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Special Issue "Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Zongxia Jiao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Automation Science and Electrical Engineering, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Beihang University), Beijing 100191, China
Interests: actuators; sensors; fluid power and transmission
Prof. Dr. Liang Yan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
[a] School of Automation Science and Electrical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
[b] Shenzhen Institute of Beihang University, Shenzhen 518000, China
Interests: multiple degree-of-freedom machine; high-performance orientation measurements; linear and rotary machines for aircrafts; high speed motion detection
Prof. Dr. Christopher Gerada
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Nottingham, UK
Interests: analysis and design of electric devices; numerical computations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of science that includes a combination of mechanical engineering, electronics, computer engineering, telecommunications engineering and control engineering. Mechatronic system is extremely important for various high-performance vehicles covering robotic platforms, wagons, motorcycles, trucks, buses, railed vehicles (trains, trams), watercraft (ships, boats), aircraft and spacecraft etc. The appropriate functionalities of these mechatronic systems are necessary to guarantee the safe conduct of vehicle motions.

This special issue aims to gather the most recent advances on mechatronic systems for high-performance vehicles, and give them the proper platform to be presented to the scientific community. Topics include, but are not limited to:

· Sensing technologies for robotic vehicle, watercraft, aircraft and spacecraft
· High power density and high motion performance electrical and hydraulic systems
· Analysis, design and feedback control of mechatronic systems
· Electrical monitoring and management systems
· Environmental monitoring and control systems
· Motion sensing and control systems
· Landing gear and real-time brake control
· Onboard safety, rescue and protection system
· Utilities management systems
· Health monitoring systems
· Others

Prof. Dr. Zongxia Jiao
Prof. Dr. Liang Yan
Prof. Dr. Christopher Gerada
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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.

Published Papers (25 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Electromagnetic Modeling and Structure Optimization of a Spherical Force Sensing System
Sensors 2019, 19(3), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19030552 - 29 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Force sensing system (FSS) is widely used to simulate the control force of aircrafts for pilots. Conventional FSS employs multiple single-axis motors and complex transmission mechanisms to achieve multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) force output of joystick, which may cause mismatched inertia and affect the [...] Read more.
Force sensing system (FSS) is widely used to simulate the control force of aircrafts for pilots. Conventional FSS employs multiple single-axis motors and complex transmission mechanisms to achieve multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) force output of joystick, which may cause mismatched inertia and affect the output performance of FSS significantly. Therefore, one novel FSS with multiple DOF direct-drive spherical actuator is proposed in this paper to reduce the simulator’s extra inertia. To analyze its output performance systematically, a hybrid modeling method is proposed to formulate both Ampere torque and cogging torque mathematically. Equivalent current method along with Ampere force law is used to obtain the Ampere torque due to irregular structure of magnet and coil poles. The cogging torque is then obtained from airgap flux density via Maxwell stress method. From the derived analytical model, an adaptive particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm based on expectation (the average value of minimum errors) is proposed for multiple-parameter structure optimization. It can avoid local optimization effectively. The study shows that the optimized value greatly helps to improve the torque generation. Then, one research prototype and one testbed is developed. The comparison between experimental result and analytical model shows that the two sets of data fit with each other well. Therefore, the analytical model could be employed for motion control of the system at the next stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Adaptive Linear Quadratic Attitude Tracking Control of a Quadrotor UAV Based on IMU Sensor Data Fusion
Sensors 2019, 19(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19010046 - 22 Dec 2018
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3041
Abstract
In this paper, an infinite-horizon adaptive linear quadratic tracking (ALQT) control scheme is designed for optimal attitude tracking of a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The proposed control scheme is experimentally validated in the presence of real-world uncertainties in quadrotor system parameters and [...] Read more.
