IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics

Focus Sections

Focus sections have played an important role in bringing together solutions from research and engineering for a specific area in mechatronics, which is becoming increasingly important and has a board range of applications. Focus Section provides an opportunity to cover recent progress, and publishes original, significant and visionary papers describing scientific methods and technologies, which may be abstractions, algorithms, theories, methodologies, and case studies in the specific focused area. The aim is to make available to a large audience the state-of-the-art results on some critical research issues in this area.


Open for Submission

Submit by 2017-03-21
First Review by 2017-06-01
Publish on 2018-02-01

Next generation of industrial revolution will be featured with broad applications of various autonomous technologies which would enable intelligent manufacturing in industries. Among all the challenges facing the intelligent manufacturing processes is the smart sensing and perception technology which plays a critical role in facilitating various autonomous operations. Such sensing and perception technology will evolve with more and more 'smart functioning modules' to transform the manufacturing process from independently structures operations into sensing/perception-based self-governed collaborative networked operations.

This Focused Section is dedicated to new advances in modeling, design, control and optimization, communication, and implementation of the sensing and perception system for intelligent manufacturing processes, and intends to provide the state-of-the-art update of research fronts in the areas specified below that include but are not limited to:

  • Modeling of physical fields for machine perception
  • Machine vision for manufacturing
  • Sensing network and fusion optimization for manufacturing
  • Real time field reconstruction
  • Embedded device, adaptive algorithm, and autonomous control method
  • Method for data-driven real time optimization of field sensor network
  • Distributed field sensing for manufacturing
  • Advanced vision and perception system and 2D/3D optical sensing method

In Review/Revisions

With the growing demands on production efficiency and the increasing diversity of industrial production, modern industrial manufacturing systems are becoming more and more complicated and intelligent. Since large quantities of actuators, sensors, etc. are incorporated; the probability of system component fault/failure becomes very high. Consequently, modern manufacturing processes are turning into safety-critical systems. This stimulates an ever-increasing demand on the implementation of health monitoring, management, and control approaches to meet increased performance and safety requirements. However, the traditional techniques or approaches may result in an unsatisfactory or inferior performance. Moreover, those approaches may be only appropriate for simple systems; however, they may have little or even no capability for complex industrial systems. Faced with this problem, health monitoring, management, and control including fault tolerant control, fault diagnosis, and health prognosis receive enhanced attention both in engineering and research domains maintaining desirable stability, safety, reliability, resilience, survivability, and increased performance. This focused section is intended to bring the efforts of the worldwide research community working on health monitoring, management, control approaches for all intelligent manufacturing systems. It is intended to create a platform for scientists, engineers and practitioners to present their latest theoretical and technological advancements in the design of sophisticated/advanced health monitoring, management, and control methods, stability and performance analysis, practical implementation, and various case studies of the applications of these techniques. The topics of interest within the scope of this Special Section include (although not limited to) the following, all being related to mechatronic systems:

  • Modeling of complex systems especially with component fault/failure
  • Distributed data acquisition and smart sensing
  • Big-data techniques including mining, analysis, fusion
  • Advanced signal processing including denoising methods
  • Novel fault detection, isolation, and diagnosis methods
  • Advanced approaches for health monitoring and management
  • Residual strength evaluation, health prognosis, and remaining life assessment
  • Advanced fault control, reliable control, and safe control design
  • System uncertainties and external disturbances attenuation control
  • Real-time implementation of monitoring and diagnosis in practical applications
First Review by 2016-10-01
Publish on 2017-12-01

Mechatronics applications in agriculture can be traced back to mid-1980s, when research on automated systems for fruits harvesting showed up in Japan, Europe and USA. Since then, impressive advances have been reached in advanced sensing and perception, navigation and planning, actuation and manipulation, cognition and learning, communication and cooperation among Mechatronics systems. These advancements allowed Mechatronics systems to tackle quite complex tasks even in dynamic and challenging environments, disclosing the possibility of their introduction into a wide extent of agricultural operations such as harvesting, pruning, thinning, mowing, spraying, weed removal and phyto-pharmaceutical treatments application using variable rate technologies.Mechatronics advances can give a contribution in tackling some of the issues ahead of agricultural production including:

