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Research-informed service-learning in Mechatronics and Dynamic Systems

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2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting


California State University, Los Angeles , California

Publication Date

April 4, 2019

Start Date

April 4, 2019

End Date

April 6, 2019

Conference Session

PSW Section Meeting Papers - Disregard start and end time - for online paper access only

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Pacific Southwest Section Meeting Paper Submissions

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Paper Authors


Farbod Khoshnoud

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Farbod Khoshnoud, PhD, PGCE, CEng, MIMechE, MASME, FHEA, is a faculty member in electromechanical engineering at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His current research areas include Self-powered Dynamic Systems,Nature/ Biologically Inspired Dynamic Systems, Unmanned Systems (e.g. multi-agents and networks), and Quantum Robots. He was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at California State University, USA. He was a visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, in 2017. He was a Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Brunel University London, UK, 2014-16. He was a senior lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire before joining Brunel, 2011-2014. He was a visiting scientist and postdoctoral researcher in the Industrial Automation Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada, 2007-2012. He was a visiting researcher at California Institute of Technology, USA, 2009-2011. He carried out postdoctoral research in the Department of Civil Engineering at UBC, 2005-2007. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Brunel University in 2005. He has worked in industry as a mechanical engineer for over six years. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Mechatronic Systems and Control (formerly Control and Intelligent Systems).

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Dario Robinson


Bruno Marco Quadrelli

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Dr. Marco B. Quadrelli is a Principal Member of the Technical Staff and the group supervisor of the Robotics Modeling and Simulation Group at JPL, where he has worked since 1997 on multiple flight projects and research programs. His research interests inc

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Clarence W De Silva

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Clarence W. de Silva received the Ph.D. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1978), and from University of Cambridge, U.K. (1998), and a Higher Doctorate (Sc.D.) from University of Cambridge (2020). He has been a Professor of Mechanical Eng

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This paper addresses opportunities for linking research and teaching through service-learning as an experiential teaching method that combines community service with research and academic instructions, particularly related to Mechatronics and Dynamic Systems areas. The research component is complementary to the service-learning activity that applies the state-of-the-art technologies, and can potentially lead to scientific original work and world-class contributions in technological advancements. Various advanced technologies related to mechatronic systems have been developed by the authors and the students involved in such projects as part of their University curriculum, including: self-powered solar Unmanned Aerial/Ground Vehicles, energy harvesting systems, biologically inspired mechanical birds and insects, bio-inspired vertical axis wind turbines, jelly-fish inspired propulsion, nature-inspired techniques such as quantum networks, cryptography, and entanglement for multi-robotic/vehicle systems, which can be further enriched by service components. Connecting University instructions to real-world applications and cutting-edge technologies, as research-informed service-learning activities, results in engaging, attractive, and rewarding experience for the students. To demonstrate the research-based service-learning activity, a case study is carried out at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in collaboration with the students in the electromechanical engineering program and the Police Department. The students carry out their senior design project as a service-learning project by developing long endurance electric multi-rotor drones (with station-keeping capability) for traffic monitoring, situation awareness, and surveillance. The research goal is to overcome the limited flight time of the current drone technology (currently limited to about 30min flight) using buoyancy force and solar energy (without recharging the onboard batteries, or using tethered drones). The service-learning goal is to help the police department in applications of drones for monitoring and situation awareness while operating for long periods of time, and the capability of a wide monitoring coverage area. The Innovation to Flight (I2F) Student Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is introduced as a practical example of the service-learning paradigm, with many beneficial goals including: Enhance and develop future mission capabilities; rapid innovation, rapid and affordable access to space for innovators; train, inspire, and motivate the next generation of aerospace engineers through immersion into flight by rapid design, development, and launch of new innovations. Example projects that have been considered so far with the students are weather balloons, humanmachine interfaces, solar reflectors, and origami-based mechatronic systems within 10 weeks of internship.

Khoshnoud, F., & Robinson, D., & Quadrelli, B. M., & De Silva, C. W. (2019, April), Research-informed service-learning in Mechatronics and Dynamic Systems Paper presented at 2019 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, California State University, Los Angeles , California. 10.18260/1-2--31842

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