Distributed noncontact (micro)manipulation by shaping force fields through arrays of actuators

March 14, 2014, Webb 1100

Zdeněk Hurák

Czech Technical University, Electrical Engineering


The talk will give an overview of our research activities and results in noncontact planar manipulation with one or several (micro)particles by shaping force fields. These force fields derive from some physical fields, in particular, we exploit electric and magnetic fields, although the presented formalism might be more general. In order to shape these fields, electric voltages on regular arrays of (micro)electrodes or electric currents through a regular array of coils are controlled. Some (micro)fabrication, modeling, analysis and control design issues will be discussed. The control schemes currently used are purely centralized but sketches of distributed control schemes will be given. For both physical domains (electric, magnetic), experimental platforms have been developed and their functionality has been demonstrated in various scientific competitions (4th and 5th place in IEEE RAS Mobile Microrobotics Challenge in 2012 and 2013, respectively, 1st place in Matlab and Simulink Student Design Challenge in 2013). Some videos will accompany the talk. One applied motivation for the presented research is to contribute to a development of a low-cost and fully automated bioanalytical platform. On the control theoretic side, the presented research constitutes an opportunity for application of results for control of spatially distributed systems. More info about the research is at http://goo.gl/XjghGK.

Speaker's Bio

Zdeněk Hurák is an assistant professor in control engineering at Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic. Currently he is a Fulbright scholar visiting prof. Bassam Bamieh at Department of Mechanical Engineering UCSB (February through late August 2014). He got his Ing. degree (~ M.Sc. or Dipl.Ing.) in aerospace electrical engineering (summa cum laude) at Military Academy, Brno, Czech Republic, in 1997. He was awarded Boeing Fellowship in 1999, which supported his 3-month stay at Iowa State University, Ames, USA. He got his Ph.D. degree supervised by prof. Michael Sebek at CTU in Prague in 2004 with the thesis on l1 optimal control (some results published in SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization). He was a visiting researcher at TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in 2008, hosted by Prof. Yves Bellouard. His research interests include optimal, robust and distributed control, especially within the polynomial (algebraic) framework, and applications of advanced control schemes in electromechanical systems such as inertially stabilized camera platforms, piezoelectric micro-manipulators and even non-contact micro-manipulation such as dielectrophoresis and magnetophoresis. More on his research is at http://aa4cc.dce.fel.cvut.cz/.

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