  • Optimizing the use of inputs by selective delivering at very high precision;
  • Long-term autonomy and navigation in the farm (extending working time and production timeliness);
  • Orchard and broad-acre crop production;
  • Nurseries and greenhouses;
  • New concepts in perception dealing with changes in appearance and geometry of the environment;
  • New learning and adaptive approaches to novel environments (due to seasonal and weather changes or to adaptation foroperation in a completely different crop);
  • Aerial and ground Mechatronics systems for soil/crop monitoring, prediction, and decision making;
  • Sensing in intensive agriculture;
  • New techniques for resource management, with special emphasis in new energy storage technologies in service units;
  • Among other related topics to face intensive and precision agricultural problems.
First Review by 0000-00-00
Publish on 2017-08-01

Marine mechatronic systems are highly multidisciplinary which demands an effective integration of mechanical, electrical, control and information disciplines. There are a wide range of applications for marine mechatronic systems, such as ocean exploration, oil and energy harvesting, monitoring and surveying, transportations, and so on. While striving to explore more resources and expand civil, commercial and scientific activities in oceans and waterways, we are faced with an ever-increasing need for advanced mechatronic systems with enhanced performance in the harsh marine environment. Associated with this trend, issues like system design, modeling, control, guidance and reliability receive enhanced attention both in engineering and research domains. This Focused Section is dedicated to compile latest research and development efforts contributing to advances in marine mechatronics. The Focused Section will also welcome contributions addressing the state-of-the-art in associated developments and methodologies, and the perspectives on future developments and applications. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following research thrusts related to Marine Mechatronics:

  • Innovative platforms, including moorings, buoys, ships, and underwater vehicles
  • Cooperative control of surface and underwater robotic vehicles
  • Advanced control, guidance and navigation
  • Instrumentation, sensors and actuators
  • Environmental monitoring and distributed sensor networks
  • Marine measurement and sampling systems
  • Ocean energy harvesting
  • Methodologies and technologies for marine experimentations and simulations
First Review by 2016-01-01
Publish on 2017-04-01

Hydraulic robots have recently pushed the state of the art in robotics by demonstrating new levels of performance in terms of rough terrain locomotion, balance, speed, dexterity and robustness (e.g. Boston Dynamics/Google’s robots, SARCOS Raytheon’s humanoids and exoskeletons, but also academic efforts such as IIT’s HyQ, Shandong University’s SCalf etc). Inspired by these results, an increasing number of academic groups are (re-)discovering  hydraulic actuation for applications where a high power density, robustness and high control bandwidth are crucial requirements.

The main objective of this Focused Section is to report on the most recent advances in the field of hydraulic high-performance robots and actuators with a special focus on their design and control. We are looking for original contributions covering topics including:

  • Mechatronics design of legged robots and manipulator arms with hydraulic actuation
  • Mechatronics design of compact hydraulic actuators and power systems for robotic systems
  • Mechatronics design of rehabilitation devices with hydraulic actuation
  • Model-based position and force controller for hydraulic actuators
  • Whole body control, balancing and rough-terrain locomotion of hydraulic legged robots
  • Agile, highly dynamic and dexterous motions of hydraulic robots
  • Solutions towards energy efficient hydraulic actuation
  • Hydro-static transmissions and novel solutions with magneto-rheological fluids

Published

Today, various types of intelligent mechatronic systems are in use or under development for different purposes. Among them, soft manipulator robots have vast potential applications at home, at hospital and/or in industry. In the design of soft manipulators, new concepts often inspired from nature are used and built with soft materials and smart sensors. The IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics invites papers for a focused section on “Modeling and Control of Soft Manipulators” to present developments in the area of modeling, control and design of soft manipulators. The objective is to investigate new techniques for real-time model-based simulation and control.

