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Adaptive Technologies using Soft Robotic Bladders

Description

The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the underlying fundamental concepts behind much of modern technological infrastructure, in

The traditional understanding of robotics includes mechanisms of rigid structures, which can manipulate surrounding objects, taking advantage of mechanical actuators such as motors and servomechanisms. Although these methods provide the underlying fundamental concepts behind much of modern technological infrastructure, in fields such as manufacturing, automation, and biomedical application, the robotic structures formed by rigid axels on mechanical actuators lack the delicate differential sensors and actuators associated with known biological systems. The rigid structures of traditional robotics also inhibit the use of simple mechanisms in congested and/or fragile environments. By observing a variety of biological systems, it is shown that nature models its structures over millions of years of evolution into a combination of soft structures and rigid skeletal interior supports. Through technological bio-inspired designs, researchers hope to mimic some of the complex behaviors of biological mechanisms using pneumatic actuators coupled with highly compliant materials that exhibit relatively large reversible elastic strain. This paper begins the brief history of soft robotics, the various classifications of pneumatic fluid systems, the associated difficulties that arise with the unpredictable nature of fluid reactions, the methods of pneumatic actuators in use today, the current industrial applications of soft robotics, and focuses in large on the construction of a universally adaptable soft robotic gripper and material application tool. The central objective of this experiment is to compatibly pair traditional rigid robotics with the emerging technologies of sort robotic actuators. This will be done by combining a traditional rigid robotic arm with a soft robotic manipulator bladder for the purposes of object manipulation and excavation of extreme environments.

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2016-05

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RFID Assisted Traffic Sign Recognition System for Autonomous Vehicles

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This research report investigates the feasibility of using RFID in Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) Systems for autonomous vehicles, specifically driver-less cars. Driver-less cars are becoming more prominent in society but must be designed to integrate with the current transportation infrastructure.

This research report investigates the feasibility of using RFID in Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) Systems for autonomous vehicles, specifically driver-less cars. Driver-less cars are becoming more prominent in society but must be designed to integrate with the current transportation infrastructure. Current research in TSR systems use image processing as well as LIDAR to identify traffic signs, yet these are highly dependent on lighting conditions, camera quality and sign visibility. The read rates of current TSR systems in literature are approximately 96 percent. The usage of RFID in TSR systems can improve the performance of traditional TSR systems. An RFID TSR was designed for the Autonomous Pheeno Test-bed at the Arizona State University (ASU) Autonomous Collective Systems (ACS) Laboratory. The system was tested with varying parameters to see the effect of the parameters on the read rate. It was found that high reader strength and low tag distance had a maximum read rate of 96.3 percent, which is comparable to existing literature. It was proven that an RFID TSR can perform as well as traditional TSR systems, and has the capacity to improve accuracy when used alongside RGB cameras and LIDAR.

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2018-05

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Assessment of global model simulations of present and future climate

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Climate change has been one of the major issues of global economic and social concerns in the past decade. To quantitatively predict global climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations have organized a multi-national

Climate change has been one of the major issues of global economic and social concerns in the past decade. To quantitatively predict global climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations have organized a multi-national effort to use global atmosphere-ocean models to project anthropogenically induced climate changes in the 21st century. The computer simulations performed with those models and archived by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project - Phase 5 (CMIP5) form the most comprehensive quantitative basis for the prediction of global environmental changes on decadal-to-centennial time scales. While the CMIP5 archives have been widely used for policy making, the inherent biases in the models have not been systematically examined. The main objective of this study is to validate the CMIP5 simulations of the 20th century climate with observations to quantify the biases and uncertainties in state-of-the-art climate models. Specifically, this work focuses on three major features in the atmosphere: the jet streams over the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the low level jet (LLJ) stream over central North America which affects the weather in the United States, and the near-surface wind field over North America which is relevant to energy applications. The errors in the model simulations of those features are systematically quantified and the uncertainties in future predictions are assessed for stakeholders to use in climate applications. Additional atmospheric model simulations are performed to determine the sources of the errors in climate models. The results reject a popular idea that the errors in the sea surface temperature due to an inaccurate ocean circulation contributes to the errors in major atmospheric jet streams.

