Research

In today’s engineering world, many emerging applications ranging from manufacturing to autonomous vehicles require coordination and precision motion control of multiple systems. Traditional approaches for controlling these systems often neglect the underlying coupling in the application. To stay at the forefront of these fields requires the development of innovative sensing and control strategies for cooperative applications.

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Emerging Manufacturing Processes:

Electrohydrodynamic jet (E-jet) printing, an example of a micro/nano-manufacturing process with applications in biotechnology and flexible electronics, has emerged as a high resolution alternative to traditional tip-based printing techniques such as ink jet printing. Because of its unique combination of high resolution printing capabilities (<200 nm) and diversity of inks (metals, polymers, biological materials), E-jet is suitable for a wide range of high value applications. In order to realize the full potential of processes like E-jet, enhanced process control must be addressed. This research integrates novel sensing and control techniques into processes such as E-jet to achieve high performance.

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Iterative Learning Control:

Iterative learning control (ILC) is an adaptive control technique for improving process performance in systems that execute a task repetitively. ILC is loosely derived from the paradigm of human learning. In a repetitive process, information from earlier iterations of the process can be used to improve performance in the current iteration. ILC has been successfully implemented in robotics, thermal processing, manufacturing, and robotic deposition. This research focuses on pushing the envelope of learning capabilities through unique modifications and implementations of the traditional framework.

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Coordinated Control:

Cooperative behavior defines the coordination of two or more systems directed towards a common goal which is mutually beneficial. Example systems can be found in manufacturing applications, autonomous vehicles, and robotics. Many of the applications associated with these industries include repetitive tasks such as surveying and persistent monitoring. Repetitive execution of these tasks can be harnessed to achieve high performance. This research simultaneously exploits the repetitiveness and inherent coupling of the desired outcome by applying a coordinated ILC approach to applications such as surveillance.

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