The goal of this special issue is to provide a premier forum for researchers to present their recent research results in the area of modeling, control and design of soft manipulator systems. Contributions from industry are also encouraged, and both theoretical and experimental works are welcome. It offers an  important opportunity for multidisciplinary work. Topics of interest include mainly:

  • Power-based modeling for dynamics of soft manipulators
  • Data-based learning approaches for modeling of soft manipulators
  • Intelligent controls of soft manipulators
  • Real-time simulation of soft manipulators
  • Real-time Monitoring of soft manipulators
  • Design of soft manipulators
  • Rapid prototyping

Hysteresis nonlinearity invariably appears in various smart mechatronic systems such as smart material-based actuators, smart-material based sensors, pneumatic actuators, and electromagnetic systems. This nonlinearity yields undesirable responses, which causes limited tracking performance or oscillations in the responses which may lead to system instability. As an example, the presence of hysteresis in smart material-based actuators, which are used widely in micro/nano-positioning applications, yields considerable tracking error and lack of accuracy of the systems responses. Considerable continuing efforts are thus being made to seek for effective compensation of hysteresis nonlinearity in different smart mechatronic systems.

Recently, obvious contributions and developments have been elevated in the research areas of: hysteresis modeling, compensation of hysteresis nonlinearity, and control of hysteretic systems. Also, novel smart material-based actuators and smart-material based sensors show strong hysteresis nonlinearity in their outputs. The IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics invites papers for a special section on “Hysteresis in Modern Mechatronic Systems: Modeling, Identification, and Control” to present developments in the area of hysteresis in smart mechatronic systems and to alleviate the difficulties associated with hysteresis nonlinearity in new smart mechatronic systems. The objective is to investigate new techniques for high performance smart mechatronic systems with consideration of hysteresis effects. This section will provide an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to exchange their most recent accomplishments and challenges in thearea of modeling and compensation of hysteresis nonlinearity in smart mechatronic systems. It is expected that this issue will bring together the current advances in this area that could encourage future research directions in this field. Contributions from industry are encouraged, and both theoretical and experimental works are welcome. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Developments in hysteresis models for mechatronic systems
  • Identification techniques for hysteresis models
  • Developments in compensation schemes for hysteresis
  • Limit cycles in systems with hysteresis
  • Signals estimation/observation in systems with hysteresis
  • Hysteresis in smart materials-based mechatronic systems
  • Hysteresis in ferromagnetic and ferroelectric actuators and sensors
  • Hysteresis in micromechatronic systems
  • Hysteresis in pneumatic actuators
  • Hysteresis in sensors
  • Hysteresis in systems with friction
  • Hysteresis in thermal and energy systems
  • Hysteresis in electronic/electrical circuits and systems
  • Hysteresis in robotic systems
  • Hysteresis in mechanical systems with backlash

Automotive systems are becoming highly multidisciplinary, which demands an ever-increasing integration of mechanical/automotive, electrical/electronic, control and information disciplines. Rapidly growing public awareness on environmental issues, together with the energy crisis and the stricter standards on vehicle emission and active safety creates an impetus for vehicle electrification, also contributing to the long-term development of a resource-efficient society and planet This futher offers ample prospects for the integration of various mechatronic components/subsystems, towards enhanced vehicle performance and energy efficiency, active safety, and driving intelligence. The objective of this Focused Section is to compile recent research and development efforts contributing to advances in mechatronics for automotive systems. The Focused Section will also welcome contributions addressing the state-of-the-art in associated developments and methodologies, and the perspectives on future developments and applications. Manuscripts should contain both theoretical and practical/experimental results and will be subject to the normal TMECH review procedures. The topics of interest within the scope of this Special Section include (although not limited to) the following:

  • Advanced vehicle and powertrain control systems and integration
  • Vehicle embedded mechatronic systems
  • Vehicle and powertrain health monitoring and management 
  • Development of advanced energy storage systems
  • Advanced battery technologies and power management systems
  • Hybrid and electric propulsion systems and vehicles
  • Development of more efficient engines, electrical machines and drive systems
  • Smart materials for automotive applications
  • Vehicular ergonomics and active vehicle vibration isolation
  • Advanced driver assistance systems, semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles

