pulling force. /hen inflated with compressed air, it contracts by up to 72= of its original length. The key to its behavior is the braiding visible around the outside, which forces the muscle to be either long and thin, or short and fat. 9ince it behaves in a very similar way to a biological muscle, it can be used to construct robots with a similar muscle3skeleton system to an animal.4!>5 .or e'ample, the 9hadow robot hand uses 72 air muscles to power its 17 8oints. Electroactive polymers: $lectroactive polymers are a class of plastics which change shape in response to electrical stimulation.4!75 They can be designed so that they bend, stretch or contract, but so far there are no $-?s suitable for commercial robots, as they tend to have low efficiency or are not robust.

&ndeed, all of the entrants in a recent competition to build $-?

powered arm wrestling robots, were beaten by a !A year old girl.

)owever, they are e'pected to improve in the future, where

they may be useful for microrobotic applications.4!A5

Elastic nanotubes: These are a promising, early*stage e'perimental technology. The absence of defects in nanotubes enables these filaments to deform elastically by several percent, with energy storage levels of perhaps !2J per cu cm for metal nanotubes. )uman biceps could be replaced with an Bmm diameter wire of this material. 9uch compact "muscle" might allow future robots to outrun and out8ump humans.4!B5

Manipulation :obots which must work in the real world re%uire some way to manipulate ob8ects; pick up, modify, destroy or otherwise have an effect. Thus the ChandsC of a robot are often referred to as end effectors,4!"5 while the arm is referred to as a manipulator.4125 Most robot arms have replaceable effectors, each allowing them to perform some small range of tasks. 9ome have a fi'ed manipulator which cannot be replaced, while a few have one very general purpose manipulator, for e'ample a humanoid hand.

Mechanical Grippers: 6ne of the most common effectors is the gripper. &n its simplest manifestation it consists of 8ust two fingers which can open and close to pick up and let go of a range of small ob8ects. 9ee $nd effectors. Vacuum Grippers: ?ick and place robots for electronic components and for large ob8ects like car windscreens, will often use very simple vacuum grippers. These are very simple astrictive

devices, but can hold very large loads provided

the prehension surface is smooth enough to ensure suction.

General purpose effectors: 9ome advanced robots are beginning to use fully humanoid hands, like the 9hadow )and

and the 9chunk hand.4115 These highly de'terous manipulators, with as many as 12 degrees of freedom and hundreds of tactile sensors41>5 .or the definitive guide to all forms of robot endeffectors, their design and usage consult the book ":obot Drippers".4175

Locomotion ollin! obots

9egway in the :obot museum in<agoya. .or simplicity, most mobile robots have four wheels. )owever, some researchers have tried to create more comple' wheeled robots, with only one or two wheels.

"#o$#heele% balancin!: /hile the 9egway is not commonly thought of as a robot, it can be thought of as a component of a robot. 9everal real robots do use a similar dynamic balancing algorithm, and <-9-Cs:obonaut has been mounted on a 9egway.

&allbot: +arnegie Mellon Eniversity researchers have developed a new type of mobile robot that balances on a ball instead of legs or wheels. "0allbot" is a self*contained, battery*operated, omnidirectional robot that balances dynamically on a single urethane*coated metal sphere. &t weighs "@ pounds and is the appro'imate height and width of a person. 0ecause of its long, thin shape and ability to maneuver in tight spaces, it has the potential to function better than current robots can in environments with people.41#5 "rac' obot: -nother type of rolling robot is one that has

tracks, like <-9-Cs Erban :obot, Erbie.41A5



i+ub robot, designed by the :obot+ub +onsortium /alking is a difficult and dynamic problem to solve. 9everal robots have been made which can walk reliably on two legs, however none have yet been made which are as robust as a human. Typically, these robots can walk well on flat floors, and can occasionally walk up stairs. <one can walk over rocky, uneven terrain. 9ome of the methods which have been tried areF

)MP "echni*ue: The Gero Moment ?oint (GM?) is the algorithm used by robots such as )ondaCs -9&M6. The robotCs onboard computer tries to keep the total inertial forces (the combination of earthCs gravity and the acceleration and deceleration of walking), e'actly opposed by the floor reaction force (the force of the floor pushing back on the robotCs foot). &n this way, the two forces cancel out, leaving no moment (force causing the robot to rotate and fall over).41B5 )owever, this is not e'actly how a human walks, and the difference is %uite apparent to human observers, some of whom have pointed out that -9&M6 walks as if it needs the lavatory.41"54>254>!5 -9&M6Cs walking algorithm is not static, and some dynamic balancing is used (9ee below). )owever, it still re%uires a smooth surface to walk on. +oppin!: 9everal robots, built in the !"B2s by Marc :aibert at the M&T Heg Haboratory, successfully demonstrated very dynamic walking. &nitially, a robot with only one leg, and a very small foot, could stay upright simply by hopping. The movement is the same as that of a person on a pogo stick. -s the robot falls to one side, it would 8ump slightly in that direction, in order to catch itself.

