Special Issue "Advances of Italian Machine Design"

A special issue of Machines (ISSN 2075-1702).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marco Ceccarelli
Website
Guest Editor
IFToMM representative, LARM2: Laboratory of Robot Mechatronics, Dept of Industrial Engineering; University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via del Politecnico 1, 00133 Roma, Italy
Interests: mechanism design for robots; grippers and hands; legged walking machines; manipulators; experimental mechanics; machine simulation; history of mechanisms and machines
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Carbone
Website
Guest Editor
DIMEG, University of Calabria, Italy
Interests: robot and mechanism design; humanoid and service robotics; optimization strategies; grasping devices
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue contains a selection of the best papers presented at IFIT 2018 on recent Italian advances on topics related to the theory, design, practice and application of the Mechanism and Machine Design. Novel results and solutions in the broad field of machines design, achieved in Italy as well as with international collaborations mainly within the IFToMM community, are presented.

Prof. Dr. Marco Ceccarelli
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Carbone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Machines is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biomechanical Engineering
  • Computational Kinematics
  • Dynamics of Machinery
  • Gearing and Transmissions
  • History of Mechanism Science
  • Industrial and Non-Industrial Applications
  • Mechanism Design
  • Mechatronics
  • Multibody Dynamics
  • Robotics
  • Rotor Dynamics
  • Tribology
  • Vibrations

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Advances of Italian Machine Design
Machines 2019, 7(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7030061 - 11 Sep 2019
Abstract
This Special Issue is aimed to promote and circulate recent developments and achievements in the field of Mechanism and Machine Science coming from the Italian community with international collaborations and ranging from theoretical contributions to experimental and practical applications [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Oscillating Motion of a Solid Body on Vibrating Bearers
Machines 2019, 7(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7030058 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article considers the oscillation of a solid body on kinematic foundations, the main elements of which are rolling bearers bounded by high-order surfaces of rotation at horizontal displacement of the foundation. Equations of motion of the vibro-protected body have been obtained. It [...] Read more.
This article considers the oscillation of a solid body on kinematic foundations, the main elements of which are rolling bearers bounded by high-order surfaces of rotation at horizontal displacement of the foundation. Equations of motion of the vibro-protected body have been obtained. It is ascertained that the obtained equations of motion are highly nonlinear differential equations. Stationary and transitional modes of the oscillatory process of the system have been investigated. It is determined that several stationary regimes of the oscillatory process exist. Equations of motion have been investigated also by quantitative methods. In this paper the cumulative curves in the phase plane are plotted, a qualitative analysis for singular points and a study of them for stability are performed. In the Hayashi plane a cumulative curve of a body protected against vibration forms a closed path which does not tend to the stability of a singular point. This means that the vibration amplitude of a body protected against vibration does not remain constant in a steady state, but changes periodically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Testing of a Low-Cost Wireless Monitoring System for an Intelligent Tire
Machines 2019, 7(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7030049 - 08 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Intelligent tire concept constitutes one of the approaches to increase the accuracy of active safety systems in vehicle technology. The possibility of detecting tire–road interactions instantaneously has made these systems one of the most important research areas in automotive engineering. This study introduces [...] Read more.
Intelligent tire concept constitutes one of the approaches to increase the accuracy of active safety systems in vehicle technology. The possibility of detecting tire–road interactions instantaneously has made these systems one of the most important research areas in automotive engineering. This study introduces the use of cost-effective flex and polyvinylidene fluoride strain sensors to estimate some dynamic tire features in free-rolling and real working conditions. The proposed solution combines a microcontroller-based readout circuit for the two sensors with a wireless data transmission system. A suitable prototype was realized and first experimental tests were conducted, in the laboratory as well as on the road. The energy consumption of the wireless monitoring system was optimized. Simulated and experimental results validate the proposed solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Characterization of the Coupling Stage of a Two-Stage Planetary Gearbox in Variable Operational Conditions
Machines 2019, 7(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020045 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper presents an experimental characterization of a two-stage planetary gearbox (TSPG) designed at the Laboratory of Robot Mechatronics (LARM2) in the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The TSPG operates differentially as function of the attached load and the internal friction forces caused [...] Read more.
This paper presents an experimental characterization of a two-stage planetary gearbox (TSPG) designed at the Laboratory of Robot Mechatronics (LARM2) in the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The TSPG operates differentially as function of the attached load and the internal friction forces caused for the contact between gears. Experiments under varying load conditions are developed in order to analyze the usefulness of the gearbox to avoid excessive torques on its internal elements. The analysis of the dynamic torques is presented as an indicator of stability in the gearbox operation. The results show that the actuation of the second operation stage reduces the torques 57% in the output shaft and 65% in the input shaft. The efficiency of the gearbox is estimated as 40% in presence of high internal friction forces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Stiffness Performance Index: Volumetric Isotropy Index
Machines 2019, 7(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020044 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
A new index for a precise calculation of a manipulator’s stiffness isotropy is introduced. The proposed index is compared with the conventionally used stiffness isotropy index by making use of the investigation on R-CUBE manipulator. The proposed index is shown to produce relatively [...] Read more.