“Emerging economies, social and political transitions, and new ways of doing business are changing the world dramatically. … To be successful in this competitive climate, manufacturing enterprises of 2020 will require significantly improved capabilities. …” as highlighted in a U. S. National Research Council report Visionary Manufacturing Challenges for 2020. ASME has also chosen "Advanced Manufacturing" as the theme for its 2013 Congress. Similar governmental priorities on intelligent manufacturing (IM) can also be found in China, European Union and Japan. As an evolving term, IM is the use of production technology that automatically adapts to changing environments and varying process requirements, with the capability of manufacturing various products with less supervision and assistance from operators. Mechatronics, as synergistic integration of precision mechanical engineering with advanced sensing, control and computer theories and technologies in the design and manufacture of intelligent products and processes, plays an important role in this rapidly advancing IM. As new materials, new technology (such as intelligent communication, cloud computing) and new configurations for the manufacturing enterprise emerge, it is expected that the definitions of mechatronics and IM will become even broader in the future and the distinctions among mechatronics, manufacturing, and service industries become blurred. In an effort to disseminate current advances of various computational intelligence and mechatronics technologies for advanced manufacturing applications, a focused session in this area will be published in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH). Papers should contain both theoretical and practical/experimental results and will be subject to TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • New Methods for Modelling, Design of System Components, Equipment and Processes
  • Advanced 3D Printing and Emerging Manufacturing Processes
  • Novel Sensors for Real-Time Measurement, Estimation and Physical-field Reconstruction
  • Smart Actuators and Adaptive Control of Machine Tools
  • Multisensor Fusion and Integration for Intelligent Manufacturing Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence, Embedded Systems and Cloud Computing in Manufacturing
  • Design, Analysis and Optimization of Mechanical Fixturing and Automated Handling Devices
  • Surface Integrity of Difficult-to-Machine Materials, Thin-walled Structures, and/or Components with Complex Geometry
  • Precision Machining 

 

Sustainability and resilience of large-scale civil infrastructure are of utmost importance concerning human society and our daily lives. The demand has also created enormous areas of application for mechatronics. For example, in the past few decades, intelligent machinery (with field bus control network, GPS positioning and measuring, load-sensing energy type of electrohydraulic control, sensors, field robotics, and smart materials in field and service) has played an important role in construction and active maintenance of large-scale bridges, highway, high-speed railways, etc. As another example, the safety inspection of large civil structures has also adopted a variety of advanced inspection techniques (such as bio-inspired robot inspection, image based structure inspection, optimization of sensor network, and multi-sensor data fusion). Furthermore, the combination of mechanics, electronics, and computing has also thrust a significant amount of work in smart structural technologies, e.g. sensing and feedback vibration control of civil structures during dynamic excitations. In an effort to disseminate current advances of various mechatronics technologies for large civil structures, a focused session in this area will be published in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH). Papers should contain both theoretical and practical/experimental results and will be subject to TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Mechatronics in construction machinery
  • Measurement technology and data fusion of multi-sensor for civil structures
  • Smart sensory and driven materials in intelligent structures
  • Mobile sensor network and robotic inspection for civil structures
  • Prognostics and health monitoring of large civil structures and construction machinery
  • Damage repair and emergency handling control of large civil structures
  • Novel actuation, transmission, and control techniques for construction machinery and construction automation
  • Sensing and feedback vibration control of structures

 

In a variety of aerospace driven applications, such as aeronautical/space vehicles, launch vehicles and missiles, tremendous advances are being made in underlying theories, devices used and systems implemented. Associated with this trend, issues like system design, modeling, control, guidance, reliability, fault diagnosis as well as software development receive enhanced attention both in engineering and research domains. The primary objective of this Focused Section is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to exchange their latest achievements and to identify critical issues and challenges for future investigation in the field. The papers published in this Focused Section are expected to discuss the recent advances in aerospace mechatronics and in particular new ideas and approaches in all the related fields. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following research topics related to Aerospace Mechatronics:

