The Mechatronics, Robotics & Control Laboratory has
developed some of the world’s most unique mechatronics and robotic systems
including various mobile robots, advanced sensors and actuators,
state-of-art control prototyping systems including dSpace, MatLab, and
• Develop a plug and play position and orientation solution potentially including GPS, INS and imagery to geo-reference, in real time, a suite of environmental monitoring sensors and enable the generation of 3D features /orthophotos / terrain models etc. In addition to the sensor integration and data analysis tasks, a number of key questions are currently unanswered in terms of the technology (eg can imagery be used to compensate for (replace?) inertial technology?) and the application (eg what performance as a an environmental survey / monitoring tool is possible from a light-weight, low-cost model aircraft compared to existing manned systems?).
• Low cost UAV autopilots do not by themselves provide the integrity required for safe operations in the ‘real world’; a human must always be ‘in the loop’. What is the best way of providing flight information to the pilot? (Head Up Display, sound, etc); and can such a system be used to help less highly trained pilots fly UAVs?; do different methods of presenting the information give different results / alter the workload?; What is the best solution to enable the efficient monitoring / modelling of a particular environment (eg forest, farmland, offshore, volcano, etc)?
• Develop, test and analyse a combination of imaging / scanning sensors to gain more accurate and timely data about the real time flight environment and conditions. Explore the issues associated with intelligent and adaptive flight control to enable the UAV to make control decisions, respond in real time to changes in operating conditions (e.g. strong wind, storm, etc.) and the task(s) it is required to undertake at any one time.
Micro-nano-robots with high positioning accuracy (at the scale of nanometers) and bioMEMS/NEMS devices with small size (at the scale of micrometers to centimeters) are widely used to manipulate micron-sized objects such as biological cells. They largely facilitate high-throughput investigation and allow better understanding of cell migration, cell proliferation, cell signaling pathway, cell biomechanics, and intercellular/intracellular interaction. With their unparallel capabilities of manipulating cells with size down to 10 nm level, micro-nano-robotic systems and bioMEMS/NEMS devices have been receiving increasingly remarkable attention. Recently, we have developed a fully automated zebrafish embryo injection system, semi-automated adherent cell injection system, and a PDMS elastic device for cell and C. elegans mechanics characterization. This project includes:
Wireless technology is an emerging technology for monitoring and control of processes and machines. It offers significant advantages including the significant reduction in wiring, plug-and-play, portability, and robustness. However the use of wireless in a real time control environment is new and still has many problems to overcome. This research programme will look into research issues including: