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A Study of the Mechanical Behavior Of Nanocrystalline Metals Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

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The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower

The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower ductility as compared to bulk metals. Effects of strain-rate dependence on the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals are explored. Knowing the strain rate dependence of mechanical properties would enable optimization of material selection for different applications and lead to lighter structural components and enhanced sustainability.

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2014-05

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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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Control of 3D human arm impedance

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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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2013

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

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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 estimation and effects of wind on waypoint navigation of UAVs

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The presented work in this report is about Real time Estimation of wind and analyzing current wind correction algorithm in commercial off the shelf Autopilot board. The open source ArduPilot Mega 2.5 (APM 2.5) board manufactured by 3D Robotics is

The presented work in this report is about Real time Estimation of wind and analyzing current wind correction algorithm in commercial off the shelf Autopilot board. The open source ArduPilot Mega 2.5 (APM 2.5) board manufactured by 3D Robotics is used. Currently there is lot of development being done in the field of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAVs), various aerial platforms and corresponding; autonomous systems for them. This technology has advanced to such a stage that UAVs can be used for specific designed missions and deployed with reliability. But in some areas like missions requiring high maneuverability with greater efficiency is still under research area. This would help in increasing reliability and augmenting range of UAVs significantly. One of the problems addressed through this thesis work is, current autopilot systems have algorithm that handles wind by attitude correction with appropriate Crab angle. But the real time wind vector (direction) and its calculated velocity is based on geometrical and algebraic transformation between ground speed and air speed vectors. This method of wind estimation and prediction, many a times leads to inaccuracy in attitude correction. The same has been proved in the following report with simulation and actual field testing. In later part, new ways to tackle while flying windy conditions have been proposed.

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Date Created
2014

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Design and development of rolling and hopping ball robots for low gravity environment

Description

In-situ exploration of planetary bodies such as Mars or the Moon have provided geologists and planetary scientists a detailed understanding of how these bodies formed and evolved. In-situ exploration has aided in the quest for water and life-supporting chemicals.

In-situ exploration of planetary bodies such as Mars or the Moon have provided geologists and planetary scientists a detailed understanding of how these bodies formed and evolved. In-situ exploration has aided in the quest for water and life-supporting chemicals. In-situ exploration of Mars carried out by large SUV-sized rovers that travel long distance, carry sophisticated onboard laboratories to perform soil analysis and sample collection. But their large size and mobility method prevents them from accessing or exploring extreme environments, particularly caves, canyons, cliffs and craters.

This work presents sub- 2 kg ball robots that can roll and hop in low gravity environments. These robots are low-cost enabling for one or more to be deployed in the field. These small robots can be deployed from a larger rover or lander and complement their capabilities by performing scouting and identifying potential targets of interest. Their small size and ball shape allow them to tumble freely, preventing them from getting stuck. Hopping enables the robot to overcome obstacles larger than the size of the robot.

The proposed ball-robot design consists of a spherical core with two hemispherical shells with grouser which act as wheels for small movements. These robots have two cameras for stereovision which can be used for localization. Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and wheel encoder are used for dead reckoning. Communication is performed using Zigbee radio. This enables communication between a robot and a lander/rover or for inter-robot communication. The robots have been designed to have a payload with a 300 gram capacity. These may include chemical analysis sensors, spectrometers and other small sensors.

The performance of the robot has been evaluated in a laboratory environment using Low-gravity Offset and Motion Assistance Simulation System (LOMASS). An evaluation was done to understand the effect of grouser height and grouser separation angle on the performance of the robot in different terrains. The experiments show with higher grouser height and optimal separation angle the power requirement increases but an increase in average robot speed and traction is also observed. The robot was observed to perform hops of approximately 20 cm in simulated lunar condition. Based on theoretical calculations, the robot would be able to perform 208 hops with single charge and will operate for 35 minutes. The study will be extended to operate multiple robots in a network to perform exploration. Their small size and cost makes it possible to deploy dozens in a region of interest. Multiple ball robots can cooperatively perform unique in-situ science measurements and analyze a larger surface area than a single robot alone on a planet surface.

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Date Created
2016

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Dynamics, modeling, simulation and control of mid-flight coupling of quadrotors

Description

Unmanned aerial vehicles have received increased attention in the last decade due to their versatility, as well as the availability of inexpensive sensors (e.g. GPS, IMU) for their navigation and control. Multirotor vehicles, specifically quadrotors, have formed a fast growing

Unmanned aerial vehicles have received increased attention in the last decade due to their versatility, as well as the availability of inexpensive sensors (e.g. GPS, IMU) for their navigation and control. Multirotor vehicles, specifically quadrotors, have formed a fast growing field in robotics, with the range of applications spanning from surveil- lance and reconnaissance to agriculture and large area mapping. Although in most applications single quadrotors are used, there is an increasing interest in architectures controlling multiple quadrotors executing a collaborative task. This thesis introduces a new concept of control involving more than one quadrotors, according to which two quadrotors can be physically coupled in mid-flight. This concept equips the quadro- tors with new capabilities, e.g. increased payload or pursuit and capturing of other quadrotors. A comprehensive simulation of the approach is built to simulate coupled quadrotors. The dynamics and modeling of the coupled system is presented together with a discussion regarding the coupling mechanism, impact modeling and additional considerations that have been investigated. Simulation results are presented for cases of static coupling as well as enemy quadrotor pursuit and capture, together with an analysis of control methodology and gain tuning. Practical implementations are introduced as results show the feasibility of this design.

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Date Created
2016

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A convex approach for stability analysis of partial differential equations

Description

A computational framework based on convex optimization is presented for stability analysis of systems described by Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). Specifically, two forms of linear PDEs with spatially distributed polynomial coefficients are considered.