  • Design, manufacturing and maintenance
  • Modelling, identification and dynamics
  • Control, guidance and navagation
  • Autonomous/intelligent control and system, multi-agent system
  • Vibration and noise suppression
  • Health, safety, diagnosis and monitoring
  • Aerospace mechatronics embedded systems
  • Software and computational techniques
  • Instrumentation, sensors and actuators
  • Aerospace oriented MEMS and nano technology, composite and smart materials
  • Teleoperation and human-machine systems
  • Methodologies and technologies for aerospace experimentations and simulations

Biological systems have evolved to find just-good-enough solutions to survive in complex and uncertain environments. By understanding and adapting the underlying principles of these solutions to engineering systems, many new mechatronic systems that can operate in unstructured environments robustly and efficiently have been proposed recently. On the other hand, such bioinspired mechatronic systems could be used to model complex biological systems to understand them in detail. This Focused Section of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to the new advances in modeling, design, analysis, manufacturing, control, and implementation of bio-inspired mechatronic systems and related technologies. Multidisciplinary papers are encouraged. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Bio-inspired locomotion systems
  • Bio-inspired mechanism design
  • Bio-inspired control methods
  • Bio-inspired sensors and actuators
  • Bio-inspired manufacturing methods
  • Applications of bio-inspired systems
  • Modeling of bio-inspired systems

Wireless mechatronic devices, services and systems are experiencing fast growth in a variety of application fields, such as manufacturing, transportation and healthcare. For instance, it is envisaged that service and personal care wireless mechatronic systems will become more and more prevalent at home in the near future and will be very useful in assistive healthcare particularly for the elderly and disabled. Another concrete example is RFID-based devices and systems which are showing significant potentials in applications from manufacturing, security, logistics, airline baggage management to postal tracking. In an effort to disseminate current advances on wireless mechatronics, a focused session in this area will be published in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH). The papers should contain both theoretical and practical/experimental results and will be subject to TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • RFID-based wireless mechatronic devices, systems and applications
  • Wireless bio-mechatronic sensors, devices and systems
  • Wireless mechantronic multi-agent systems
  • Wireless mechantronic autonomous systems and ambient intelligence
  • Wireless mechatronic embedded systems
  • Wireless mechatronic teleoperation, telemonitoring and distributed control systems
  • Wireless telemedicine, telesurgery, and e-health
  • Wireless robotic and haptic systems
  • Wireless mechatronics in various applications, such as automotive, aerospace, manufacturig, education, healthcare, renewable energy and electrial vehicular systems
  • Development, verification and debug tools for wireless mechatronic systems

 

The marine environment plays a critical role in our ecosystem, economy and daily lives. As we increase our reliance on oceans and waterways for new resources and expanding civil, commercial and scientific activities, we are faced with a need for highly capable mechatronic systems capable of performing in this environment. Marine mechatronic systems are used for a wide range of applications, such as exploring the extreme depths of our ocean, harvesting resources ranging from food to oil, monitoring our environment, supporting national defence operations, transporting goods, and supporting recreational activities. While doing this, these systems operate in a demanding environment with challenges such as intense hydrostatic pressures, harmful interaction with electronics and materials, powerful hydrodynamic forces, and high attenuation of electromagnetic signals. This Focused Section of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics is dedicated to new advances in the modeling, analysis, design, control, implementation and operation of mechatronic devices and systems operating in the marine environment. Papers should contain both theoretical and practical/experimental results and are subject to the TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Novel platforms, including moorings, buoys, ships, tethered and untethered underwater robots, and gliders
  • Fleets, clusters, and formations of surface and underwater robotic vehicles
  • Novel components and technologies as well as advanced control and automation strategies
  • Seafloor observatories and distributed sensor networks
  • Environmental monitoring and characterization systems
  • Disaster monitoring and mitigation systems
  • Deep-sea measurement, sampling, and drilling systems
  • Systems for energy harvesting and flow containment
  • Systems for in situ sensing, sampling and analysis and environmental perturbation experiments
  • Systems for inspection, remote observation, and physical intervention 

