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Mechatronics Principles, Technologies, and Applications by Eugenio Brusa | PDF Free Download.
Recent experience within the frame of the EMEA (Europe – the Middle East and Africa) District of the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) encouraged me to actively participate in this editorial project whose aim is giving an impression of some current topics in mechatronics, being subject of several research activities and of industrial efforts focused on continuous innovation of product, process, and professional expertise.
As the Reader could realize the Authors replied to a call from the Mediterranean area and Africa, obviously without any inhibition to collaborate with other institutions outside the EMEA region.
They propose herein an overview of applications, methodologies, and technologies that are nowadays characterizing the ongoing activity within the field of mechatronics.
Those issues are a little bit melt inside each chapter since in everyone some item related to a specific application, technology, and method used in designing, controlling, and manufacturing the system is described.
Actually, those details assure the originality of each contribution herein enclosed, as the Authors wrote.
To present the result of this effort a common understanding of the meaning of mechatronics is required because it is well known that a number of definitions was worldwide proposed.
After more than thirty years, the interpretation of mechatronics written by Bradley and Dawson (1991) as the synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronic control, and systems thinking in the design of products and processes still brightly and shortly describes some essential properties of systems designed and manufactured by following the so-called mechatronic approach.
As that sentence states typical nature of mechatronics is to be interdisciplinary, since all the technical competencies of engineering, computer, and material sciences cooperate to design a unique product that includes and exploits some artificial intelligence or simply smartness.
This one is usually associated with the system capability of perceiving any abrupt variation of the operating conditions and to its skill of self–adapting, through a suitable control action which modifies its own configuration.
Examples of control target and technology are proposed through the chapters. A very traditional mechatronic application of hard disc drive is proposed in Chapter one to show how the position tracking of the read/write head can be suitably controlled,
by resorting to the technology of neural networks. The distinction between linear and nonlinear dynamics control is a matter of discussion in Chapter Two, which describes the arising of chaos and a control technique applied to the human locomotion eventually assisted by prostheses.
Dynamic behavior is evenly the goal of Chapter three, although in this case, the Authors deal with the control of fluids for industrial automation purposes.
It is worth noticing how they resort to the solution of hardware–in–the–loop to implement the control by facing even the problem of rapid prototyping of the mechatronic system, being a critical issue of the design activity.
A nice application of control is that of a multi-fingered prosthetic hand, described in Chapter four. The human–system interface is here a key issue of design since myoelectricity is used to operate the bicistronic hand by converting the electric stimulation into the mechanical grip.
Electromechanical coupling is exploited in all those cases, while a completely different technology is applied to detect the human presence through a vision system, as in Chapter five.
It is focused on the use of unmanned air vehicles for search and rescue purposes, applied to mine and manufacturing environments. Vibration control and monitoring of flexible structures instead of mechanisms and rigid bodies are objects of Chapters seven, eight, and nine.
A first contribution, in Chapter seven, is concerning the structural health monitoring and control of flexible composite structures, equipped with piezoelectric patches and fiber optics.
In this case, a modal control approach is applied to detect any failure of composite material and to suppress vibration. The problem of predicting and controlling simultaneously the motion of rigid bodies and vibration of flexible elements are analyzed in Chapter eight.
Dynamic behavior of heavy structural equipment undergoing thermo–electromechanical coupling effects induced by heat transfer and the magnetic field is there modeled through an integrated numerical approach.
In particular, the multibody dynamics‘ and finite element‘ methods are applied, by resorting to a multi–physic‘ numerical solution. Control of self–excited vibration and chatter of elements of tooling machines is the goal of Chapter nine.
In this case, dynamic stability is achieved through active control. All the above-mentioned examples provide an overview of applications where synergy among different competencies clearly appears, as they are exploited in several technical domains, like computer science, bioengineering, industrial automation, manufacturing and machining systems, and aeronautics.
In some cases, system thinking is strictly applied to product development, as for the hard disc drive, prostheses, and UAV, while the process is expressively considered in the embedding of fiber optics into the smart composite structures, in control of steel material processing or of turning operation.
Product life management is a well-recognized goal of mechatronic design too, as in Chapter six. Extendable prosthetic leg imposes a bright analysis of all the product life cycles, as is foreseen by the so-called Systems Engineering.
A detailed design of the product architecture is therefore performed to fulfill requirements of compatibility with the actuator used to extend the artificial leg, of cost, maintenance, and ergonomics.
Good interoperability between the numerical tool used to investigate the material behavior and the modeler of the system geometry or the simulator of the actuator device has to be assured. Moreover, rapid prototyping of the mechanical system may help to invalidate both the modeling and control techniques.
This task can be accomplished by some new technology like 3D printing, as it is described in Chapter four or through the integration of hardware and software as is detailed in Chapter three.
All the Authors wish the Reader to get a nice impression of mechatronics as it currently looks in daily practice more than in theory, as this book was aimed to preliminarily show.
It might be realized that nowadays, a mechatronic system, being either a product or a process, takes advantage not only from its smartness but even more from the benefit of contamination among different domains, methodologies, and technologies, that could be applied in the early stage of design and system thinking.
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