In this paper, an infinite-horizon adaptive linear quadratic tracking (ALQT) control scheme is designed for optimal attitude tracking of a quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The proposed control scheme is experimentally validated in the presence of real-world uncertainties in quadrotor system parameters and sensor measurement. The designed control scheme guarantees asymptotic stability of the close-loop system with the help of complete controllability of the attitude dynamics in applying optimal control signals. To achieve robustness against parametric uncertainties, the optimal tracking solution is combined with an online least squares based parameter identification scheme to estimate the instantaneous inertia of the quadrotor. Sensor measurement noises are also taken into account for the on-board Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU) sensors. To improve controller performance in the presence of sensor measurement noises, two sensor fusion techniques are employed, one based on Kalman filtering and the other based on complementary filtering. The ALQT controller performance is compared for the use of these two sensor fusion techniques, and it is concluded that the Kalman filter based approach provides less mean-square estimation error, better attitude estimation, and better attitude control performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Motion Synchronous Composite Decoupling with Fewer Sensors on Multichannel Hydraulic Force Control for Aircraft Structural Loading Test System
Sensors 2018, 18(11), 4050; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18114050 - 20 Nov 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
The aircraft full-scale fatigue test is widely used in the modern aircraft industry for the safety of flight. Generally, the aircraft full-scale fatigue test is achieved by structural loading; multiple hydraulic actuators are used to apply load for force control. The fatigue loading [...] Read more.
The aircraft full-scale fatigue test is widely used in the modern aircraft industry for the safety of flight. Generally, the aircraft full-scale fatigue test is achieved by structural loading; multiple hydraulic actuators are used to apply load for force control. The fatigue loading test takes approximately several years. A key challenge is how to accelerate the loading frequency to shorten the total test time. Nevertheless, when pluralities of hydraulic actuator simultaneously increase the loading frequency, the mutual coupling force from the low rigidity of the aircraft structure will cause a large loading error, meaning that the test cannot be implemented. Although it is possible to reduce error by adding sensors, the force sensors need to connect several kilometers of cable. This paper proposed a novel motion synchronous composite decoupling control strategy with fewer sensors. The control method compensates the negative coupling effect of the channels by integrating the command signals and feedback signals of all channels. It can suppress coupling force and reduce errors at higher frequencies, thereby shortening the experiment time. Opposed to traditional decoupling control methods, advantages of this strategy are that it only needs force sensors and it does not need additional displacement or velocity and acceleration sensors to collect state variables for building the state space. Furthermore, it has been experimentally verified that the new motion synchronous composite decoupling control method can indeed guarantee sufficient control accuracy when the test frequency is increased. The method has great economic significance for shortening test duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Gas Leak Location Detection Based on Data Fusion with Time Difference of Arrival and Energy Decay Using an Ultrasonic Sensor Array
Sensors 2018, 18(9), 2985; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18092985 - 07 Sep 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1643
Abstract
Ultrasonic gas leak location technology is based on the detection of ultrasonic waves generated by the ejection of pressured gas from leak holes in sealed containers or pipes. To obtain more accurate leak location information and determine the locations of leak holes in [...] Read more.
Ultrasonic gas leak location technology is based on the detection of ultrasonic waves generated by the ejection of pressured gas from leak holes in sealed containers or pipes. To obtain more accurate leak location information and determine the locations of leak holes in three-dimensional space, this paper proposes an ultrasonic leak location approach based on multi-algorithm data fusion. With the help of a planar ultrasonic sensor array, the eigenvectors of two individual algorithms, i.e., the arrival distance difference, as determined from the time difference of arrival (TDOA) location algorithm, and the ratio of arrival distances from the energy decay (ED) location algorithm, are extracted and fused to calculate the three-dimensional coordinates of leak holes. The fusion is based on an extended Kalman filter, in which the results of the individual algorithms are seen as observation values. The final system state matrix is composed of distances between the measured leak hole and the sensors. Our experiments show that, under the condition in which the pressure in the measured container is 100 kPa, and the leak hole–sensor distance is 800 mm, the maximum error of the calculated results based on the data fusion location algorithm is less than 20 mm, and the combined accuracy is better than those of the individual location algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Wheel Pressure Control Algorithm for Electronic Stability Control (ESC) System of Commercial Trucks
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2317; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072317 - 17 Jul 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
This paper presents a wheel cylinder pressure control algorithm for application to the vehicle electronic stability control (ESC) systems for commercial trucks. An ESC system is an active system that improves the driving stability by distributing the appropriate braking pressure to each wheel, [...] Read more.
