Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

2016 Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

Symposia organized for the 2016 Mechanisms and Robotics Conference

The 2016 Mechanisms and Robotics conference is part of International Design Engineering Technical Conferences organized by ASME International in Charlotte, North Caroline, August 22-24.

Plenary speaker Bernard Roth is the Academic Director of Stanford University’s and the author of the Achievement Habit.

You can find out more about each of the symposia at these links:


Rolling Robot at SUTD

Virgo 2 SUTD

Virgo 2 SUTD

A research team including Profs. GimSong Soh, Kristin Wood and Kevin Otto at Robotics Innovation Lab at the Singapore University of Technology and Design has developed a rolling robot about the size of a baseball. The design and motion planning of this robot, Virgo 2.0, was presented at the Mechanisms and Robotics Conference which was part of the 2015 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences, August 2-5, in Boston, MA. A demonstration of the Virgo 2.0 moving through a figure eight path around obstacles is shown in the video below.

An Interesting Planar Robot at Laval

Students of Prof. Clement Gosselin at the Laval University Robotics Laboratory demonstrate a four-degree of freedom planar robot. I particularly like the demonstration of its use as a gripper that does a cartwheel just for fun.

Tensegrity Robotics at UC Berkeley

Students in Prof. Alice Agogino’s Berkeley Emergent Space Technologies Laboratory, the BEST Lab, working on motion planning for their tensegrity robot.

Workshop on 21st Century Kinematics

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 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.

Update: The presentation links have been fixed.

“Kinematics and Polynomials” Available on a Mac

Until yesterday, my iBooks Introduction to Theoretical Kinematics and Kinematics and Polynomials were available only on the iPad, but now with OSX Mavericks they are available on any Mac. Please give it a try. You can download a sample at this link: Kinematics and Polynomials sample.

Kinematics and Polynomials available for pre-order

My iBook Kinematics and Polynomials is now available for preorder on iTunes. You can see a preview at this link. At 75MB it is considered a relatively large download.

The goal is a presentation of the analysis and synthesis of kinematic systems that relies on the theory of polynomials. I wanted to include some Mathematica code by means of video screen capture and some animations. The iBook format makes this convenient, however the size of the document increases rapidly with each video.

Currently, it can only be seen on an iPad, but this is supposed to change soon, because the OSX Mavericks operation system is to include an iBooks application.

Kinematics and Polynomials in Brief to be released soon

Kinematics and Polynomials

Kinematics and Polynomials

My latest attempt at ePublishing is an iBook called Kinematics and Polynomials in Brief. It will be available on October 1, 2013. It is about 50 pages and includes six short videos, which unfortunately add up to about 75MB. This is about three times the size of Introduction to Theoretical Kinematics, though  about half the number of pages. It is also about six times what is recommended for a book download.

The extra MB arise from short videos of Mathematica algorithms that perform example calculations presented in the text. Actually, most of the videos show me silently executing the Mathematica commands, but I do talk in two of them, which significantly increases their size.  If you are interested in the Mathematica files, please contact me.

Mechanical characters

Disney Research guides two degree-of-freedom open chains using the coupler curve of a geared five-bar linkage to obtain geared seven-bar and nine-bar linkages, which they use to move the front and rear legs of their Cyber Tiger. By connecting the driving gears of the four legs, they obtain a one degree-of-freedom system that animates the Cyber Tiger.

The computational design system uses an optimization routine to adjust the coupler curve of the five-bar linkage to approximate a given curve in order to guide the system in a desired movement. The results are terrific, and look a lot like the mechanical toys of the past. Select this link for more information.

Six-bar Linkage Design for Mechanical Computation

Six-bar linkages

Six-bar linkages

Our paper Numerical Synthesis of Six-bar Linkages for Mechanical Computation provides the mathematical theory that underlies the synthesis of a six-bar linkage with an input-output relationship that approximates a specified function. This describes how the Stephenson III six-bar linkage that sets the elevation for a ballistic trajectory was designed.