Design of Machines for Energy Reduction in Controlled Motions

Where do you choose to stand, and in what pose, when performing the task of moving a heavy box? You could stand in a variety of different locations and poses, and some are definitely better than others. How would your pose and standing location change if you doubled the length of your arms? How would they change if you had a third arm? Finally, which of these choices results in you using the least amount of energy to move the heavy box? Now change the problem to one of machine design. Common manufacturing or assembly processes include the same motions thousands or millions of times. To perform a process, a variety of different machines can be considered. Even given a specific machine, it can be dimensioned in different ways, and can be positioned in a variety of spots. This research seeks to identify the principles by which mechanisms should be configured and positions in order to minimize the amount of energy used to perform these highly repetitive actions.