Vehicle and Robotics Engineering Laboratory

The Home of Mechatronics


Academic Track in Mechatronic Systems Engineering, Vehicle and Robotics Engineering

The team of full-time and adjunct faculty, as well as invited guest lecturers from around the world, develop and offer new courses at three levels of education with ADAMS software product.

Introduction to Mechatronic Systems Engineering

This course provides an interdisciplinary engineering experience in the analysis and design of mechatronic systems that combine mechanical and electrical/electronic components with controls and microprocessors.  Feedback control topics include the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control algorithm and classical design methods based on the root-locus and Bode plots. Hardware implementation using various types of actuators, sensors, digital circuits and microprocessors will be explored.

Analytical and Adaptive Dynamics in Mechatronic Systems

Advanced topics in analytical dynamics are presented in the course based on direct and inverse dynamics approach with application to mechatronic systems. Introduction to adaptive dynamics establishes a basis for the control algorithm development and a mechatronic system design.

Adaptive Control and Optimization in Mechatronic Systems

The course presents an analytical study in adaptive control for advanced applications. Various approaches are considered including gain scheduling controller modeling, model reference control (high-gain scheme), etc. Linear and non-linear dynamic systems are the course subject.

Design of Robots

Course presents specifics in mechanical design of mechatronic systems with concentration on robots. Topics include requirements to mechanical systems as components of mechatronic systems and design methods. Position, kinematical and dynamic force analysis of robot manipulators is given for both rigid and non-rigid designs. Vibrations are analyzed and optimized in robot manipulators. Critical design components presented in conjunction with the motion requirements.

Introduction to Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Engineering

This course presents fundamentals in hybrid electric, hybrid hydraulic and electric vehicle engineering with specific applications to commercial vehicles, including highway and terrain trucks, buses, mining and forestry machinery, farm tractors and construction equipment, combat and tactical military vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, planet rovers. The course focuses on mechatronic system and component design of HEV based on the requirements to power flow management, power conversion and thus to vehicle dynamics and energy/fuel efficiency. Mechanical drivetrain engineering problems are considered in conjunction with electric drive design and then mechatronic wheel-electric drive, suspension and locomotion system design are presented. 
Theory of Ground Vehicles: Mechatronics Approach

The theory of ground vehicles is presented in strong conjunction with vehicle systems design, i.e., provides a basis for mechatronics design of major vehicle systems based on requirements to vehicle longitudinal and lateral dynamics, mobility and traction/acceleration performance, energy efficiency, stability of motion and other vehicle operational and consumer properties.
Autonomous Wheel Power Management Systems: Theory and Design
The main goal of this course is to give detailed understanding, mathematically grounded knowledge and engineering experience in research, design and experimental study of autonomous mechatronic and autonomously operated mechanical systems that distribute power among the drive wheels of multi-wheel drive vehicles. Characteristics of the power management systems for a specific vehicle are proved using inverse vehicle dynamics formulation and requirements to vehicle energy efficiency, mobility, stability of motion, and turnability.

Vehicle Mechatronic Systems Implementation

The main goal of this product-oriented course is to analytically model vehicle systems, learn sensor and actuator applications in vehicle systems, and apply this knowledge to mechatronics design of major powertrain and chassis systems of conventional ground vehicles and autonomous/unmanned ground vehicles.

Machine Design

Body stress, deflection and fatigue strength of machine components.  Failure theories, safety factors and reliability, surface damage.  Application to the design of gears, shafts, bearings, welded joints, threaded fasteners, belts and chains, keys, pins, springs, as well as mechanical design and selection of other machine components.  Software applications, design projects, and exposure to hardware and systems are used to reinforce concepts. 

Vehicular Dynamics

Introduction to the fundamentals of mechanics and analytical methods for modeling vehicle dynamics and performance. Topics include tire-road interaction modeling, vehicle longitudinal dynamics and traction performance, lateral dynamics, handling, stability of motion and rollover, as well as, contribution of the drivetrain system, steering system and suspension configurations to the dynamics of a vehicle. Software applications, projects, and exposure to hardware and systems are used to reinforce concepts.

Nonlinear Mechanics in Vehicle Engineering & Space Systems

Students will study nonlinear statics and dynamics problems in vehicle engineering and in mechanical and aerospace systems. Emphasis will be on learning the theory and application of nonlinear finite element analysis to these cases including those with geometric nonlinearities of large strain as well as material nonlinearities in stress-strain behavior.  Classroom examples and assignments will be in solid and fluid mechanics and will utilize commercial software codes. Students will also complete projects investigating dynamics of large systems in vehicle engineering.

Internal Combustion Engines
Fundamentals of reciprocating internal combustion engines: engine types, engine components, engine design and operating parameters, thermo-chemistry of fuel-air mixtures, properties of working fluids, ideal models of engine cycles, engine operating characteristics, gas-exchange processes, fuel metering, charge motion within the cylinder, combustion in spark-ignition and compression ignition engines.  Software applications, projects, and exposure to hardware and systems are used to reinforce concepts.  

Kinematics and Dynamics of Machinery

Displacement, velocity and acceleration analysis, synthesis and design of linkages and mechanisms for various engineering applications on the basis of motion requirements. Static and dynamic force analysis of linkages, balancing of rotors and reciprocating machines. Significant consideration is given to designing geometry of gear sets: spur, helical, worm, and bevel gears. Analysis of planetary sear sets and drivetrains completes the course. Computer workshops support the learning process of main technical concepts.

Mechanical Systems

This course concentrates on main technical principles and aspects of mechanical systems design. The course also provides fundamental knowledge on test equipment and experimental techniques for experimenting on main technical principles of mechanical design. The course discusses data acquisition systems and signal conditioning, and design of experiments.  Writing proficiency is required. ME 461L must be taken concurrently.