9oon, the algorithm was generalised to two and four legs. -

bipedal robot was demonstrated running and even performing somersaults.4>>5 - %uadruped was also demonstrated

which could trot, run, pace and bound.4>75 .or a full list of these robots, see the M&T Heg Hab :obots page.

Dynamic &alancin!: - more advanced way for a robot to walk is by using a dynamic balancing algorithm, which is potentially more robust than the Gero Moment ?oint techni%ue, as it constantly monitors the robotCs motion, and places the feet in order to maintain stability.4>@5This techni%ue was recently demonstrated by -nybotsC ,e'ter :obot,4>#5 which is so stable, it can even 8ump.4>A5 Passive Dynamics: ?erhaps the most promising approach utilises passive dynamics where the momentum of swinging limbs is used for greater efficiency. &t has been shown that totally unpowered humanoid mechanisms can walk down a gentle slope, using only gravity topropel themselves. Esing this techni%ue, a robot need only supply a small amount of motor power to walk along a flat surface or a little more to walk up a hill. This techni%ue promises to make walking robots at least ten times more efficient than GM? walkers, like -9&M6.4>B54>"5

,ther metho%s of locomotion

:I*7 Dlobal )awk Enmanned -erial Jehicle

-lyin!: - modern passenger airliner is essentially a flying robot, with two humans to manage it. The autopilot can control the plane for each stage of the 8ourney, including takeoff, normal flight and even landing.4725 6ther flying robots are uninhabited, and are known as Enmanned -erial Jehicles (E-Js). They can be smaller and lighter without a human pilot onboard, and fly into dangerous territory for military surveillance missions. 9ome can even fire on targets under command. E-Js are also being developed which can fire on targets automatically, without the need for a command from a human. )owever these robots are unlikely to see service in the foreseeable future because of the

morality issues involved. 6ther flying robots include cruise missiles, the $ntomopter and the $pson micro helicopter robot.

Two robot snakes. Heft one has #7 motors (with 1 degrees of freedom per segment), the right one !2.

Sna'in!: 9everal snake robots have been successfully developed. Mimicking the way real snakes move, these robots can navigate very confined spaces, meaning they may one day be used to search for people trapped in collapsed buildings.

The Japanese -+M*:@ snake robot4715 can even navigate both

on land and in water.47>5

S'atin!: - small number of skating robots have been developed, one of which is a multi*mode walking and skating device, Titan J&&&. &t has four legs, with unpowered wheels, which can either step or roll.4775-nother robot, ?len, can use a miniature skateboard or rollerskates, and skate across a desktop.47@5 S#immin!: &t is calculated that when swimming some fish can achieve a propulsive efficiency greater than "2=.

.urthermore, they can accelerate and manoeuver far better

than any man*made boat or submarine, and produce less noise and water disturbance. Therefore, many researchers studying underwater robots would like to copy this type of locomotion.

<otable e'amples are the $sse' Eniversity +omputer

9cience :obotic .ish,47B5 and the :obot Tuna built by the &nstitute of .ield :obotics, to analyse and mathematically model thunniform motion.47"5

+uman interaction

Kismet can produce a range of facial e'pressions. &f robots are to work effectively in homes and other non*industrial environments, the way they are instructed to perform their 8obs, and especially how they will be told to stop will be of critical importance. The people who interact with them may have little or no training in robotics, and so any interface will need to be e'tremely intuitive. 9cience fiction authors also typically assume that robots will eventually communicate with humans by talking,gestures and facial e'pressions, rather than a command*line interface. -lthough speech would be the most natural way for the human to communicate, it is %uite unnatural for the robot. &t will be %uite a while before robots interact as naturally as the fictional +>?2.

Speech reco!nition: &nterpreting the continuous flow of sounds coming from a human (speech recognition), inreal time, is a difficult task for a computer, mostly because of the great variability of speech. The same word, spoken by the same person may sound different depending on local acoustics, volume, the previous word, whether or not the speaker has a cold, etc.. &t becomes even harder when the speaker has a different accent.4@25 <evertheless, great strides have been made in the field since ,avis, 0iddulph, and 0alashek designed the first "voice input system" which recogni(ed "ten digits spoken by a single user with !22= accuracy" in !"@1.

+urrently, the best systems can recognise continuous, natural

speech, up to !#2 words per minute, with an accuracy of "@=.4@15

Gestures: 6ne can imagine, in the future, e'plaining to a robot chef how to make a pastry, or asking directions from a robot police officer. 6n both of these occasions, making hand gestures would aid the verbal descriptions. &n the first case, the robot would be recognising gestures made by the human, and perhaps repeating them for confirmation. &n the second case, the robot police officer would gesture to indicate "down the road, then turn right". &t is %uite likely that gestures will make up

a part of the interaction between humans and robots.4@>5- great many systems have been developed to recognise human hand gestures.4@75

-acial e.pression: .acial e'pressions can provide rapid feedback on the progress of a dialog between two humans, and soon it may be able to do the same for humans and robots. robot should know how to approach a human, 8udging by their facial e'pression and body language. /hether the person is happy, frightened or cra(y*looking affects the type of interaction e'pected of the robot. Hikewise, a robot like Kismet can produce a range of facial e'pressions, allowing it to have meaningful social e'changes with humans.4@@5 Personality: Many of the robots of science fiction have a personality, and that is something which may or may not be desirable in the commercial robots of the future.4@#5 <evertheless, researchers are trying to create robots which appear to have a personalityF4@A54@B5 i.e. they use sounds, facial e'pressions and body language to try to convey an internal state, which may be 8oy, sadness or fear. 6ne commercial e'ample is ?leo, a toy robot dinosaur, which can e'hibit several apparent emotions.4@"5


- robot*manipulated marionette, with comple' control systems The mechanical structure of a robot must be controlled to perform tasks. The control of a robot involves three distinct phases * perception, processing and action (robotic paradigms). 9ensors give information about the environment or the robot itself (e.g. the position of its 8oints or its end effector). This information is then processed to

calculate the appropriate signals to the actuators (motors) which move the mechanical . The processing phase can range in comple'ity. -t a reactive level, it may translate raw sensor information directly into actuator commands. 9ensor fusion may first be used to estimate parameters of interest (e.g. the position of the robotCs gripper) from noisy sensor data. -n immediate task (such as moving the gripper in a certain direction) is inferred from these estimates. Techni%ues from control theory convert the task into commands that drive the actuators. -t longer time scales or with more sophisticated tasks, the robot may need to build and reason with a "cognitive" model. +ognitive models try to represent the robot, the world, and how they interact. ?attern recognition and computer vision can be used to track ob8ects. Mapping techni%ues can be used to build maps of the world. .inally, motion planning and other artificial intelligence techni%ues may be used to figure out how to act. .or e'ample, a planner may figure out how to achieve a task without hitting obstacles, falling over, etc. +ontrol systems may also have varying levels of autonomy. ,irect interaction is used for haptic or tele*operated devices, and the human has nearly complete control over the robotCs motion. 6perator*assist modes have the operator commanding medium*to*high*level tasks, with the robot automatically figuring out how to achieve them. -n autonomous robot may go for e'tended periods of time without human interaction. )igher levels of autonomy do not necessarily re%uire more comple' cognitive capabilities. .or e'ample, robots in assembly plants are completely autonomous, but operate in a fi'ed pattern.

Dynamics an% 'inematics
The study of motion can be divided into kinematics and dynamics. ,irect kinematics refers to the calculation of end effector position, orientation, velocity and acceleration when the corresponding 8oint values are known. &nverse kinematics refers to the opposite case in

which re%uired 8oint values are calculated for given end effector values, as done in path planning. 9ome special aspects of kinematics include handling of redundancy (different possibilities of performing the same movement), collision avoidance and singularity avoidance. 6nce all relevant positions, velocities and accelerations have been calculated using kinematics, methods from the field of dynamics are used to study the effect of forces upon these movements. ,irect dynamics refers to the calculation of accelerations in the robot once the applied forces are known. ,irect dynamics is used in computer simulations of the robot. &nverse dynamics refers to the calculation of the actuator forces necessary to create a prescribed end effector acceleration. This information can be used to improve the control algorithms of a robot. &n each area mentioned above, researchers strive to develop new concepts and strategies, improve e'isting ones and improve the interaction between these areas. To do this, criteria for "optimal" performance and ways to optimi(e design, structure and control of robots must be developed and implemented.