A new index for a precise calculation of a manipulator’s stiffness isotropy is introduced. The proposed index is compared with the conventionally used stiffness isotropy index by making use of the investigation on R-CUBE manipulator. The proposed index is shown to produce relatively more precise results from which a higher number of isotropic poses are detected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Nonlinear Response of Tilting Pad Journal Bearings to Harmonic Excitation
Machines 2019, 7(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020043 - 17 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In the experimental identification of dynamic bearing coefficients, usually small perturbations around the static equilibrium position are assumed and linear coefficients are considered. In the literature, studies on non-linear effects in plain journal bearings, especially from a numerical point of view, are reported. [...] Read more.
In the experimental identification of dynamic bearing coefficients, usually small perturbations around the static equilibrium position are assumed and linear coefficients are considered. In the literature, studies on non-linear effects in plain journal bearings, especially from a numerical point of view, are reported. Few similar studies can be found on tilting pad journal bearings (TPJB). The present work reports some peculiar aspects observed during the experimental identification procedure of TPJB linear dynamic coefficients. The tests are performed on a test bench designed for large size journal bearings operating at high peripheral speeds and static loads. A quasi-static procedure is developed to quickly check the results obtained from the usually adopted dynamic excitation. It consists of applying a slowly rotating force to the floating stator and measuring the relative displacement of the stator from the rotating shaft. Different levels of static and dynamic load are applied to two different TPJBs with four and five pads. Deformed orbits have been observed increasing the ratio between dynamic load and static load, suggesting the presence of non-linearity. Similar results are obtained with simple analytical models assuming suitably tuned non-linear stiffness terms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Flexible Fingers Based on Shape Memory Alloy Actuated Modules
Machines 2019, 7(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020040 - 10 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
To meet the needs of present-day robotics, a family of gripping flexible fingers has been designed. Each of them consists of a number of independent and flexible modules that can be assembled in different configurations. Each module consists of a body with a [...] Read more.
To meet the needs of present-day robotics, a family of gripping flexible fingers has been designed. Each of them consists of a number of independent and flexible modules that can be assembled in different configurations. Each module consists of a body with a flexible central rod and three longitudinally positioned shape memory alloy (SMA) wires. When heated by the Joule effect, one to two SMA wires shorten, allowing the module to bend. The return to undeformed conditions is achieved in calm air and is guaranteed by the elastic bias force exerted by the central rod. This article presents the basic concept of the module and a simple mathematical model for the design of the device. Experimental tests were carried out on three prototypes with bodies made of different materials. The results of these tests confirm the need to reduce the antagonistic action of the inactive SMA wires and led to the realization of a fourth prototype equipped with an additional SMA wire-driven locking/unlocking device for these wires. The preliminary results of this last prototype are encouraging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Prototyping of Miniaturized Straight Bevel Gears for Biomedical Applications
Machines 2019, 7(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020038 - 04 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper presents a semi-automated design algorithm for computing straight bevel gear involute profiles. The proposed formulation is based on the Tredgold approximation method. It allows the design of a pair of bevel gears with any desired number of teeth and relative axes [...] Read more.
This paper presents a semi-automated design algorithm for computing straight bevel gear involute profiles. The proposed formulation is based on the Tredgold approximation method. It allows the design of a pair of bevel gears with any desired number of teeth and relative axes inclination angles by implementing additive manufacturing technology. A specific case study is discussed to calculate the profiles of two straight bevel gears of a biomedical application. Namely, this paper illustrates the design of the bevel gears for a new laparoscopic robotic system, EasyLap, under development with a grant from POR Calabria 2014–2020 Fesr-Fse. A meshing analysis is carried out to identify potential design errors. Moreover, finite element-based tooth contact analysis is fulfilled for determining the vibrational performances of the conjugate tooth profiles throughout a whole meshing cycle. Simulation results and a built prototype are reported to show the engineering feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed design approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Description and In-Vitro Test Results of a New Wearable/Portable Device for Extracorporeal Blood Ultrafiltration
Machines 2019, 7(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020037 - 04 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper presents the design of Rene Artificiale Portatile (RAP), a novel wearable and portable device for extracorporeal blood ultrafiltration, capable of providing remote treatment of fluid overload in patients with kidney diseases and/or congestive heart failure. The development of the device is [...] Read more.
