Mechanical Design

Mechanical Design 101

Mechanical Design Educational Resource

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Category: Commentary

Mechanism and Robotics Notes

27 July, 2014 (17:50) | Commentary | By: Prof. McCarthy

The server in our UCI Robotics and Automation Laboratory has been revived (thank you Kaustubh). This means the links to course notes and to Mathematica notebooks have been reestablished. Synthetica.eng.uci.edu now links to my web-page which needs work. A laboratory page that will replace this soon.

Travel Funds for the 2013 Energy Invitational

1 May, 2013 (17:10) | Automotive Information, Commentary | By: Prof. McCarthy

Travel funds for the 2013 Energy Invitational are now available. Please contact Prof. McCarthy for an application.

2012 Happy Holidays

19 December, 2012 (00:31) | Commentary | By: Prof. McCarthy

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From my family to yours, all the blessings of the season.

Workshop Presentations: 21st Century Kinematics

19 August, 2012 (04:34) | Commentary, Lecture Notes | By: Prof. McCarthy

21st Century Kinematics

21st Century Kinematics

The NSF Workshop on 21st Century Kinematics at the 2012 ASME IDETC Conference in Chicago, IL on August 11-12, 2012 consisted of a series of presentations and a book of supporting material prepared by the workshop contributors.

The book is now available at amazon.com: 21st Century Kinematics–The 2012 NSF Workshop.

And here are the seven primary presentations given at the workshop.

  1. Computer-Aided Invention of Mechanisms and Robots. J. Michael McCarthy, Professor, University of California, Irvine.
  2. Mechanism Synthesis for Modeling Human Movement. Vincenzo Parenti-Castelli, Professor, University of Bologna.
  3. Algebraic Geometry and Kinematic Synthesis. Manfred Husty, Professor, University of Innsbruck.
  4. Kinematic Synthesis of Compliant Mechanisms. Larry Howell, Professor, Brigham Young University.
  5. Kinematics and Numerical Algebraic Geometry. Charles Wampler, Technical Fellow, General Motors Research and Development.
  6. Kinematic Analysis of Cable Robotic Systems. Vijay Kumar, Professor, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Protein Kinematics. Kazem Kazerounian, Professor, University of Connecticut.

Colleagues joined in with two additional presentations:

Many thanks to the contributors and the attendees for an outstanding workshop.

Wikipedia and mechanisms and robotics

3 May, 2012 (15:59) | Commentary | By: Prof. McCarthy

Wikipedia logo JMR Logo

Type “mechanism” or “robotics” into google.com and the first items to appear are Wikipedia articles. In fact, chances are that any technical term in mechanisms and robotics, such as “machine,” “gear,” or “inverse kinematics,” will yield Wikipedia articles on the first page.

Internet marketers work hard to achieve first page rankings in Google’s search algorithm using techniques known as search engine optimization (SEO). In response Google regularly revises its algorithm to reduce the presence of web-sites that have poor content but high rankings, a sign of effective SEO. (1) A revision introduced in early 2011 seems to like Wikipedia.

When teaching, I check to see what my students find on-line with search terms like “four-bar linkage” and “mechanical advantage,” even “screw theory” and “quaternions.” Last year I became so frustrated with the poor quality of the articles appearing at the top of my searches, that on May 27, 2011 I created a user account and entered Wikipedia as a novice editor.

I am approaching one year and 3,800 edits on over 60 articles on Wikipedia. While I could not repair everything that I felt was wrong or misleading, I am claiming success, because the culture of Wikipedia imposes limits on what can be done.

This experience has sharpened my appreciation for the challenge of managing information on the Internet. Before I get to this, let me share some advice regarding the world that is Wikipedia.

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