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2014

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Compressible flow through a porous medium: choking at pore scale and its implications

Description

Production from a high pressure gas well at a high production-rate encounters the risk of operating near the choking condition for a compressible flow in porous media. The unbounded gas pressure gradient near the point of choking, which is located

Production from a high pressure gas well at a high production-rate encounters the risk of operating near the choking condition for a compressible flow in porous media. The unbounded gas pressure gradient near the point of choking, which is located near the wellbore, generates an effective tensile stress on the porous rock frame. This tensile stress almost always exceeds the tensile strength of the rock and it causes a tensile failure of the rock, leading to wellbore instability. In a porous rock, not all pores are choked at the same flow rate, and when just one pore is choked, the flow through the entire porous medium should be considered choked as the gas pressure gradient at the point of choking becomes singular. This thesis investigates the choking condition for compressible gas flow in a single microscopic pore. Quasi-one-dimensional analysis and axisymmetric numerical simulations of compressible gas flow in a pore scale varicose tube with a number of bumps are carried out, and the local Mach number and pressure along the tube are computed for the flow near choking condition. The effects of tube length, inlet-to-outlet pressure ratio, the number of bumps and the amplitude of the bumps on the choking condition are obtained. These critical values provide guidance for avoiding the choking condition in practice.

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2013

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Control of 3D human arm impedance

Description

Humans have an inherent capability of performing highly dexterous and skillful tasks with their arms, involving maintaining posture, movement and interacting with the environment. The latter requires for them to control the dynamic characteristics of the upper limb musculoskeletal system.

Humans have an inherent capability of performing highly dexterous and skillful tasks with their arms, involving maintaining posture, movement and interacting with the environment. The latter requires for them to control the dynamic characteristics of the upper limb musculoskeletal system. Inertia, damping and stiffness, a measure of mechanical impedance, gives a strong representation of these characteristics. Many previous studies have shown that the arm posture is a dominant factor for determining the end point impedance in a horizontal plane (transverse plane). The objective of this thesis is to characterize end point impedance of the human arm in the three dimensional (3D) space. Moreover, it investigates and models the control of the arm impedance due to increasing levels of muscle co-contraction. The characterization is done through experimental trials where human subjects maintained arm posture, while perturbed by a robot arm. Moreover, the subjects were asked to control the level of their arm muscles' co-contraction, using visual feedback of their muscles' activation, in order to investigate the effect of the muscle co-contraction on the arm impedance. The results of this study showed a very interesting, anisotropic increase of the arm stiffness due to muscle co-contraction. This can lead to very useful conclusions about the arm biomechanics as well as many implications for human motor control and more specifically the control of arm impedance through muscle co-contraction. The study finds implications for the EMG-based control of robots that physically interact with humans.

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Date Created
2013

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The Effect of Spoilers on Vehicle Aerodynamics and Performance

Description

An understanding of aerodynamics is crucial for automobile performance and efficiency. There are many types of “add-on” aerodynamic devices for cars including wings, splitters, and vortex generators. While these have been studied extensively, rear spoilers have not, and their effects

An understanding of aerodynamics is crucial for automobile performance and efficiency. There are many types of “add-on” aerodynamic devices for cars including wings, splitters, and vortex generators. While these have been studied extensively, rear spoilers have not, and their effects are not as widely known. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel study was performed to study the effects of spoilers on vehicle aerodynamics and performance. Vehicle aerodynamics is geometry dependent, meaning what applies to one car may or may not apply on another. So, the Scion FRS was chosen as the test vehicle because it is has the “classic” sports car configuration with a long hood, short rear, and 2+2 passenger cabin while also being widely sold with a plethora of aftermarket aerodynamic modifications available. Due to computing and licensing restrictions, only a 2D CFD simulation was performed in ANSYS Fluent 19.1. A surface model of the centerline of the car was created in SolidWorks and imported into ANSYS, where the domain was created. A mesh convergence study was run to determine the optimum mesh size, and Realizable k-epsilon was the chosen physics model. The wind tunnel lacked equipment to record quantifiable data, so the wind tunnel was utilized for flow visualization on a 1/24 scale car model to compare with the CFD.