This paper presents a wheel cylinder pressure control algorithm for application to the vehicle electronic stability control (ESC) systems for commercial trucks. An ESC system is an active system that improves the driving stability by distributing the appropriate braking pressure to each wheel, which is an essential system for safe driving. It is important that the ESC system, through proper braking pressure supply, delivers the correct pressure under control. However, to reduce the cost involved, commercial trucks use a solenoid valve of the on/off-type, rather than a proportional valve that has good pressure control capability. The performance of a proposed wheel pressure control system based on an on/off solenoid valve control was verified by means of experiments conducted using the wheel pressure control algorithm presented in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Modeling of a Test Bench for Dual-Motor Electric Drive Tracked Vehicles Based on a Dynamic Load Emulation Method
Sensors 2018, 18(7), 1993; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18071993 - 21 Jun 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2351
Abstract
Dual-motor Electric Drive Tracked Vehicles (DDTVs) have attracted increasing attention due to their high transmission efficiency and economical fuel consumption. A test bench for the development and validation of new DDTV technologies is necessary and urgent. How to load the vehicle on a [...] Read more.
Dual-motor Electric Drive Tracked Vehicles (DDTVs) have attracted increasing attention due to their high transmission efficiency and economical fuel consumption. A test bench for the development and validation of new DDTV technologies is necessary and urgent. How to load the vehicle on a DDTV test bench exactly the same as on a real road is a crucial issue when designing the bench. This paper proposes a novel dynamic load emulation method to address this problem. The method adopts dual dynamometers to simulate both the road load and the inertia load that are imposed on the dual independent drive systems. The vehicle’s total inertia equivalent to the drive wheels is calculated with separate consideration of vehicle body, tracks and road wheels to obtain a more accurate inertia load. A speed tracking control strategy with feedforward compensation is implemented to control the dual dynamometers, so as to make the real-time dynamic load emulation possible. Additionally, a MATLAB/Simulink model of the test bench is built based on a dynamics analysis of the platform. Experiments are finally carried out on this test bench under different test conditions. The outcomes show that the proposed load emulation method is effective, and has good robustness and adaptability to complex driving conditions. Besides, the accuracy of the established test bench model is also demonstrated by comparing the results obtained from the simulation model and experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Study of the Dual Layer Magnet Array in a Moving-Coil Tubular Linear PM Motor
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061854 - 06 Jun 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1566
Abstract
Conventional single-layer magnet arrays are widely utilized in electromagnetic linear machines. The objective of this paper is to analyze various types of novel dual-layer magnet arrays, either in similar or different patterns, to compare their flux field distribution and increase flux density in [...] Read more.
Conventional single-layer magnet arrays are widely utilized in electromagnetic linear machines. The objective of this paper is to analyze various types of novel dual-layer magnet arrays, either in similar or different patterns, to compare their flux field distribution and increase flux density in the machine. High flux density helps to improve the sensitivity of electromagnetic displacement sensors or actuator thrust. The design concept of magnet arrays are presented. The machine space is divided into several regions according to the magnetic properties. The corresponding magnetic field distribution is formulated based on magnetic vector potential and Laplace’s equations. Numerical computation is conducted to validate the developed magnetic field model. A systematic comparison of magnetic field of various magnet arrays is carried out. It shows that the dual Halbach magnet array can generate relatively high and constant flux density, which may help to produce strong signals. A research prototype and an experimental testbed are developed to validate the analytical model of dual Halbach array. This study provides a general framework for the design and analysis of dual-layer magnet arrays with various magnetization patterns. It can be extended to multiple-layer designs in radial direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
A Modified Empirical Wavelet Transform for Acoustic Emission Signal Decomposition in Structural Health Monitoring
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051645 - 21 May 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2037
Abstract
The acoustic emission (AE) method is useful for structural health monitoring (SHM) of composite structures due to its high sensitivity and real-time capability. The main challenge, however, is how to classify the AE data into different failure mechanisms because the detected signals are [...] Read more.