:obotics as an undergraduate area of study is fairly common, although few universities offer robotics degrees. &n the E9, only /orcester ?olytechnic &nstitute offers a 0achelor of 9cience in :obotics $ngineering. Eniversities that have graduate degrees focused on robotics include+arnegie Mellon Eniversity, M&T, E?$<< and E+H- . &n -ustralia, there are 0achelor of $ngineering degrees at the universities belonging to the +entre for -utonomous 9ystems (+-9) Technology, 9ydney. 6ther universities include ,eakin Eniversity, .linders Eniversity, 9winburne Eniversity of Technology, and the Eniversity of /estern 9ydney. 6thers offer degrees in Mechatronics. &n &ndia a post*graduate degree in Mechatronics is offered at Madras &nstitute of Technology, +hennai. &n the EK, :obotics degrees are offered by a number of institutions including the )eriot* /att Eniversity, Eniversity of $sse', the Eniversity of

F Eniversity

of 9ydney, Eniversity of <ew 9outh /ales and the Eniversity of

Hiverpool, Eniversity of :eading, 9heffield )allam Eniversity, 9taffordshire Eniversity,Eniversity of 9usse', The :obert Dordon Eniversity and theEniversity of /ales, <ewport. &n Me'ico, the Monterrey &nstitute of Technology and )igher $ducation offers a 0achelor of 9cience in ,igital 9ystems and :obotics $ngineering4#!5 and a 0achelor of 9cience in Mechatronics.4#15 :obots recently became a popular tool in raising interests in computing for middle and high school students. .irst year computer science courses at several university were developed which involves the programming of a robot instead of the traditional software engineering based coursework. $'amples include +ourse # at M&T and the &nstitute for ?ersonal :obots in $ducation at the Deorgia &nstitute of Technology with0ryn Mawr +ollege.

9cript ?ro manufactures a robot designed to help pharmacies fill prescriptions that consist of oral solids or medications in pill form. The pharmacist or pharmacy technician enters the prescription information into its information system. The system, upon determining whether or not the drug is in the robot, will send the information to the robot for filling. The robot has > different si(e vials to fill determined by the si(e of the pill. The robot technician, user or pharmacist determines the needed si(e of the vial based on the tablet when the robot is stocked. 6nce the vial is filled it is brought up to a conveyor belt that delivers it to a holder that spins the vial and attaches the patient label. -fterwards it is set on another conveyor that delivers the patientLs medication vial to a slot labeled with the patients name on an H$, read out. The pharmacist or technician then checks the contents of the vial to ensure itLs the correct drug for the correct patient and then seals the vials and sends it out front to be picked up. The robot is a very time efficient device that the pharmacy depends on to fill prescriptions. McKessonLs :obot :M is another healthcare robotics product that helps inpatient pharmacies dispense thousands of medications daily with

little or no errors. The robot can be ten feet wide and thirty feet long and can hold hundreds of different kinds of medications and thousands of doses. The pharmacy saves many resources like staff members that are otherwise unavailable in a resource scarce industry. &t uses an electromechanical head coupled with a pneumatic system to capture each dose and deliver it to its either stocked or dispensed location. The head moves along a single a'is while it rotates !B2 degrees to pull the medications. ,uring this process it uses barcode technology to verify its pulling the correct drug. &t then delivers the drug to a patient specific bin on a conveyor belt. 6nce the bin is filled with all of the drugs that a particular patient needs and that the robot stocks, the bin is then released and returned out on the conveyor belt to a technician waiting to load it into a cart for delivery to the floor TUG robots, from Aethon, are a necessity for any hospital s inpatient pharmacy. TUGs are a medication delivery robot. They are stationed at or near the pharmacy on a char!in! base desi!ned to "eep their batteries at optimal levels. Once a pharmacy has a number of meds to send to the floors, they load the TUGs by puttin! in their code to unloc" the drawers and start sortin! the meds by delivery station. After it has been loaded the user selects the locations in the order they want them delivered and then they hit the send button. The TUG bac"s up, turns and !oes on it path to its destination. #t uses a series of navi!ational tools to find it way around. $or the most part it is laser !uided and uses a %&' de!ree laser to chec" for walls and obstacles in its path. #t also ma"es use of infrared sensors and sonar for navi!ation, obstacle avoidance and detection. Usin! these navi!ational tools it uses an internal map that is desi!ned by the TUG itself and an #mplementation (pecialist from Aethon to drive down a planned path to its destinations. #f it needs to navi!ate between floors the company will, with help from an elevator vendor, set up an elevator computer interface and the TUG will communicate wirelessly with an elevator controller to !ain access and control of an elevator to ta"e it to the desired floor. $rom that point the TUG will ma"e its delivery, return home and wait for another delivery.

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