0° spoilers reduced the wake area behind the car, decreasing pressure drag but also decreasing underbody flow, causing a reduction in drag and downforce. Angled spoilers increased the wake area behind the car, increasing pressure drag but also increasing underbody flow, causing an increase in drag and downforce. Longer spoilers increased these effects compared to shorter spoilers, and short spoilers at different angles did not create significantly different effects. 0° spoilers would be best suited for cases that prioritize fuel economy or straight-line acceleration and speed due to the drag reduction, while angled spoilers would be best suited for cars requiring downforce. The angle and length of spoiler would depend on the downforce needed, which is dependent on the track.

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Date Created
2019-12

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Optimization of complex thermal-fluid processes

Description

First, in a large-scale structure, a 3-D CFD model was built to simulate flow and temperature distributions. The flow patterns and temperature distributions are characterized and validated through spot measurements. The detailed understanding of them then allows for optimization of

First, in a large-scale structure, a 3-D CFD model was built to simulate flow and temperature distributions. The flow patterns and temperature distributions are characterized and validated through spot measurements. The detailed understanding of them then allows for optimization of the HVAC configuration because identification of the problematic flow patterns and temperature mis-distributions leads to some corrective measures. Second, an appropriate form of the viscous dissipation term in the integral form of the conservation equation was considered, and the effects of momentum terms on the computed drop size in pressure-atomized sprays were examined. The Sauter mean diameter (SMD) calculated in this manner agrees well with experimental data of the drop velocities and sizes. Using the suggested equation with the revised treatment of liquid momentum setup, injection parameters can be directly input to the system of equations. Thus, this approach is capable of incorporating the effects of injection parameters for further considerations of the drop and velocity distributions under a wide range of spray geometry and injection conditions. Lastly, groundwater level estimation was investigated using compressed sensing (CS). To satisfy a general property of CS, a random measurement matrix was used, the groundwater network was constructed, and finally the l-1 optimization was run. Through several validation tests, correct estimation of groundwater level by CS was shown. Using this setup, decreasing trends in groundwater level in the southwestern US was shown. The suggested method is effective in that the total measurements of registered wells can be reduced down by approximately 42 %, sparse data can be visualized and a possible approach for groundwater management during extreme weather changes, e.g. in California, was demonstrated.

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Date Created
2015

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Parallel optimization of polynomials for large-scale problems in stability and control

Description

In this thesis, we focus on some of the NP-hard problems in control theory. Thanks to the converse Lyapunov theory, these problems can often be modeled as optimization over polynomials. To avoid the problem of intractability, we establish a trade

In this thesis, we focus on some of the NP-hard problems in control theory. Thanks to the converse Lyapunov theory, these problems can often be modeled as optimization over polynomials. To avoid the problem of intractability, we establish a trade off between accuracy and complexity. In particular, we develop a sequence of tractable optimization problems - in the form of Linear Programs (LPs) and/or Semi-Definite Programs (SDPs) - whose solutions converge to the exact solution of the NP-hard problem. However, the computational and memory complexity of these LPs and SDPs grow exponentially with the progress of the sequence - meaning that improving the accuracy of the solutions requires solving SDPs with tens of thousands of decision variables and constraints. Setting up and solving such problems is a significant challenge. The existing optimization algorithms and software are only designed to use desktop computers or small cluster computers - machines which do not have sufficient memory for solving such large SDPs. Moreover, the speed-up of these algorithms does not scale beyond dozens of processors. This in fact is the reason we seek parallel algorithms for setting-up and solving large SDPs on large cluster- and/or super-computers.

We propose parallel algorithms for stability analysis of two classes of systems: 1) Linear systems with a large number of uncertain parameters; 2) Nonlinear systems defined by polynomial vector fields. First, we develop a distributed parallel algorithm which applies Polya's and/or Handelman's theorems to some variants of parameter-dependent Lyapunov inequalities with parameters defined over the standard simplex. The result is a sequence of SDPs which possess a block-diagonal structure. We then develop a parallel SDP solver which exploits this structure in order to map the computation, memory and communication to a distributed parallel environment. Numerical tests on a supercomputer demonstrate the ability of the algorithm to efficiently utilize hundreds and potentially thousands of processors, and analyze systems with 100+ dimensional state-space. Furthermore, we extend our algorithms to analyze robust stability over more complicated geometries such as hypercubes and arbitrary convex polytopes. Our algorithms can be readily extended to address a wide variety of problems in control such as Hinfinity synthesis for systems with parametric uncertainty and computing control Lyapunov functions.