The first class includes linear coupled PDEs

A computational framework based on convex optimization is presented for stability analysis of systems described by Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). Specifically, two forms of linear PDEs with spatially distributed polynomial coefficients are considered.

The first class includes linear coupled PDEs with one spatial variable. Parabolic, elliptic or hyperbolic PDEs with Dirichlet, Neumann, Robin or mixed boundary conditions can be reformulated in order to be used by the framework. As an example, the reformulation is presented for systems governed by Schr¨odinger equation, parabolic type, relativistic heat conduction PDE and acoustic wave equation, hyperbolic types. The second form of PDEs of interest are scalar-valued with two spatial variables. An extra spatial variable allows consideration of problems such as local stability of fluid flows in channels and dynamics of population over two dimensional domains.

The approach does not involve discretization and is based on using Sum-of-Squares (SOS) polynomials and positive semi-definite matrices to parameterize operators which are positive on function spaces. Applying the parameterization to construct Lyapunov functionals with negative derivatives allows to express stability conditions as a set of LinearMatrix Inequalities (LMIs). The MATLAB package SOSTOOLS was used to construct the LMIs. The resultant LMIs then can be solved using existent Semi-Definite Programming (SDP) solvers such as SeDuMi or MOSEK. Moreover, the proposed approach allows to calculate bounds on the rate of decay of the solution norm.

The methodology is tested using several numerical examples and compared with the results obtained from simulation using standard methods of numerical discretization and analytic solutions.

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Date Created
2016

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Magnetic Needle Steering for Medical Applications

Description

Many medical procedures, like surgeries, deal with the physical manipulation of sensitive internal tissues. Over time, new medical tools and techniques have been developed to improve the safety and efficacy of these procedures. Despite the leaps and bounds of progress

Many medical procedures, like surgeries, deal with the physical manipulation of sensitive internal tissues. Over time, new medical tools and techniques have been developed to improve the safety and efficacy of these procedures. Despite the leaps and bounds of progress made up to the present day, three major obstacles (among others) persist, bleeding, pain, and the risk of infection. Advances in minimally invasive treatments have transformed many formerly risky surgical procedures into very safe and highly successful routines. Minimally invasive surgeries are characterized by small incision profiles compared to the large incisions in open surgeries, minimizing the aforementioned issues. Minimally invasive procedures lead to several benefits, such as shorter recovery time, fewer complications, and less postoperative pain. In minimally invasive surgery, doctors use various techniques to operate with less damage to the body than open surgery. Today, these procedures have an established, successful history and promising future. Steerable needles are one of the tools proposed for minimally invasive operations. Needle steering is a method for guiding a long, flexible needle through curved paths to reach targets deep in the body, eliminating the need for large incisions. In this dissertation, we present a new needle steering technology: magnetic needle steering. This technology is proposed to address the limitations of conventional needle steering that hindered its clinical applications. Magnetic needle steering eliminates excessive tissue damage, restrictions of the minimum radius of curvature, and the need for a complex nonlinear model, to name a few. It also allows fabricating the needle shaft out of soft and tissue-compliant materials.
This is achieved by first developing an electromagnetic coil system capable of producing desired magnetic fields and gradients; then, a magnetically actuated needle is designed, and its effectiveness is experimentally evaluated. Afterward, the scalability of this technique was tested using permanent magnets controlled with a robotic arm.
Furthermore, different configurations of permanent magnets and their influence on the magnetic field are investigated, enabling the possibility of designing a desired magnetic field for a specific surgical procedure and operation on a particular organ. Finally, potential future directions towards animal studies and clinical trials are discussed.

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2021

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Modeling, Analysis and Control of Cart-Inverted Pendulum Systems and Fundamental Tradeoffs

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This thesis lays down a foundation for more advanced work on bipeds by carefully examining cart-inverted pendulum systems (CIPS, often used to approximate each leg of a biped) and associated closed loop performance tradeoffs. A CIPS is characterized

This thesis lays down a foundation for more advanced work on bipeds by carefully examining cart-inverted pendulum systems (CIPS, often used to approximate each leg of a biped) and associated closed loop performance tradeoffs. A CIPS is characterized by an instability (associated with the tendency of the pendulum to fall) and a right half plane (RHP, non-minimum phase) zero (associated with the cart displacement x). For such a system, the zero is typically close to (and smaller) than the instability. As such, a classical PK control structure would result in very poor sensitivity properties.It is therefore common to use a hierarchical inner-outer loop structure. As such, this thesis examines how such a structure can be used to improve sensitivity properties beyond a classic PK structure and systematically tradeoff sensitivity properties at the plant input/output. While the instability requires a minimum bandwidth at the plant input, the RHP zero imposes a maximum bandwidth on the cart displacement x.
Three CIPs are examined – one with a long, short and an intermediately sized pendulum. We show that while the short pendulum system is the most unstable and requires the largest bandwidth at the plant input for stabilization (hardest to control), it also has the largest RHP zero. Consequently, it will permit the largest cart displacement x-bandwidth, and hence, one can argue that the short pendulum system is easiest to control. Similarly, the long pendulum system is the least unstable and requires smallest bandwidth at the plant input for stabilization (easiest to control). However, because this system also possesses the smallest RHP zero it will permit the smallest cart displacement x-bandwidth, and hence, one can argue that the long pendulum system is the hardest to control. Analogous “intermediate conclusions” can be drawn for the system with the “intermediately sized” pendulum. A set of simple academic examples (growing in plant and controller complexity) are introduced to illustrate basic tradeoffs and guide the presentation of the trade studies.

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Date Created
2021