Recent advances in sensing technology have produced exciting new ideas in the growing field of biomechatronic devices. The successful integration of such devices requires thorough understanding of not only mechanical and electrical components, but also related physiology, biology, and neuroscience. This Focused Section of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to the new advances in modeling, design, fabrication, analysis, implementation, and validation of such sensors and related technologies for biomedical applications. Multidisciplinary papers are encouraged to submit. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Novel sensing principles
  • Novel calibration techniques
  • Biologically inspired sensors
  • Sensors for biomedical applications (rehabilitation, healthcare monitoring, etc)
  • In-vivo measurement of cells
  • Measurement of bio-signals (EMG, EEG, MEG, etc)
  • Wearable sensors
  • Motion capturing
  • Ultrasonic imaging
  • MRI/fMRI compatible sensors
  • Stereo or multiple vision systems
  • Chemical sensors
  • MEMS sensors

Electromagnetic devices have recently become promising contenders in the area of ultra-high precision manufacturing, manipulation, and sensing due to their capability to provide large displacement with infinite positioning resolutions, apply multi-axis forces and torques, possess high bandwidth, and achieve reliability and versatility in applications. With wide availability of permanent magnetic materials and manufacturing technology, many electromagnetic actuators and sensing elements have been explored in recent years.

Applications of these electromagnetic devices have been seen often in micro- and nano-manufacturing, ultra-sensitive biomedical imagining, and critical electrical vehicles. Additionally, these electromagnetic devices play crucial roles as the key components in renewable energy power generators as well as the driving elements of environmentally friendly electrical vehicles. In the realization of these novel electromagnetic devices, new and groundbreaking modeling of electromagnetic components, integrated design of electromagnetic components with ultra high precision mechanisms, and precision control of the electromagnetic devices are critical.

This Focused Section of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to the new advances in modeling, design, analysis, control, implementation and validation of electromagnetic devices for precision engineering. The papers should contain both the theoretical and practical/experimental results and are subject to the TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Modeling and control of electromagnetic actuators
  • Novel electromagnetic sensors
  • Novel electromagnetic actuator design for precision manufacturing and precision manipulation
  • Optimization techniques for electromagnetic devices
  • Novel electromagnetic systems for precision measuring
  • Use of electromagnetic devices in precision components in fields such as medical devices, biotechnology, sustainable transportation systems, etc.
  • Techniques for magnetic field reconstruction, calibration, identification and estimation for precision mechatronics

Advanced mechatronic medical devices showed their ability to assist physicians deliver less invasive and less disruptive diagnoses and therapies and enable novel medical procedures. The next steps are likely to address technologies that will make the medicine less expensive and accessible to the population at large, and provide a more uniform standard of care and quality control across physicians, hospitals, and geographic regions.

The adoption of new mechatronics technologies by the medical device sector has historically lagged behind non-medical fields such as automotive, aerospace and consumer products. Although this is partly due to regulatory constraints, there is great opportunity to accelerate the translation of the latest advances under development by numerous academic and industrial centers around the world for medical applications.

This special issue attempts to highlight the most important medical technology achievements enabled by Mechatronics: past, present, and future, in terms of their awaited medical service and economic impact. This cross-disciplinary section of the Journal targets both the engineering audience and the clinical community. It strives to provide inspiration for collaboration between innovative engineers and clinicians, and accordingly welcomes contributions by clinical authors and co-authors.

Potential topics related to mechatronics and their clinical applications include but are not limited to: surgical robotics, image-guided interventions with current or new imaging modalities, surgical assistant robots, tissue measurement/sensors for intervention, drug delivery, prostheses, artificial organs, skill evaluation, and safety of medical mechatronics. 

