IEEE ICMA 2007 Conference
Plenary Talk 1

Intersections between Mechatronics and Robot Manipulators of the Future

William R. Hamel, Ph.D.
Professor and Head
Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering
University of Tennesee
Knoxville, TN 37966, U.S.A.
Tel. 865-974-6588, E-mail:whamel@utk.edu

Robot manipulator design and development involves complex multidisciplinary engineering and mechatronics technology is a big part of the picture. Manipulator design requirements pose many challenges centered on the integration of precise high-speed mechanisms, compact form factors, and complex power trains. Competing requirements lead to difficult design processes and tradeoffs, and the fundamental mechatronics technologies available to the designer substantially influence the entire design cycle and ultimate solution. This presentation will review interesting aspects of previous manipulator designs and their characteristics. Speculations about areas where future mechatronics advances could substantially advance robot manipulator designs and performance will be discussed.

William R. Hamel is a professor and head of the Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxvill. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in systems and controls, robotics, and automotive systems. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee, he worked for 31 years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he performed research and development in the general areas of robotics, automation, and remote systems for hazardous nuclear, space, and military applications. His research interests include robot control, human-interactive telerobotics, and emerging bio robotics. He has published over 90 papers and reports and has served on numerous panels and advisory groups. He was a member of the Army Science Board from 1989 through 1995.

Dr. Hamel is very active in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. He was the General Chairman of the 2002 International Conference on Robotics and Automation held in Washington, D.C. He is presently the Vice President for Publication Activities, and a member of the Conference Board. Previously, he has served as the Vice President for Member Activities, treasurer of the management committee of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, and as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics. He was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1999 for technical contributions to robotics and remote systems in hazardous environments. He was given the RAS Distinguished Service Award in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to the society. His BSME (1967) degree is from West Virginia University, his MSME (1969) from Oklahoma State University, and his Ph.D. was obtained at the University of Tennessee (1981).