This thesis proposal has been motivated by the interests to understand bio-system dynamics and exploit their potential advantages to create electromagnetically driven systems for engineering applications. This research seeks to develop methods based on the concepts of distributed current sources which extend the existing distributed multi-pole method for analyzing the effects of iron paths and induced eddy current on multi-degree of freedom actuators.
To facilitate designing bio-inspired systems in three dimensional spaces, a new method referred to here as multi-level current-source approximation will be developed for characterizing electromagnetic components (such as electromagnet, permanent magnet and iron), which automatically searches for neighborhoods with relatively high modeling errors required and inserts new point sources to guaranty desired accuracy. The analytical method will be verified by comparing simulated results against experimental data, and incorporated in the topology optimization integrated for designing an energy-efficient electromechanical actuator with a high torque-to-weight ratio. The multi-level current-source approximation method will be employed to investigate the effects of electromagnetic sources on the torque-to-weight performance of an existing ball-joint-like spherical motor design.
It is expected that the proposed method offers an efficient means for developing multi-dimensional driving system with improved computational accuracy and speed. Overall design cycle of the system can be shortened with proposed topology optimization, which will find a broad range of emerging and creative applications (such as flying robot, iron wall climbing vehicle and transcranial magnetic stimulation) involving electromagnetic system.