Published on 2010-08-01

Publication

The introduction of optical technology into mechatronic systems has created a significant progress towards improving miniaturization, precision,  functionality, intelligence, and autonomy of mechatronic systems. The integration of optical technologies is due to their attractive characteristics such as non-contact features, ease of transduction, wide sensing range, micro/nanoactuation, insensitivity to electrical noise, distributed sensing and communication potential, and high bandwidth.

This technology fusion is termed as Optomechatronics and is expected to play a major role in further development of mechatronics systems due to the synergistic effects of their integration, which include not only enhanced performance but also innovative functionalities. Examples of such effects can be found from a great number of technical fields such as adaptive optics, optical illumination control,, sensing and actuation, scanning and motion tracking, feedback control and manipulation, data storage/retrieval, data switching and transmission, projection and display, material, electrical, and optical property variations, on-line pattern recognition, and material processing. The recent developments in micro-systems fabrication, optical sensors and actuators, optical communication, biomedical imaging and control, optoelectronic processing, and mico-opto-electromechanical systems (MOEMS) integration have been all driving factors in increased functionalities and interest in optomechatronic systems, suggesting novel applications in both macro and micro scales. In particular, we expect that optomechatronic technologies will significantly contribute to the developments of micro/nano-opto-MEMS, biosystems with nano/microsensing and manipulation capabilities, and micro/nanofabrication. Today, examples of optomechatronic systems can be found in many products related to instrumentation, control, testing, manufacturing, consumer and industrial electronics, MEMS, MOEMS, automotive, and biomedical applications.

This Focused Section of IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to new advances in optomechatronic systems. The papers should contain both principle and practical experimental results and are subject to the TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Actuators and manipulation incorporated with optical elements
  • Optical based sensors and instruments
  • Optical metrology
  • Micro/nano devices and components with optical elements
  • MOEMs
  • Optomechatronic systems control
  • Optical/vision-based control
  • Adaptive optics
  • Optomechatronics in biomedical and robotic fields

A recent US National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine study (Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership, National Academy Press, 2005) advocated the applications of system engineering tools and information/communication technologies to improve the quality and productivity of the healthcare system. Mechatronics design principle provides a synergistic integration of information, computation and electromechanical device and systems, which plays an important role in advancing healthcare at both the device and system levels.

This Focused Section of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to new advances in mechatronics that are applicable for healthcare systems. The papers should contain both principle and practical experimental results and are subject to the TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Assistive device and systems
  • Rehabilitation devices and robotics
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Patient mobility and handling
  • Patient monitoring and evaluation
  • Surgical robotics
  • Medical device design and adaptation
  • Medical imaging devices and algorithms
  • Pharmaceutical process modeling and control
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Man-machine interfaces for healthcare/medical device and systems
  • Integrated modeling, design and control of healthcare delivery systems
  • Clinical evaluation accompanied with strong engineering principles
  • Enabling technologies and devices for remote healthcare delivery
  • Telemedicine

Multi robot system technology has progressed rapidly from simulation, to laboratory prototyping, to realization of real-world applications. The vision of multi-robot systems promises benefits such as redundancy, fault tolerance, increased coverage and throughput, flexible reconfigurability, and spatially distributed sensing, actuation and functionality. Applications capable of exploiting such features range from remote and in situ sensing to the physical manipulation of objects, and the domains for such applications include land, sea, air and space.

While multi robot systems offer many advantages and increased potential with respect to single robots, there are still many challenges in their design, realization and control that must be overcome in order to field cost-effective and efficient multi robot systems. To name a few of these challenges: inter- and intra- communications among the multi robot systems, relative position sensing, real-time multi robot system controls, fusion of distributed sensors/actuators, efficient man-machine interfaces for supervision and interaction, and design approaches supporting the economical production of such systems. This Focused Section of IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to new advances in mechatronics that are applicable to multi robot systems. The papers should contain both principle and practical experimental results and are subject to the TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • State-of-art research and technological development survey in the field
  • Issues in multi robot systems design and promising solutions
  • Conceptual and algorithmic contributions to enabling technologies to experimental results from prototype and fielded systems
  • Effects of different communication protocols/properties on multi robot systems performances
  • Relative sensing and control issues for multi robot systems coordination/formation
  • Cooperative manipulation with multi robot systems
  • Efficient and reliable communications protocols and strategies
  • Collaborative control frameworks and task coordination and assignment strategies
  • Multi robot systems applications
  • Multi robot localization and mapping
  • Soft computing techniques for multi robot systems
  • Modular multi robot systems
  • Heterogeneous multi robot systems
  • Man-machine interfaces for multi robot systems 

