This award supports a planning visit to the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, by Prof. Pierre Larochelle of the Florida Institute of Technology. The purpose of the trip is to develop a collaborative research project on a new generation of automated assembly and manufacturing technologies by applying so-called screw theory to the automation of machine movement in multiple dimensions or degrees of freedom. This planning visit will be the basis for preparation of a full-scale collaborative-research proposal.
This activity is aimed to develop innovative and more efficient manufacturing techniques that can make positive economic contributions in both countries. Such techniques can make the US more competitive on the global market. Participation in this project will also prepare US engineering students to be engaged globally.
Planning Visit Outline: Prof. Larochelle of Florida Tech traveled to Taiwan to meet with Prof. Chintien Huang of National Cheng Kung University for a three-week long focused planning meeting. The purpose of this visit was to synergistically combine the expertise of Prof. Larochelle from the Florida Institute of Technology and Prof. Huang from the National Cheng Kung University to produce a framework for a collaborative research program that has the potential to yield transformative change in automated manufacturing and assembly. The intellectual merit of this research project is in synergistically bringing together the expertise of Profs. Larochelle and Huang to address the continual challenge to our nationâ€™s manufacturing economy; to create new technologies that enable our manufacturing enterprise to be cost competitive around the globe. Prof. Larochelle has expertise in the synthesis and analysis of spatial and spherical kinematic chains and in creating computer-aided design tools for these three-dimensional mechanical systems and Prof. Huangâ€™s expertise is in computational kinematics, line geometry & screw theory, and the synthesis and analysis of spatial mechanisms. Bringing these two complementary skill sets together holds great promise for producing a transformative research agenda. The broader impacts of this research result from initiating the international collaboration between Profs. Larochelle and Huang. It is envisioned that this planning visit, and the resulting research agenda, will be the beginning of a fruitful collaboration that will endure for several years. This collaboration will make significant contributions to the state of the art in automated manufacturing and assembly systems, thereby directly benefiting our nationâ€™s manufacturing industry. The international collaborations that have been established, and our ongoing, between and Profs. Larochelle and Huang have the potential to yield transformative research results in advanced manufacturing. The foundations have been laid for a multi-year mutually beneficial collaboration. Efforts are ongoing to prepare proposals for multi-year funding of this international collaboration.