[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] 2 PhD positions open on spatial compliant mechanisms at TU Delft

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[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] 2 PhD positions open on spatial compliant mechanisms at TU Delft

Just Herder - 3ME
Dear colleagues,
It is my pleasure to alert you to two four-year fully funded PhD positions available at Delft University of Technology.
I am looking for students with a (computational) kinematics and compliant mechanisms background with affection to mechanism design synthesis methods and applications.
In particular, the project is about spatially curved flexures for very-close-to-body gravity support systems for industry workers and people with muscular weakness.
Should you have talented and committed MSc graduates in these or closely related fields I would be grateful if you could pass the description below on to them.
Naturally I will be pleased to provide more information to those who are interested. Candidates can send a CV and motivation letter via email.
Thank you and best wishes,

The project builds on work in previous projects on what we call "shell mechanisms". These are spatially curved flexures that are designed to have predefined motion patterns (such as pure rotation about remote center of motion), predefined load-deflection behaviour (such as near-zero stiffness or bistability). Some illustrative references are listed below, showing that several analysis and synthesis methods for spatially curved flexures were developed and that demonstrators were made for gravity balancing of simple motions and for predefined stiffness in certain directions. The present project is named "Shell Skeletons" and addresses new challenges, in particular coupled multi-DoF motion, adjustability to varying payload, and manufacturability. The project is part of a larger program called "Wearable Robotics", funded by the Dutch national science foundation NWO in their "Perspectief" scheme. In this program six Dutch technical and medical universities, over a dozen national and international companies, and several patient organization participate. A summary and list of participants can be found here<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.nwo.nl_en_news-2Dand-2Devents_news_2017_32-2Dmillion-2Deuros-2Dfor-2Dtop-2Dlevel-2Dtechnological-2Dresearch.html-23robotica&d=DwIFAw&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=0N2s6eiWiN0nAKdrSVfLrM7-RP64J-IUTA5C8qsZ-wk&s=4jR1RMRnY99CbqPI-HWxjjNkKUQc7num9TqD5X4o3Z4&e=>. In total, 13 PhD students and 2 postdocs will be appointed. Consequently there will be a lot of collaboration with the different project partners as well as with other groups. PhD students receive further guidance from the graduate school, and a research stay at another lab in the Netherlands or abroad typically is also part of the project. More on doing a PhD at Delft can be found here<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.tudelft.nl_en_about-2Dtu-2Ddelft_working-2Dat-2Dtu-2Ddelft_phds-2Dat-2Dtu-2Ddelft_&d=DwIFAw&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=0N2s6eiWiN0nAKdrSVfLrM7-RP64J-IUTA5C8qsZ-wk&s=4xmBLgdH_tdHbXVbwvpv_Qy1wPP-9ADIZI1ybGwT9jk&e=>.

Project summary:
Shell Skeletons: spatially curved compliant mechanisms for complex spatial motion with adjustability to varying load
The main aim of this project is to develop Exo-Aids that are truly shell-based, that is, they gain all of their motion as well as support force from the elastic deformation of spatially curved compliant shells that conform to the body's contours while generating the required non-linear force-deflection behavior even for complex (coupled) body motions. The present project will extend the state of the art in shell mechanisms in three key directions: shell skeletons that can (1) move in space, in particular taking the coupled motion into account between upper body and upper arm, and between elbow and shoulder joints; (2) be adjusted to varying loads; (3) be built from suitable material structures (including associated manufacturing methods) that enable a large range of motion while generating sufficient force to carry body parts. The project will generate theory, modeling, design methodology, and basic technology demonstrators, and is subdivided in two PhD position. The results will be employed in companion projects for the development of Exo-Aid prototypes which in turn will generate feedback for the improvement of methods and designs in the Shell Skeleton project.
While the above aspects will be present in both PhD projects, the topics of the two PhD projects at Delft can be distinguished as follows:

1.      Computational synthesis method for spatial shells accommodating coupled motion in serial chains with application to upper extremity exoskeletons

2.      Spatially curved flexures with predefined load-deflection characterisitics: Innovative design concepts and experimental mechanical evaluation

Illustrative references on shell mechanisms:
Leemans J, Sande WWPJ van de, Kim C, Herder JL (2018) Unified Stiffness Characterization of Non-Linear Compliant Shell Mechanisms (accepted JMR).
Nijssen J, Radaelli G, Herder JL, Ring JB, Kim C, Spatial Concept Synthesis of Compliant Mechanisms utilizing Non-Linear Eigentwist Characterization, ASME Intl Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Quebec City, Canada, Aug 26-29, IDETC2018-85307.
Sande WWPJ van de, Herder JL, Analysis of Parasitic Motion in Compliant Mechanisms Using Eigenwrenches and Eigentwists, ASME Intl Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Quebec City, Canada, Aug 26-29, IDETC2018-86262.
Radaelli G, Herder JL (2017) Gravity balanced compliant shell mechanisms, International Journal of Solids and Structures, (118-119)78-88 (DOI: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2017.04.021).
Nijssen JPA, Radaelli G, Ring JB, Kim C, Herder JL (2017) Design and analysis of a shell mechanism based two-fold force controlled scoliosis brace, ASME Intl Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Cleveland, OH, August 6-9, IDETC2017-67812.
Radaelli G, Herder JL (2017) A potential energy field (PEF) approach to the design of a compliant self-guiding statically-balanced straight-line mechanism, Mechanism and Machine Theory (114)141-155 (DOI: 10.1016/j.mechmachtheory.2017.04.007).
Radaelli G, Herder JL (2016) A monolithic compliant large-range gravity balancer, Mechanism and Machine Theory (102)55-67 (DOI: 10.1016/j.mechmachtheory.2016.03.015).

Examples of related work going on in the lab:
Delissen A, Radaelli G, Shaw LA, Hopkins JB, Herder JL (2018) Design of an Isotropic Metamaterial with Constant Stiffness and Zero Poisson's Ratio over Large Deformations, Journal of Mechanical Design (DOI: 10.1115/1.4041170).
Nelson T, Herder JL, Developable Compliant-Aided Rolling-Contact Mechanisms, Mech. Mach. Theory (126)225-242 (DOI: 10.1016/j.mechmachtheory.2018.04.013)
Farhadi Machekposhti D, Herder JL, Tolou N (2018) A Compliant Micro Frequency Quadrupler Transmission Utilizing Singularity, J.MEMS 27(3)506-512 (DOI: 10.1109/JMEMS.2018.2825442).
Rommers J, Radaelli G, Herder JL (2017) Pseudo Rigid Body Modeling of a Single Vertex Compliant-Facet Origami Mechanism, ASME J. Mech. Rob. 9(3)031009 (DOI: 10.1115/1.4035881).
Weeke S, Tolou N, Sémon G, Herder JL (2017) A Monolithic Force Balanced Oscillator, ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 9(2)021004 (DOI:10.1115/1.4035544).

Prof. dr. ir. Just L. Herder
Head of Department, Precision and Microsystems Engineering
Chair, Mechatronic System Design group
Delft University of Technology
Mekelweg 2, 2628CD, Delft, The Netherlands

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