This paper presents the design of Rene Artificiale Portatile (RAP), a novel wearable and portable device for extracorporeal blood ultrafiltration, capable of providing remote treatment of fluid overload in patients with kidney diseases and/or congestive heart failure. The development of the device is based on a new design paradigm, since the layout of the device is box-shaped, as to fit a backpack or a trolley case, differentiating it from other existing devices. The efficient layout and component placement guarantee minimalization and ergonomics, as well as an efficient and cost-effective use. The redundant control architecture of the device has been implemented to ensure a high level of safety and an effective implementation of the clinical treatment. The consistency of the design and its effective implementation are assessed by the results of the preliminary in-vitro tests presented and discussed in this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation on the Mechanical Properties of MRE Compounds
Machines 2019, 7(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020036 - 01 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper describes an experimental investigation conducted on magneto-rheological elastomers (MREs) with the aim of adopting these materials to make mounts to be used as vibration isolators. These materials, consisting of an elastomeric matrix containing ferromagnetic particles, are considered to be smart materials, [...] Read more.
This paper describes an experimental investigation conducted on magneto-rheological elastomers (MREs) with the aim of adopting these materials to make mounts to be used as vibration isolators. These materials, consisting of an elastomeric matrix containing ferromagnetic particles, are considered to be smart materials, as it is possible to control their mechanical properties by means of an applied magnetic field. In the first part of the paper, the criteria adopted to define the characteristics of the material and the experimental procedures for making samples are described. The samples are subjected to a compressive static test and are then, adopting a testing machine specially configured, tested for shear periodic loads, each characterized by a different constant compressive preload. The testing machine is equipped with a coil, with which it is possible to vary the intensity of the magnetic field crossing the sample during testing to evaluate the magneto-rheological effect on the materials’ characteristics in terms of stiffness and damping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Analysis of Piedmont (Italy) Ancient Water Mills Aimed at Their Recovery or Reconversion
Machines 2019, 7(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020032 - 13 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Since ancient times and for hundreds of years, grain mills, hammers, sawmills, spinning mills, and hemp rollers have been powered by water wheels. In the nineteenth century there were hundreds of thousands of mills in all of Europe. It is an enormous historical [...] Read more.
Since ancient times and for hundreds of years, grain mills, hammers, sawmills, spinning mills, and hemp rollers have been powered by water wheels. In the nineteenth century there were hundreds of thousands of mills in all of Europe. It is an enormous historical and cultural heritage of inestimable value, which is for the most part, abandoned today. Recently, there is a renewed interest in their reuse, both for their widespread diffusion in the territory and for the excellent environmental integration and intrinsic sustainability. Even when, for economic reasons, their recovery for the original tasks is not suitable, the conversion into mini plants for the production of electricity can be advantageous. In the paper, analyzing some typical examples of the old water mill of the Piemonte region, in North-West of Italy, the mechanical architecture of old water mill, from water wheels to millstones, is described and the functional details of various mechanisms are provided. In fact, by knowing only the specifics of the ancient mills, it is possible to enhance their potential and restore them from the perspective of a renewed high quality production, or reconvert them in mini-plants for the production of electricity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
The Design of a New Manual Wheelchair for Sport
Machines 2019, 7(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020031 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, an innovative system of propulsion inspired by a rowing gesture for manual wheelchairs is shown. The innovative system of propulsion, named Handwheelchair.q, can be applied to wheelchairs employed in everyday life and to sports wheelchairs for speed races, such as [...] Read more.
In this paper, an innovative system of propulsion inspired by a rowing gesture for manual wheelchairs is shown. The innovative system of propulsion, named Handwheelchair.q, can be applied to wheelchairs employed in everyday life and to sports wheelchairs for speed races, such as Handbike and Wheelchair racing. The general features of the innovative system of propulsion and the functional designs of the different solutions are described in detail. In addition, the design of the mechanism for the transmission of motion, employed in a second prototype, Handwheelchair.q02, is presented and analysed. Finally, the dynamic model of the Handwheelchair.q has been developed in order to obtain important results for the executive design of Handwheelchair.q. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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Open AccessArticle
Tailor-Made Hand Exoskeletons at the University of Florence: From Kinematics to Mechatronic Design
Machines 2019, 7(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines7020022 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Recently, robotics has increasingly become a companion for the human being and assisting physically impaired people with robotic devices is showing encouraging signs regarding the application of this largely investigated technology to the clinical field. As of today, however, exoskeleton design can still [...] Read more.
Recently, robotics has increasingly become a companion for the human being and assisting physically impaired people with robotic devices is showing encouraging signs regarding the application of this largely investigated technology to the clinical field. As of today, however, exoskeleton design can still be considered a hurdle task and, even in modern robotics, aiding those patients who have lost or injured their limbs is surely one of the most challenging goal. In this framework, the research activity carried out by the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Florence concentrated on the development of portable, wearable and highly customizable hand exoskeletons to aid patients suffering from hand disabilities, and on the definition of patient-centered design strategies to tailor-made devices specifically developed on the different users’ needs. Three hand exoskeletons versions will be presented in this paper proving the major taken steps in mechanical designing and controlling a compact and lightweight solution. The performance of the resulting systems has been tested in a real-use scenario. The obtained results have been satisfying, indicating that the derived solutions may constitute a valid alternative to existing hand exoskeletons so far studied in the rehabilitation and assistance fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Italian Machine Design)
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