The acoustic emission (AE) method is useful for structural health monitoring (SHM) of composite structures due to its high sensitivity and real-time capability. The main challenge, however, is how to classify the AE data into different failure mechanisms because the detected signals are affected by various factors. Empirical wavelet transform (EWT) is a solution for analyzing the multi-component signals and has been used to process the AE data. In order to solve the spectrum separation problem of the AE signals, this paper proposes a novel modified separation method based on local window maxima (LWM) algorithm. It searches the local maxima of the Fourier spectrum in a proper window, and automatically determines the boundaries of spectrum segmentations, which helps to eliminate the impact of noise interference or frequency dispersion in the detected signal and obtain the meaningful empirical modes that are more related to the damage characteristics. Additionally, both simulation signal and AE signal from the composite structures are used to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. Finally, the experimental results indicate that the proposed method performs better than the original EWT method in identifying different damage mechanisms of composite structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
New Vectorial Propulsion System and Trajectory Control Designs for Improved AUV Mission Autonomy
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041241 - 17 Apr 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2469
Abstract
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) are proving to be a promising platform design for multidisciplinary autonomous operability with a wide range of applications in marine ecology and geoscience. Here, two novel contributions towards increasing the autonomous navigation capability of a new AUV prototype (the [...] Read more.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) are proving to be a promising platform design for multidisciplinary autonomous operability with a wide range of applications in marine ecology and geoscience. Here, two novel contributions towards increasing the autonomous navigation capability of a new AUV prototype (the Guanay II) as a mix between a propelled vehicle and a glider are presented. Firstly, a vectorial propulsion system has been designed to provide full vehicle maneuverability in both horizontal and vertical planes. Furthermore, two controllers have been designed, based on fuzzy controls, to provide the vehicle with autonomous navigation capabilities. Due to the decoupled system propriety, the controllers in the horizontal plane have been designed separately from the vertical plane. This class of non-linear controllers has been used to interpret linguistic laws into different zones of functionality. This method provided good performance, used as interpolation between different rules or linear controls. Both improvements have been validated through simulations and field tests, displaying good performance results. Finally, the conclusion of this work is that the Guanay II AUV has a solid controller to perform autonomous navigation and carry out vertical immersions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
A Procedure for Determining Tire-Road Friction Characteristics Using a Modification of the Magic Formula Based on Experimental Results
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030896 - 17 Mar 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2576
Abstract
Knowledge of tire-road friction characteristics is essential for the proper performance of most relevant vehicle active safety systems. Therefore, its determination is necessary to improve the effectiveness of these systems and to avoid or reduce the consequences of traffic accidents. For this reason, [...] Read more.
Knowledge of tire-road friction characteristics is essential for the proper performance of most relevant vehicle active safety systems. Therefore, its determination is necessary to improve the effectiveness of these systems and to avoid or reduce the consequences of traffic accidents. For this reason, there is a great deal of literature concerning methods and devices for measuring and modeling tire-road friction. Most of these methods have focused on determining the road friction resistance, taking only road composition and making measurements in wet conditions into account. However, friction forces are also dependent on the tire type, since the contact is established between the tire and the road in real driving conditions. Thus, the type and characteristics of the tire have to be considered in the study of the interaction between the vehicle and the road. The aim of this work is to unify the study of the friction coefficient, taking into consideration the two existing bodies involved in the contact, i.e., the tire and road and the main factors that influence the forces in the contact. To this end, a modification of the Pacejka Magic Formula is proposed to include the effects of the main parameters that influence the contact, such as road composition and its state, tire type, vehicle speed, and slip between the tire and the road. To do so, real tests have been conducted on several roads and with different operating conditions. As a result, a more accurate tire-road friction model has been obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Aliasing Signal Separation of Superimposed Abrasive Debris Based on Degenerate Unmixing Estimation Technique
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030866 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1649
Abstract
Leakage is the most important failure mode in aircraft hydraulic systems caused by wear and tear between friction pairs of components. The accurate detection of abrasive debris can reveal the wear condition and predict a system’s lifespan. The radial magnetic field (RMF)-based debris [...] Read more.
Leakage is the most important failure mode in aircraft hydraulic systems caused by wear and tear between friction pairs of components. The accurate detection of abrasive debris can reveal the wear condition and predict a system’s lifespan. The radial magnetic field (RMF)-based debris detection method provides an online solution for monitoring the wear condition intuitively, which potentially enables a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis on the aviation hydraulic system’s ongoing failures. To address the serious mixing of pipe abrasive debris, this paper focuses on the superimposed abrasive debris separation of an RMF abrasive sensor based on the degenerate unmixing estimation technique. Through accurately separating and calculating the morphology and amount of the abrasive debris, the RMF-based abrasive sensor can provide the system with wear trend and sizes estimation of the wear particles. A well-designed experiment was conducted and the result shows that the proposed method can effectively separate the mixed debris and give an accurate count of the debris based on RMF abrasive sensor detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Underwater Turbulence Detection Using Gated Wavefront Sensing Technique
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030798 - 07 Mar 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1849
Abstract
Laser sensing has been applied in various underwater applications, ranging from underwater detection to laser underwater communications. However, there are several great challenges when profiling underwater turbulence effects. Underwater detection is greatly affected by the turbulence effect, where the acquired image suffers excessive [...] Read more.
