Mechanical Engineering

Interface Dynamics and Simulations in Soft Surface to Soft Surface Interaction

Supervisor

Peter Xu

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG031

This is part of soft robotics for a medical application. The interaction between soft object and soft object needs being developed from the first principles. Also, the interaction dynamics are expected to be simulated in COMSOL or FEA.

Making and measuring tornadoes in the Aerodynamics Lab which drive a wind turbine

Supervisor

Richard Flay, Neil Hawkes

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG032

A rig is being built to artificially create “Buoyancy Vortices” (which in many respects are like tornadoes) using a heated plate and vanes at the base. We require a student to assist with undertaking measurements of the flow structure in the vortex, and analysing the data. This project will suit a practical person who likes undertaking careful experimental work, and wishes to learn about aerodynamics and associated instrumentation, and how to analyse such data. The student will be working closely with PhD candidate Neil Hawkes. It is expected that future PhD projects on this research will spawn which may be of interest to the successful summer student.

Sensor fusion using motion processing unit and Arduino

Supervisor

Jaspreet Dhupia

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG033

Connect Arduino to communicate with MATLAB / Simulink. Use Arduino to acquire accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer readings. Determine pose in 3-dimensions in real-time. Explore sensor fusion techniques to improve pose estimation.

Development of a Robotic Airship for Indoor and Outdoor Human Robot Interaction Applications

Supervisor

Minas Liarokapis

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG034

In this project, we will focus on the development of a robotic airship (e.g., Zeppelin) that will be able to navigate both indoor and outdoor environments, facilitating the execution of human robot interaction applications.

Skills required:

  • Background in Robotics
  • Solidworks or other CAD software experience.

Development and testing of software and algorithms for rehabilitation robotics

Supervisor

Andrew McDaid

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG035

This project includes the development and testing of embedded and cloud-based software platform for rehabilitation robotics. It may also include the development of algorithms such as machine learning and AI for analysis the data collected from the robots. Skills/pre-requisites required are experience in some or all of the following c# / c++ / html / javascript / SQL.

Experimental validation of ‘smart’ wearables

Supervisor

Andrew McDaid

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG036

This project involves experimental testing and analysis of a new era of ‘smart’ wearable medical devices developed in our labs here at UoA. Research will involve motion capture experiments (as used in the movies), field testing and data analytics using advanced data processing techniques.

Aerodynamic trends for upwind yacht sails determined using CFD

Supervisor

Stuart Norris

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG037

The aerodynamics of upwind yacht sails is of importance to sail designers and yacht racing teams. These teams are increasingly reliant on CFD to determine their sail performance. This project would model upwind sails using CFD and will validate the model against existing experimental data. The model will then be used to determine performance variation for parametric variation in the sails.

A background in fluid mechanics or aerodynamics (eg: MECHENG.325, MECHENG.712 or similar) is desirable. The project uses CFD software on a Linux based computer cluster, so experience in Linux and CFD software would be helpful, although is not essential.

Interpreting a dynamic environment: Synergy of VR and robot navigation

Supervisor

Tim Giffney

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG038

What if VR systems did not need prepared rooms, and obstacles or objects appearing in the real world could be detected and added to a simulation whilst running? What about robots that could understand and navigate in human spaces? Computer vision will be applied to detect new objects and insert approximate models taking advantage of the synergy between these two areas.

Poling during extrusion of printed piezoelectric polymer

Supervisor

Tim Giffney

Faculty of Engineering

Project code: ENG039

Suitable actuator materials are the biggest missing link in creating a new way for integrated manufacturing of smart devices at the scale between microsystems and conventional manufacturing. This project will study the feasibility and material properties of depositing piezoelectric material for sensor and actuator devices.