IEEE ICMA2006 Conference

Plenary Talk


Mechatronic Systems Auto-Adaptive to Varying Human Characteristics and Environmental Conditions

Masayoshi Tomizuka, Ph.D.

Cheryl and John Neerhout, Jr., Distinguished Professorship Chair and Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University of California

Berkeley , CA  94720, U.S.A.

Tel. 510-642-0870, Fax. 510-643-5599, E-mail tomizuka@me.berkeley.edu


Modern technologies, in particular automation and mechatronics technologies, were originally intended to achieve higher productivity and better product quality.  They are now steadily penetrating our daily lives either indirectly or directly.  We are surrounded by mechatronic products and interact with them in many ways. It has become critically important to consider the human factors in the design and development of mechatronic products from various aspects, and the proposed research will provide a scientific basis in this regard.  This presentation is concerned with an investigation to develop the understanding of power assist systems which add assistive power or force to the power or force input supplied by a human. Such systems involve bilateral coupling between the human, the actuator (power assisting device) and the environment.  Examples that may take advantage of such advances are the electric power-assisted steering (EPS) system for automobiles and the electric bicycle. 

Intelligent power assist systems (IPASs) 1) adaptively handle the interaction between human-machine-environment,  2) assist the human by sensing the human乫s intention and augmenting assistive power in optimal manners and  3) isolate the human from undesired environmental disturbance inputs while retaining essential bilateral physical coupling between the human and the environment. IPASs are distinguished from conventional power assist devices and haptic devices. The role of conventional power assist devices is limited to amplifying or augmenting the power supplied by users.  Haptic devices supply users with feedback information on the environment, but the information is synthesized.  In other words, haptic devices do not provide direct physical coupling between the user and the environment.   By achieving the second objective, this project will establish the methodology to design intelligent power assist devices that allow the actuator to provide forces to assist human and at the same time reduce the transmission of undesired disturbances from the environment to the human.

Research issues are identified from EPS systems, electric bicycles and power assist wheel charis, and the role of advanced control theories in intelligent power assist systems will be explored.

Masayoshi Tomizuka holds the Cheryl and John Neerhout, Jr., Distinguished Professorship Chair in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of California at Berkeley .  He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Keio University , Tokyo, Japan and his Ph. D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in February 1974.  He joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley in 1974.  He served as Vice Chair of Mechanical Engineering from December 1989 to December 1991 and from July 1995 to December 1996. He also served as Director of Engineering Systems Research Center of the College of Engineering from July 1999 to August 2002. He served as Program Director of the Dynamic Systems and Control Program at the National Science Foundation from September 2002 to December 2004.  At UC Berkeley, he teaches courses in dynamic systems and controls.  His current research interests are optimal and adaptive control, digital control, signal processing, motion control, and control problems related to robotics, machining, manufacturing, information storage devices and vehicles.  He has published more than 400 papers in archival journals and refereed conference proceedings.  He has supervised about 80 Ph. D. students to completion. Many of his students teach at national and international academic institutions and others work as leaders in various industries. He served as Technical Editor of the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control, J-DSMC (1988-93), Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (1997-99) and Associate Editor of the Journal of the International Federation of Automatic Control, Automatica (1993-99). He was General Chairman of the 1995 American Control Conference, and served as President of the American Automatic Control Council (1998-99).  He is a Fellow of the ASME, the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.  He received the DSCD Outstanding Investigator Award (1996), the Pi Tau Sigma-ASME Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award (1997) and the Oldenburger Medal (2002).