Laser sensing has been applied in various underwater applications, ranging from underwater detection to laser underwater communications. However, there are several great challenges when profiling underwater turbulence effects. Underwater detection is greatly affected by the turbulence effect, where the acquired image suffers excessive noise, blurring, and deformation. In this paper, we propose a novel underwater turbulence detection method based on a gated wavefront sensing technique. First, we elaborate on the operating principle of gated wavefront sensing and wavefront reconstruction. We then setup an experimental system in order to validate the feasibility of our proposed method. The effect of underwater turbulence on detection is examined at different distances, and under different turbulence levels. The experimental results obtained from our gated wavefront sensing system indicate that underwater turbulence can be detected and analyzed. The proposed gated wavefront sensing system has the advantage of a simple structure and high detection efficiency for underwater environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential and Limitations of an Improved Method to Produce Dynamometric Wheels
Sensors 2018, 18(2), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020541 - 10 Feb 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1278
Abstract
A new methodology for the estimation of tyre-contact forces is presented. The new procedure is an evolution of a previous method based on harmonic elimination techniques developed with the aim of producing low cost dynamometric wheels. While the original method required stress measurement [...] Read more.
A new methodology for the estimation of tyre-contact forces is presented. The new procedure is an evolution of a previous method based on harmonic elimination techniques developed with the aim of producing low cost dynamometric wheels. While the original method required stress measurement in many rim radial lines and the fulfillment of some rigid conditions of symmetry, the new methodology described in this article significantly reduces the number of required measurement points and greatly relaxes symmetry constraints. This can be done without compromising the estimation error level. The reduction of the number of measuring radial lines increases the ripple of demodulated signals due to non-eliminated higher order harmonics. Therefore, it is necessary to adapt the calibration procedure to this new scenario. A new calibration procedure that takes into account angular position of the wheel is completely described. This new methodology is tested on a standard commercial five-spoke car wheel. Obtained results are qualitatively compared to those derived from the application of former methodology leading to the conclusion that the new method is both simpler and more robust due to the reduction in the number of measuring points, while contact forces’ estimation error remains at an acceptable level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Sensor Based Online Attitude Estimation and Stability Measurement of Articulated Heavy Vehicles
Sensors 2018, 18(1), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18010212 - 13 Jan 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2089
Abstract
Articulated wheel loaders used in the construction industry are heavy vehicles and have poor stability and a high rate of accidents because of the unpredictable changes of their body posture, mass and centroid position in complex operation environments. This paper presents a novel [...] Read more.
Articulated wheel loaders used in the construction industry are heavy vehicles and have poor stability and a high rate of accidents because of the unpredictable changes of their body posture, mass and centroid position in complex operation environments. This paper presents a novel distributed multi-sensor system for real-time attitude estimation and stability measurement of articulated wheel loaders to improve their safety and stability. Four attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS) are constructed using micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) sensors, and installed on the front body, rear body, rear axis and boom of an articulated wheel loader to detect its attitude. A complementary filtering algorithm is deployed for sensor data fusion in the system so that steady state margin angle (SSMA) can be measured in real time and used as the judge index of rollover stability. Experiments are conducted on a prototype wheel loader, and results show that the proposed multi-sensor system is able to detect potential unstable states of an articulated wheel loader in real-time and with high accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Performance Evaluation of an Electro-Hydraulic Camless Engine Valve Actuator for Future Vehicle Applications
Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2940; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122940 - 18 Dec 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3656
Abstract
This paper details the new design and dynamic simulation of an electro-hydraulic camless engine valve actuator (EH-CEVA) and experimental verification with lift position sensors. In general, camless engine technologies have been known for improving fuel efficiency, enhancing power output, and reducing emissions of [...] Read more.
