Research

1. Small electromechanical and piezoelectric moving devices and their drives

The LAI is specialized in modeling (using developed analytical models and FEM) and design optimization of rotating and linear electric and piezoelectric motors and actuators. The design optimization is performed using deterministic methods (based on various gradient methods – the commercial software ProDesign) or stochastic ones (a genetic algorithm developed by the LAI members, or design for experiment). The power range is from several kW (electric traction) down to uW (MEMS – batch-processed motor placed on a silicon chip). To miniaturize an electric drive and increase its reliability by eliminating position sensors, sensorless control algorithms are applied. A broad set of electromagnetic phenomena is exploited to estimate the rotor/mover position. Among them, two completely new ones are used: the first one is the magnetic anisotropy of permanent magnet materials (MAM method) and the second is the local B-H hysteresis loops. In the field of piezoelectric actuators, two main axis of research are followed. One axis concerns the generation of a touch feeling: a piezoelectric actuator generates vibrations of a touch screen so that the user’s finger feels a modified friction coefficient when it touches the screen. The second axis concerns generation of high forces in a reduced volume.

Current Projects

3D-printed coils and motor topology Multi-touch haptic feedback Smart gripper based on Shape Memory Alloys
High-speed fan Very high-speed miniaturized motor Cardiac assist system
SmartWrist

Completed Projects

Integrated selector system Auto-adaptive synchronous motor Nondestructive detection sensor technology
MEMS Generator for a mechanical watch Piezoelectric vibrating system Intelligent footwear for patients with foot insensitivity
Linear escapement mechanism LVDT magnetic sensor High-force piezoelectric actuator
BLDC sensorless motor drive and parameter estimation based on two interacting Kalman filters Design of innovative haptic peripherals for multi-finger applications Reaction sphere for satellite altitude control
Linear electromechanical actuator with sensorless position control BLDC motor as a MEMS Haptic touch interface

2. Contactless energy transfer

The laboratory has developed special power electronic circuits for contactless energy transfer in medical and transport applications. Based on a simple principle of the air (ironless) transformer, a high efficiency energy transfer is achieved by properly dimensioning the primary and secondary electric circuit, and choosing the optimal converter topologies. Applying a sophisticated algorithm for the converter operation, a maximal efficiency is achieved for any operating conditions.

Current projects

Completed Projects

Contactless energy transfer table for desktop applications   Design of a contactless power transfer for an electric vehicle battery charger