In 1995, Square D Company, Clemson, South Carolina, donated a $100,000 equipment grant over a two year period to fund the creation of a motion control laboratory which has come to be known as Square D lab and is situated on the second floor of the Fluor Daniel Engineering Innovation Building. The purpose of this lab is to have interdisciplinary (Mechanical and Electrical Engineering) research teams for developing new and innovative methods of motion control.

  • The Square-D Laboratory has the following equipment
    • Elephant Trunk Manipulator.
    • 3D Crane system
    • 1 PC (Intel 486DX2/66, PCI bus with 16MB RAM).
    • Bi-level linear power amplifier (Techron 5530).
    • Toshiba leadscrew motor(BEI PM2-120).
    • Optical encoder board (provides 2 incremental optical encoder channels and 2 channels each of ADC and DAC).
    • Permanent magnet DC motor(24V, 10A maximum current).
    • Four channel signal interface box with one microswitch CSLBIAD linear current sensor for each channel.
    • MacIntosh computer (loaded with Photoshop and Flexitrace software).

Research Activity

  • Elephant Trunk Manipulator

The Elephant's Trunk belongs to a class of robotic manipulators known as hyper-redunant, or more specifically High-Degree-of-Freedom (HDOF) robots. The Trunk consists of a 32 DOF backbone, using 16 short links of 2 DOF each. The backbone is reminiscent of a vertebrate backbone, with the maneuverability of a snake backbone. The Trunk is divided into four sections. The pitch and yaw orientations at the end of each section are controllable via cables attached to actuators at the base of the trunk. This gives the Trunk 8 controllable degrees of freedom. The remaining DOFs contribute to the trunk's "inherent compliance". In other words, while the actuators control the Trunk orientation at a few various locations, there are an infinite number of allowable configurations corresponding to any given actuator input. Thus, the trunk "complies" with its environment in a minimum energy fashion. Research with the trunk focuses on inverse kinematics algorithms, path planning and mechanical design issues.
  • 3D Crane Controlled by RTLT

The 3DCrane is a laboratory model for an industrial crane. It is a non-linear electromechanical system having complex dynamic behavior . The control of the crane in various modes is achieved under Linux using Matlab/Simulink and RTLT software developed by Quality Real Time Systems. The crane is equipped with high resolution encoders for 2D angle measurement. The RTLT helps in supporting multiple hardware interface boards like Servotogo and MultiQ. Current research is being done on implementing non-linear controllers to control the crane in three dimensions.

E-Mail CRB Home Page