The advancement of emerging MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) and NanoElectroMechanical Systems (NEMS) requires comprehensive mechatronic-based (i.e., modeling, identification, control and experimentation) analysis and investigation. One of the most challenging aspects of “micro- and nano-scale” mechatronic systems as compared to their “macroscale” versions is the added complexity of uncertainties and nonlinearities that are unique to micro- and nano-scale. This added complexity combined with the extra precision requirement calls for development of comprehensive modeling frameworks and controllers for these applications. Accordingly, in an effort to respond to such demanding needs for new applications of MEMS and NEMS, the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics invites papers for a special issue in “Mechatronics for MEMS and NEMS”. It is expected that this issue will bring together the current advances in this area that could stimulate future research directions in this field. This special issue particularly targets current research and development efforts in modeling, control and applications of MEMS and NEMS including new sensing and actuation mechanisms at micro- and nano-scale, modeling and control of micro- and nano-scale sensors and actuators, and applications. Contributions from industry are particularly encouraged and both theoretical and experimental works are welcome.

This Focused Section of IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to new advances in mechatronics that are applicable to MEMS and NEMS. The papers should contain both fundamental and practical experimental results and are subject to the TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • State-of-art research and technological development survey in the field,

  • MEMS and NEMS based on smart materials and structures,

  • Optical and magnetic MEMS and NEMS,

  • MEMS- and NEMS-On-Chip

  • MEMS and NEMS for grasping and manipulation applications,

  • Modeling and control of micro- and nano-scale sensors and actuators,

  • Research challenges in MEMS and NEMS (e.g., fabrication, system integration, power and propulsion, reliability), and

  • Applications (e.g., biology and medicine, materials characterization and bottom-up assembly, probe-based storage, molecular and precision manufacturing and positioning) 

 

Anthropomorphism has served as a useful guiding principle for design and control of robotic systems in man’s pursuit of “making a machine in his own image”. The renewed interest in recent years arises from the need to develop human-like robotic and mechatronic systems (and subsystems) to operate, interact with and cohabit in human built-environments. From a morphological perspective, numerous novel designs have been proposed ranging from prosthetic/robotic hands, for performing dexterous grasping and manipulatory tasks, to lower-limb exoskeletons/walking robots, for enabling ambulation in our homes and the outdoors. From a social perspective, the new generation of robots participates in social interactions with humans, taking and giving verbal and non-verbal cues, and sensing or appropriately evoking human emotional and affective states. This new generation of anthropomorphic mechatronic systems (and subsystems) capitalizes on advances in miniaturization of sensing/actuation and the ongoing revolutions in embedded computation and wireless communication. This Focused Section of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH) is dedicated to the new advances in modeling, design, analysis, control, implementation and validation of such anthropomorphic mechatronic systems being developed as we pursue the dream of reaching the level of mobility, manipulation, fluidity and expressivity of humans. Multidisciplinary papers combining Robotics and Life Sciences (e.g., biomechanical modeling, computational neuroscience) are encouraged. The papers should contain both the theoretical and practical/experimental results and are subject to the TMECH review procedures. Potential topics include but are not limited to:
  • State-of-art research and technological development survey in the field
  • Issues in anthropomorphic system design and promising solutions
  • Conceptual and algorithmic contributions to understanding human motion
  • Enabling sensor/actuator/computational technologies
  • Experimental results from prototype and fielded systems
  • Exoskeletons/Prosthetics/Walking robots
  • Facially Expressive and Gestural Robots
  • Emulation of the human subsystems (sensory, musculoskeletal etc.)