IEEE ICMA2006 Conference

Plenary Talk

Application of the Mechatronic Design Quotient (MDQ) for

Intelligent Design and Evolutionary Design of Mechatronic Systems

Clarence W. de Silva, P.Eng

NSERC Research Chair in Industrial Automation and Professor

University of British Columbia

Vancouver , Canada


Mechatronic systems are integrated electro-mechanical systems. Intelligent mechatronic systems possess computational intelligence with capabilities such as perception, learning, reasoning, and making inferences from incomplete information. A mechatronic system will consist of many different types of interconnected components and elements. The dynamic coupling between components means an accurate design of the system should consider the entire system as a whole rather than using single-criterion and sequential design methodologies, which are traditional. However, in view of the system complexity, it is difficult to adopt a 乬wholistic乭 approach in practice. The presentation will explore a multi-criteria and concurrent approach to mechatronic design and evaluation. A design formulation and criteria based on the concepts of mechatronic design quotient (MDQ) will be introduced for this purpose. Human experience on mixed systems and interactions between criteria will be taken into account by applying techniques of soft computing for the aggregation of criteria. The use of artificial intelligence and evolutionary computing in the design of mechatronic systems may be viewed as an attempt to mimic "natural" intelligent design and "natural" evolution of a biological system (e.g., human), albeit in a greatly simplified form. The talk will address these concepts as well. In particular, intelligent design is applicable when human intelligence is used in the design process. On the other hand, evolutionary design is applied when evolutionary computing is used in the design process. Several industrial applications of intelligent mechatronics have been designed and developed in the Industrial Automation Laboratory under the direction of the speaker. Representative applications involving robotic object handling, cutting, inspection, and grading of products will be presented.


De Silva, C.W., Mechatronics?An Integrated Approach, Taylor-Francis, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2005.

Clarence W. de Silva, P.Eng., Fellow ASME and Fellow IEEE, is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and has occupied the NSERC Research Chair in Industrial Automation since 1988. He has earned Ph.D. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1978) and the University of Cambridge, England (1998). De Silva has also occupied the Mobil Endowed Chair Professorship in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore. He is recipient of the Killam Research Prize, Outstanding Engineering Educator Award of IEEE Canada, Education Award of the Dynamic Systems and Control Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Lifetime Achievement Award of the World Automation Congress, IEEE Third Millennium Medal, Meritorious Achievement Award of the Association of Professional Engineers of BC, and the Outstanding Contribution Award of the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). De Silva has authored or co-authored 16 technical books, 12 edited volumes, over 160 journal papers, and about 200 conference papers and book chapters. He has served on the editorial boards of twelve international journals, in particular as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Control and Intelligent Systems, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Knowledge-Based Intelligent Engineering Systems, Senior Technical Editor of Measurements and Control, and Regional Editor, North America, of Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence -- the IFAC International Journal of Intelligent Real-Time Automation. De Silva is a Lilly Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, Senior Fulbright Fellow at Cambridge University , Fellow of the Advanced Systems Institute of British Columbia, and a Killam Fellow.