This paper details the new design and dynamic simulation of an electro-hydraulic camless engine valve actuator (EH-CEVA) and experimental verification with lift position sensors. In general, camless engine technologies have been known for improving fuel efficiency, enhancing power output, and reducing emissions of internal combustion engines. Electro-hydraulic valve actuators are used to eliminate the camshaft of an existing internal combustion engines and used to control the valve timing and valve duration independently. This paper presents novel electro-hydraulic actuator design, dynamic simulations, and analysis based on design specifications required to satisfy the operation performances. An EH-CEVA has initially been designed and modeled by means of a powerful hydraulic simulation software, AMESim, which is useful for the dynamic simulations and analysis of hydraulic systems. Fundamental functions and performances of the EH-CEVA have been validated through comparisons with experimental results obtained in a prototype test bench. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Vibration Sensor Monitoring of Nickel-Titanium Alloy Turning for Machinability Evaluation
Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2885; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122885 - 12 Dec 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2390
Abstract
Nickel-Titanium (Ni-Ti) alloys are very difficult-to-machine materials causing notable manufacturing problems due to their unique mechanical properties, including superelasticity, high ductility, and severe strain-hardening. In this framework, the aim of this paper is to assess the machinability of Ni-Ti alloys with reference to [...] Read more.
Nickel-Titanium (Ni-Ti) alloys are very difficult-to-machine materials causing notable manufacturing problems due to their unique mechanical properties, including superelasticity, high ductility, and severe strain-hardening. In this framework, the aim of this paper is to assess the machinability of Ni-Ti alloys with reference to turning processes in order to realize a reliable and robust in-process identification of machinability conditions. An on-line sensor monitoring procedure based on the acquisition of vibration signals was implemented during the experimental turning tests. The detected vibration sensorial data were processed through an advanced signal processing method in time-frequency domain based on wavelet packet transform (WPT). The extracted sensorial features were used to construct WPT pattern feature vectors to send as input to suitably configured neural networks (NNs) for cognitive pattern recognition in order to evaluate the correlation between input sensorial information and output machinability conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Magnetic Flux Distribution of Linear Machines with Novel Three-Dimensional Hybrid Magnet Arrays
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2662; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112662 - 18 Nov 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2489
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to propose a novel tubular linear machine with hybrid permanent magnet arrays and multiple movers, which could be employed for either actuation or sensing technology. The hybrid magnet array produces flux distribution on both sides of windings, [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to propose a novel tubular linear machine with hybrid permanent magnet arrays and multiple movers, which could be employed for either actuation or sensing technology. The hybrid magnet array produces flux distribution on both sides of windings, and thus helps to increase the signal strength in the windings. The multiple movers are important for airspace technology, because they can improve the system’s redundancy and reliability. The proposed design concept is presented, and the governing equations are obtained based on source free property and Maxwell equations. The magnetic field distribution in the linear machine is thus analytically formulated by using Bessel functions and harmonic expansion of magnetization vector. Numerical simulation is then conducted to validate the analytical solutions of the magnetic flux field. It is proved that the analytical model agrees with the numerical results well. Therefore, it can be utilized for the formulation of signal or force output subsequently, depending on its particular implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
A Miniaturized Nickel Oxide Thermistor via Aerosol Jet Technology
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2602; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112602 - 12 Nov 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
In this study, a miniaturized thermistor sensor was produced using the Aerosol Jet printing process for temperature sensing applications. A nickel oxide nanoparticle ink with a large temperature coefficient of resistance was fabricated. The thermistor was printed with a circular NiO thin film [...] Read more.
In this study, a miniaturized thermistor sensor was produced using the Aerosol Jet printing process for temperature sensing applications. A nickel oxide nanoparticle ink with a large temperature coefficient of resistance was fabricated. The thermistor was printed with a circular NiO thin film in between the two parallel silver conductive tracks on a cutting tool insert. The printed thermistor, which has an adjustable dimension with a submillimeter scale, operates over a range of 30–250 °C sensitively (B value of ~4310 K) without hysteretic effects. Moreover, the thermistor may be printed on a 3D surface through the Aerosol Jet printing process, which has increased capability for wide temperature-sensing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Road Lane Detection Robust to Shadows Based on a Fuzzy System Using a Visible Light Camera Sensor
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2475; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112475 - 28 Oct 2017
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3578
Abstract
Recently, autonomous vehicles, particularly self-driving cars, have received significant attention owing to rapid advancements in sensor and computation technologies. In addition to traffic sign recognition, road lane detection is one of the most important factors used in lane departure warning systems and autonomous [...] Read more.