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Date Created
2016

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Wind farm characterization and control using coherent Doppler lidar

Description

Wind measurements are fundamental inputs for the evaluation of potential energy yield and performance of wind farms. Three-dimensional scanning coherent Doppler lidar (CDL) may provide a new basis for wind farm site selection, design, and control. In this research, CDL

Wind measurements are fundamental inputs for the evaluation of potential energy yield and performance of wind farms. Three-dimensional scanning coherent Doppler lidar (CDL) may provide a new basis for wind farm site selection, design, and control. In this research, CDL measurements obtained from multiple wind energy developments are analyzed and a novel wind farm control approach has been modeled. The possibility of using lidar measurements to more fully characterize the wind field is discussed, specifically, terrain effects, spatial variation of winds, power density, and the effect of shear at different layers within the rotor swept area. Various vector retrieval methods have been applied to the lidar data, and results are presented on an elevated terrain-following surface at hub height. The vector retrieval estimates are compared with tower measurements, after interpolation to the appropriate level. CDL data is used to estimate the spatial power density at hub height. Since CDL can measure winds at different vertical levels, an approach for estimating wind power density over the wind turbine rotor-swept area is explored. Sample optimized layouts of wind farm using lidar data and global optimization algorithms, accounting for wake interaction effects, have been explored. An approach to evaluate spatial wind speed and direction estimates from a standard nested Coupled Ocean and Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) model and CDL is presented. The magnitude of spatial difference between observations and simulation for wind energy assessment is researched. Diurnal effects and ramp events as estimated by CDL and COAMPS were inter-compared. Novel wind farm control based on incoming winds and direction input from CDL's is developed. Both yaw and pitch control using scanning CDL for efficient wind farm control is analyzed. The wind farm control optimizes power production and reduces loads on wind turbines for various lidar wind speed and direction inputs, accounting for wind farm wake losses and wind speed evolution. Several wind farm control configurations were developed, for enhanced integrability into the electrical grid. Finally, the value proposition of CDL for a wind farm development, based on uncertainty reduction and return of investment is analyzed.

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Date Created
2013

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Detailed numerical simulation of liquid jet in crossflow atomization with high density ratios

Description

The atomization of a liquid jet by a high speed cross-flowing gas has many applications such as gas turbines and augmentors. The mechanisms by which the liquid jet initially breaks up, however, are not well understood. Experimental studies suggest the

The atomization of a liquid jet by a high speed cross-flowing gas has many applications such as gas turbines and augmentors. The mechanisms by which the liquid jet initially breaks up, however, are not well understood. Experimental studies suggest the dependence of spray properties on operating conditions and nozzle geom- etry. Detailed numerical simulations can offer better understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms that lead to the breakup of the injected liquid jet. In this work, detailed numerical simulation results of turbulent liquid jets injected into turbulent gaseous cross flows for different density ratios is presented. A finite volume, balanced force fractional step flow solver to solve the Navier-Stokes equations is employed and coupled to a Refined Level Set Grid method to follow the phase interface. To enable the simulation of atomization of high density ratio fluids, we ensure discrete consistency between the solution of the conservative momentum equation and the level set based continuity equation by employing the Consistent Rescaled Momentum Transport (CRMT) method. The impact of different inflow jet boundary conditions on different jet properties including jet penetration is analyzed and results are compared to those obtained experimentally by Brown & McDonell(2006). In addition, instability analysis is performed to find the most dominant insta- bility mechanism that causes the liquid jet to breakup. Linear instability analysis is achieved using linear theories for Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin- Helmholtz instabilities and non-linear analysis is performed using our flow solver with different inflow jet boundary conditions.

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Date Created
2013