Design of programmable mechanical systems yields a variety of innovative applications in robotics and biology. This first part of the talk examines design techniques for mechanical systems that trace specified curves such as the foot movement for walking robots or the wing tip trajectory for flying robots by J. Michael McCarthy. We consider the design of four-bar and six-bar linkages that control serial chains to trace these curves. Then we show that mechanical Fourier synthesis can be used to draw a wide range of curves. And finally, we present a system of mechanically coupled serial chains that can be configured to sign your name with a single actuator.

The second part deal with programmable DNA machines by Haijun Su. DNA origami nanotechnology is a recently developed self-assembly process for design and fabrication of complex 3D nanostructures using DNA as functional materials. Recently we have pioneered in applying kinematic principles to the design of tiny (tens of nm) mechanisms using this DNA origami nanotechnology. We have demonstrated this technology by desig ning and fabricating a series of nanoscale classic kinematic joints and kinematic mechanisms. These nanomechanisms, which we call DNA Origami Mechanisms (DOM), are made of relatively stiff bundles of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) which function as rigid links, connected by highly compliant single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) strands which function as kinematic joints. The designs of kinematic joints such as revolute, prismatic, cylindrical, universal and spherical are presented. To demonstrate the desig ns, we presented the design and prototyping of Bennett 4- bar, crank-slider and compliant bistable mechanisms, a multi degree-of-freedom waterbomb based foldable mechanism. At last, I will present a list of challenges and future work in this emerging research filed.


Professor J. Michael McCarthy is the Director of UCI’s Performance Engineering Program, having completed a eight year term as the Henry Samueli Professor and Director of the Center for Engineering Science in Design at the University of California, Irvine, which supports the design and execution of team engineering projects across the School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. at Stanford University, and has taught at Loyola Marymount University and the University of Pennsylvania before joining UCI in 1986. He has over 200 publications and five books including The Geometric Design of Linkages (Springer 2000, 2nd Ed. 2010). He has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (2002-2007) and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics (2007-2014). His research team is responsible for the Sphinx, Synthetica and MecGen software packages, which extend computer-aided design to spherical and spatial linkage systems and integrate this process with geometric modeling. He has organized and presented tutorials on the design of linkages and robotic systems at ASME and IEEE conferences, including the NSF sponsored 2012 Workshop on 21st Century Kinematics. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and has received the 2009 ASME Machine Design Award, the 2011 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award, and the 2013 Robert E. Abbott Lifetime Service Award from the Design Engineering Division of ASME International. At the 2015 Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, he and his co-author received the A.T. Yang Memorial Award in Theoretical Kinematics for their paper on the design of a linkage system that reproduces the flapping motion of a bird in flight.

Dr. Haijun Su is an Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining OSU in September 2011, he was an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2007-2011), a Postdoctoral Associate at Virtual Reality Application Center of Iowa State University (2004-2007). Dr. Su received his Ph.D. (2004) from the University of California, Irvine, all in Mechanical Engineering. Awards received by Dr. Su include the MSC Software Simulation paper award in 2002, the finalists of Mechanism and Robotics best paper award in 2005, the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in 2008, the Compliant Mechanism Theory best paper award in 2009 and 2014, Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship and ASME M&R Freudenstein/GM Young Investigator award in 2010, Lumley Research Award in 2015. Dr. Su served as the Industry Relation Chair of the 2010 ASME IDETC/CIE, the chair of 2016 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Conference. He is currently an Associate Editor of ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics and Mechanism and Machine Theory.