Recently, autonomous vehicles, particularly self-driving cars, have received significant attention owing to rapid advancements in sensor and computation technologies. In addition to traffic sign recognition, road lane detection is one of the most important factors used in lane departure warning systems and autonomous vehicles for maintaining the safety of semi-autonomous and fully autonomous systems. Unlike traffic signs, road lanes are easily damaged by both internal and external factors such as road quality, occlusion (traffic on the road), weather conditions, and illumination (shadows from objects such as cars, trees, and buildings). Obtaining clear road lane markings for recognition processing is a difficult challenge. Therefore, we propose a method to overcome various illumination problems, particularly severe shadows, by using fuzzy system and line segment detector algorithms to obtain better results for detecting road lanes by a visible light camera sensor. Experimental results from three open databases, Caltech dataset, Santiago Lanes dataset (SLD), and Road Marking dataset, showed that our method outperformed conventional lane detection methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Linear Extended State Observer-Based Motion Synchronization Control for Hybrid Actuation System of More Electric Aircraft
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2444; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17112444 - 25 Oct 2017
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3444
Abstract
Moving towards the more electric aircraft (MEA), a hybrid actuator configuration provides an opportunity to introduce electromechanical actuator (EMA) into primary flight control. In the hybrid actuation system (HAS), an electro-hydraulic servo actuator (EHSA) and an EMA operate on the same control surface. [...] Read more.
Moving towards the more electric aircraft (MEA), a hybrid actuator configuration provides an opportunity to introduce electromechanical actuator (EMA) into primary flight control. In the hybrid actuation system (HAS), an electro-hydraulic servo actuator (EHSA) and an EMA operate on the same control surface. In order to solve force fighting problem in HAS, this paper proposes a novel linear extended state observer (LESO)-based motion synchronization control method. To cope with the problem of unavailability of the state signals required by the motion synchronization controller, LESO is designed for EHSA and EMA to observe the state variables. Based on the observed states of LESO, motion synchronization controllers could enable EHSA and EMA to simultaneously track the desired motion trajectories. Additionally, nonlinearities, uncertainties and unknown disturbances as well as the coupling term between EHSA and EMA can be estimated and compensated by using the extended state of the proposed LESO. Finally, comparative simulation results indicate that the proposed LESO-based motion synchronization controller could reduce significant force fighting between EHSA and EMA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
A Low Cost Sensors Approach for Accurate Vehicle Localization and Autonomous Driving Application
Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2359; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17102359 - 16 Oct 2017
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4615
Abstract
Autonomous driving in public roads requires precise localization within the range of few centimeters. Even the best current precise localization system based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) can not always reach this level of precision, especially in an urban environment, where [...] Read more.
Autonomous driving in public roads requires precise localization within the range of few centimeters. Even the best current precise localization system based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) can not always reach this level of precision, especially in an urban environment, where the signal is disturbed by surrounding buildings and artifacts. Laser range finder and stereo vision have been successfully used for obstacle detection, mapping and localization to solve the autonomous driving problem. Unfortunately, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDARs) are very expensive sensors and stereo vision requires powerful dedicated hardware to process the cameras information. In this context, this article presents a low-cost architecture of sensors and data fusion algorithm capable of autonomous driving in narrow two-way roads. Our approach exploits a combination of a short-range visual lane marking detector and a dead reckoning system to build a long and precise perception of the lane markings in the vehicle’s backwards. This information is used to localize the vehicle in a map, that also contains the reference trajectory for autonomous driving. Experimental results show the successful application of the proposed system on a real autonomous driving situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
The Modular Optical Underwater Survey System
Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2309; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17102309 - 11 Oct 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3459
Abstract
The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center deploys the Modular Optical Underwater Survey System (MOUSS) to estimate the species-specific, size-structured abundance of commercially-important fish species in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The MOUSS is an autonomous stereo-video camera system designed for the in situ [...] Read more.
