The Robotics and Automation Lab is currently involved in research and development of advanced actuators for mechatronics applications.
Actuators, such as motors, are devices that convert electrical energy into mechanical work. As the demand for actuator technologies grows in applications such as biomedical, prosthetics, haptics, computer games, etc., there is an increasing need for complex and more sophisticated actuators with high power-to-volume ratio.
Our group develops analytical models, electro-mechanical hardware designs and control software.
We are currently working on a new actuator that uses magnetorheological (MR) fluid and eliminates the hysteresis problem commonly found in these actuators. We expect significant impacts of the new compact, powerful, smart MR-brake actuator in many applications including the automotive industry, aerospace, robotics, prosthetics, haptics in virtual reality, vibration control, computer game industry and rehabilitation. This project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The Robotics and Automation Lab also supports the mechatronics option track in our mechanical engineering program. We have sophisticated hardware and software for motion control, programmable logic control and for robotics.
We are developing a new motion control course with industry partners. Our main goal is to bring together concepts from control theory, kinematics, dynamics, electronics, simulation, machine design and programming to educate students about multi-axis machine design and motion control. This project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Renewable energy option track: Our world is at a unique crossroad in history: the transition from resource-constrained, fossil-based energy systems to systems that are sustainable, renewable, and resource-efficient. Washington is at the leading edge of new developments in renewable energy, and the state is well positioned to accelerate the shift toward a clean-energy economy to support state environmental and economic goals. However, future growth in renewable energy will also depend on our ability to supply a well-qualified workforce to design, build, operate and maintain renewable energy systems.
At WSU Vancouver, our goal is to turn out a new generation of engineers equipped with both knowledge and experience in developing and advancing clean technologies and a comprehensive understanding of the concepts, theories and technologies that are essential to sustainability. With funding from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, we are developing an interdisciplinary renewable energy option track. This track will aggregate courses from our ME, CS and EE programs and will allow students with a major in one of these three programs to complete the track.
You can find more information about our research by exploring the menu on the left.
Research opportunities: If you are interested in joining our team for research in these or closely related areas, please feel free to contact me. The School of ENCS has a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering program and has assistantship positions available for qualified graduate students. In addition, there are opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in our research activities.