Research plan 2008-2010

Task 1: Research of intelligent design methods for modular machines and systems

Intelligent design means the use of modern virtual environments as a design platform, the utilization of modelling and simulation techniques, and real-time simulation and integration of hardware and software design. In hardware design the different areas, such as mechanics, electronics, hydraulics etc. will be designed concurrently. This task concentrates on developing simulation models of actuators, sub-systems, machine modules, and machines. This task also concentrates on the visualization of simulation results and development of real-time simulation methods for modular machines. Concurrent design of different sub-systems will also be researched.

Expected results: new design methods and support tools for modular machines and systems

Task 2: Research of intelligent testing methods for modular machines and systems

Intelligent testing concentrates on developing new technologies for virtual, real, and hybrid testing activities during the research and development phase of a machine. Virtual testing needs verifi ed virtual models or prototypes of machines, which have to be developed. With these virtual models machine systems can be examined and tested before their actual realization. After the realization of the modular sub-systems, the machine will be tested in a real testing environment, where virtual models are also connected. This task is focused on developing virtual and real testing environments and their interaction methods for modular machines.

Expected results: new testing methods for modular machines and systems

Task 3: Research of intelligent actuator control methods for modular machines and systems

This task concentrates on developing intelligent control methods for hydraulic, pneumatic, and electrical actuator systems. For hydraulic and pneumatic systems novel proportional and servo systems will be developed and digital hydraulic systems will also be researched. For electrical systems intelligent servo systems will be researched. The control methods will be researched on the actuator, module, machine and multi-machine levels.

Expected results: new methods and algorithms for digital control of actuators in modular machines and systems

Task 4: Research of intelligent maintenance and proactive condition monitoring methods for modular machines and systems

This task focuses on developing new intelligent maintenance and proactive condition monitoring methods for modular machines and systems, such as applying wireless technologies, intelligent transducers, web-based information management, and model-based condition monitoring, and applying modern data mining technologies and intelligent information processing methods (neural networks etc.)

Expected results: intelligent maintenance and proactive condition monitoring methods for modular machines and systems

Task 5: Research of modularity creation and control in intelligent modular machines and systems

This task focuses on developing methods for modularity creation and control. Module size, construction, and function need to be optimized in relation to connections, technical level, production, and costs. Additionally, the generic nature of the modules has to be designed in an appropriate way so that each module can utilize other modules as much as possible. Furthermore, the possible combinations have to have a generic nature. The life-cycle analysis for modular machines also has to be implemented in such a way that both the life-cycles of the whole machine and also each module are optimized.

Expected results: modularity creation and control methods for intelligent modular machines and systems