The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center deploys the Modular Optical Underwater Survey System (MOUSS) to estimate the species-specific, size-structured abundance of commercially-important fish species in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The MOUSS is an autonomous stereo-video camera system designed for the in situ visual sampling of fish assemblages. This system is rated to 500 m and its low-light, stereo-video cameras enable identification, counting, and sizing of individuals at a range of 0.5–10 m. The modular nature of MOUSS allows for the efficient and cost-effective use of various imaging sensors, power systems, and deployment platforms. The MOUSS is in use for surveys in Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico, and Southern California. In Hawaiian waters, the system can effectively identify individuals to a depth of 250 m using only ambient light. In this paper, we describe the MOUSS’s application in fisheries research, including the design, calibration, analysis techniques, and deployment mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
The Design and Development of an Omni-Directional Mobile Robot Oriented to an Intelligent Manufacturing System
Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2073; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17092073 - 10 Sep 2017
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 5382
Abstract
In order to transport materials flexibly and smoothly in a tight plant environment, an omni-directional mobile robot based on four Mecanum wheels was designed. The mechanical system of the mobile robot is made up of three separable layers so as to simplify its [...] Read more.
In order to transport materials flexibly and smoothly in a tight plant environment, an omni-directional mobile robot based on four Mecanum wheels was designed. The mechanical system of the mobile robot is made up of three separable layers so as to simplify its combination and reorganization. Each modularized wheel was installed on a vertical suspension mechanism, which ensures the moving stability and keeps the distances of four wheels invariable. The control system consists of two-level controllers that implement motion control and multi-sensor data processing, respectively. In order to make the mobile robot navigate in an unknown semi-structured indoor environment, the data from a Kinect visual sensor and four wheel encoders were fused to localize the mobile robot using an extended Kalman filter with specific processing. Finally, the mobile robot was integrated in an intelligent manufacturing system for material conveying. Experimental results show that the omni-directional mobile robot can move stably and autonomously in an indoor environment and in industrial fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Peg-in-Hole Assembly Based on Two-phase Scheme and F/T Sensor for Dual-arm Robot
Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2004; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17092004 - 01 Sep 2017
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3596
Abstract
This paper focuses on peg-in-hole assembly based on a two-phase scheme and force/torque sensor (F/T sensor) for a compliant dual-arm robot, the Baxter robot. The coordinated operations of human beings in assembly applications are applied to the behaviors of the robot. A two-phase [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on peg-in-hole assembly based on a two-phase scheme and force/torque sensor (F/T sensor) for a compliant dual-arm robot, the Baxter robot. The coordinated operations of human beings in assembly applications are applied to the behaviors of the robot. A two-phase assembly scheme is proposed to overcome the inaccurate positioning of the compliant dual-arm robot. The position and orientation of assembly pieces are adjusted respectively in an active compliant manner according to the forces and torques derived by a six degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) F/T sensor. Experiments are conducted to verify the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed assembly scheme. The performances of the dual-arm robot are consistent with those of human beings in the peg-in-hole assembly process. The peg and hole with 0.5 mm clearance for round pieces and square pieces can be assembled successfully. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Load Categories in Rotor System Based on Vibration Analysis
Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1676; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17071676 - 20 Jul 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2599
Abstract
Rotating machinery is often subjected to variable loads during operation. Thus, monitoring and identifying different load types is important. Here, five typical load types have been qualitatively studied for a rotor system. A novel load category identification method for rotor system based on [...] Read more.
Rotating machinery is often subjected to variable loads during operation. Thus, monitoring and identifying different load types is important. Here, five typical load types have been qualitatively studied for a rotor system. A novel load category identification method for rotor system based on vibration signals is proposed. This method is a combination of ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD), energy feature extraction, and back propagation (BP) neural network. A dedicated load identification test bench for rotor system was developed. According to loads characteristics and test conditions, an experimental plan was formulated, and loading tests for five loads were conducted. Corresponding vibration signals of the rotor system were collected for each load condition via eddy current displacement sensor. Signals were reconstructed using EEMD, and then features were extracted followed by energy calculations. Finally, characteristics were input to the BP neural network, to identify different load types. Comparison and analysis of identifying data and test data revealed a general identification rate of 94.54%, achieving high identification accuracy and good robustness. This shows that the proposed method is feasible. Due to reliable and experimentally validated theoretical results, this method can be applied to load identification and fault diagnosis for rotor equipment used in engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechatronic Systems for Automatic Vehicles)
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