Abstract: The drudgery involved in dehulling breadfruit seed by traditional methods has been highlighted as one of the major problems hindering the realization of the full potential of breadfruit as a field to food material. This paper describes a development in an African breadfruit seed dehulling machine with increased throughput of about 70% above reported machines. The machine consists of a 20 mm diameter shaft, carrying a spiral wound around its circumference (feeder). The feeder provides the required rotational motion and turns a circular disk that rotates against a fixed disk. The two disks can be adjusted to maintain a pre-determined gap for dehulling. An inbuilt drying unit reduces the moisture content of the breadfruit for easy separation of the cotyledon from the endosperm immediately after the dehulling process. The sifting unit that separates the shell from the seed is achieved in this design with an electric fan. The machine is design to run at a speed of 250 rpm with an electric motor as the prime mover. The dehulling efficiency up to 86% and breakage of less than 1.3% was obtained at a clearance setting of 12.4 mm between disks. A sifting efficiency of 100% was achieved. Based on the design diameter and clearance between the dehulling disks, the machine throughput was 216 kg/h with an electric power requirement of 1.207 kW.
Abstract: Condensing boilers use waste heat from flue gases to pre-heat cold water entering the boiler. Flue gases are condensed into liquid form, thus recovering their latent heat of vaporization, which results in as much as 10%–12% increase in efficiency. Modeling these heat transfer phenomena is crucial to control this equipment. Despite the many approaches to the condensing boiler modeling, the following shortcomings are still not addressed: thermal dynamics are oversimplified with a nonlinear efficiency curve (which is calculated at steady-state); the dry/wet heat exchange is modeled in a fixed proportion. In this work we cover these shortcomings by developing a novel hybrid dynamic model which avoids the static nonlinear efficiency curve and accounts for a time-varying proportion of dry/wet heat exchange. The procedure for deriving the model is described and the efficiency of the resulting condensing boiler is shown.
Abstract: We report overall design considerations and preliminary results for a new haptic rendering device based on an audio loudspeaker. Our application models tissue properties during microsurgery. For example, the device could respond to the tip of a tool by simulating a particular tissue, displaying a desired compressibility and viscosity, giving way as the tissue is disrupted, or exhibiting independent motion, such as that caused by pulsations in blood pressure. Although limited to one degree of freedom and with a relatively small range of displacement compared to other available haptic rendering devices, our design exhibits high bandwidth, low friction, low hysteresis, and low mass. These features are consistent with modeling interactions with delicate tissues during microsurgery. In addition, our haptic rendering device is designed to be simple and inexpensive to manufacture, in part through an innovative method of measuring displacement by existing variations in the speaker’s inductance as the voice coil moves over the permanent magnet. Low latency and jitter are achieved by running the real-time simulation models on a dedicated microprocessor, while maintaining bidirectional communication with a standard laptop computer for user controls and data logging.
Abstract: Haptic devices tend to be kept small as it is easier to achieve a large change of stiffness with a low associated apparent mass. If large movements are required there is a usually a reduction in the quality of the haptic sensations which can be displayed. The typical measure of haptic device performance is impedance-width (z-width) but this does not account for actuator saturation, usable workspace or the ability to do rapid movements. This paper presents the analysis and evaluation of a haptic device design, utilizing a variant of redundant kinematics, sometimes referred to as a macro-micro configuration, intended to allow large and fast movements without loss of impedance-width. A brief mathematical analysis of the design constraints is given and a prototype system is described where the effects of different elements of the control scheme can be examined to better understand the potential benefits and trade-offs in the design. Finally, the performance of the system is evaluated using a Fitts’ Law test and found to compare favourably with similar evaluations of smaller workspace devices.
Abstract: Several multiple model adaptive control architectures have been proposed in the literature. Despite many advances in theory, the crucial question of how to synthesize the pairs model/controller in a structurally optimal way is to a large extent not addressed. In particular, it is not clear how to place the pairs model/controller is such a way that the properties of the switching algorithm (e.g., number of switches, learning transient, final performance) are optimal with respect to some criteria. In this work, we focus on the so-called multi-model unfalsified adaptive supervisory switching control (MUASSC) scheme; we define a suitable structural optimality criterion and develop algorithms for synthesizing the pairs model/controller in such a way that they are optimal with respect to the structural optimality criterion we defined. The peculiarity of the proposed optimality criterion and algorithms is that the optimization is carried out so as to optimize the entire behavior of the adaptive algorithm, i.e., both the learning transient and the steady-state response. A comparison is made with respect to the model distribution of the robust multiple model adaptive control (RMMAC), where the optimization considers only the steady-state ideal response and neglects any learning transient.
Abstract: The objective of this work is to study the relevance of haptic feedback in remote communication between people. The application is handwriting. A haptic device designed to help people to improve their writing skills is presented. Two experimental sessions are then proposed to a group of people. In the first test, two subjects communicate through a bilateral system by means of a haptic feedback to accomplish the task. Secondly, a blank test is performed. The results of the two tests are compared and analyzed in order to evaluate the importance of the haptic feedback in the context of collaboration between two people.