Open Master and Semester projects

INSTRUCTIONS FOR MASTER AND SEMESTER PROJECTS

Please find below the links towards the instructions for the master or semester projects.
Note : the registration to the Instant-Lab secretary has to be done 3 weeks prior to the semester beginning

and the model sheet for the project resume

Design of Compliant Mechanisms Based on Meta-beams

meta beamCompliant mechanisms (CM) are mechanical devices that perform their function by the bending of their flexible elements. Compared to the rigid mechanisms, CM have reduced friction, no wear and are more reliable to high precision applications. However, CM suffer from a few limitations such as low range of motion and parasitic movements. This is mainly returned to the use of the Euler beam as the main building block.

In this project, we aim to design new meta-beams to circumvent the limitations of the Euler beams and serve as a new building block of CM. Cellular metamaterials may offer a solution to this problem. Meta- materials can consist of a periodic arrangement of cellular structures, known as meta-atoms. By properly selecting the geometry and dimensions of the meta-atom, it is possible to control the effective elastic properties and kinematic behavior of the meta-material. Following this design concept, it is possible to build new meta-beams. Through 3D printing technologies, it will be possible to manufacture these meta- beams.

In this master thesis project, your responsibilities are:

  1. Perform a complete literature review of cellular metamaterials, with a focus on their application to compliant beam design.
  2. Present new designs of meta-atoms to develop new beams.
  3. Build numerical/finite element models to predict the meta-atom and meta-beam behavior.
  4. Construct the developed beams.
  5. Characterize the mechanical behavior of the meta-beams.
  6. Construct new compliant mechanisms using the developed beams and compare their performance to their conventional counterparts.

We expect the applicants to have a good background in solid mechanics with an interest in the design of compliant mechanisms. Also, the applicants need to have some experience building prototypes (laser cutting and 3D printing) and experimental characterization setups.

Instant-lab has decades of experience working in the area of compliant mechanisms. A collaboration with industrial partners and other academic institutions is foreseen.

This project is in collaboration with one lab in Harvard.

For further inquiries, please, contact:

Bistable gripper

GripperGrippers are commonly used in robotics to grab and deliver parts at a precise location. In the medical domain, grippers are used as surgical tools for example. However, it is difficult to scale them down to a few millimeters due to tolerances of manufacturing and assembly. Fabricating a gripper based on flexure and bistable mechanics could be a solution and brings multiple other advantages and applications.

Project consists of :

  • Kinematics design of the gripper
  • Prototype design, fabrication and testing

Required background :

  • Mechanical design
  • Concept of flexure mechanics

Location: Microcity, Neuchâtel
Sections:
SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Micro surgical saw

Medical SawThe aim of the project is to design several types of surgical saws which can be miniaturized to be used during precise medical operations. A powered rotary oscillation to a specialized cutting implement should be applied to provide smooth controllable cuts into tissues or bones. The kinematics of the saw guidance has to be designed and could be partially or entirely realized with flexure elements.

Project consists of :

  • Kinematics design of the saw guidance
  • Actuation system design
  • Prototype design, fabrication and testing

Required background :

  • Mechanical design

Location: Microcity, Neuchâtel
Sections:
SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Ball with mechanical sound system

To play tennis, visually impaired persons use a ball with bells to indicate where is the ball. The problem with the current ball is that there is a sound only when the ball touches the floor. So the goal of the project is to design an entire mechanical system that produces a sound in continuous way. The new system should not disturb the way the ball acts.

The project is in collaboration with a French association for visually impaired person persons: UNADEV based in Lyon.

Recquired background :

  • Mechanical design​

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Test bench for load cell with micro-millinewton measurements

Test BenchThe project focuses on designing and assembling the test bench, for a new load cell that is being developed in a joined project of Instant Lab and the industrial partner. The load cell will be designed for measuring wide ranges of forces (micro-millinewtons), with maximum precision, due to the stiffness tuning mechanism. The goal of the project is to develop a test bench allowing to calibrate and characterize the prototype within given specification.

Preferred background/interest:

  • Mechanical design
  • Precise positioning
  • Force sensing

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Electronic inclinometer

inclinometerThe goal of the project is to work on the functionalities of the electrical inclinometer prototype developed at Instant-Lab. This device can measure precisely its position in 3 angular coordinates. Within the work, the reference system has to be developed. Thanks to such referencing, the relative angles between two given positions could be measured. The solution should be intuitive and handy.

Preferred background/interest:

  • Microcontroller programming in C
  • IMU sensors
  • Electrical design
  • Prototyping

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Rehabilitation insole for progressive weight application

sole

This mechatronics project is focused on the design of an insole for the rehabilitation of a broken leg or an sprained ankle. When the patient is once again capable of walking, he/ she must progressively increase the weight exerted to the broken structure in order to recover faster and better. Nevertheless, the patient is not able to monitor the applied weight without a force sensor. For this reason, the proposed insole will not only reduce the stiffness of the gait but also measure the force exerted by each leg and render it to the patient mobile phone. At the end, the patient will have a complete system which will warn him/ her against an excess of weight application.

This project is developed with the collaboration of medical partners.

Project consists of :

  • Continue the development of the mobile application, which monitors forces and interacts with patient and/or medical staff, in iOS/Swift.
  • Design the communication by bluetooth LE between the mobile phone and the microcontroller.
  • Export, store and import data from a remote sever to the mobile phone.

Required background / interest :

  • Motivated and self-governing.
  • Programming skills in Swift.
  • Kwonledge of Bluetooth Low Energy.
  • Basic electronics and microcontroller programming.

Location : Microcity, Neuchâtel
Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Watchmaking assembly at the millimetre scale

This project is a study of watch component assembly at the millimetre scale using new techniques from MEMS and innovative materials. This project also requires a study of the difficulties involved at the interfaces between new and traditional components. This project could have direct applications to the watch industry.

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Flexure based surgical tool

Growing life expectancy goes together with improvement of healthcare. New threatment methods are becoming less invasive, allowing for shorter recovery time. Following this trend we would like to propose a new micro-surgical tool.

Project will focus on development of flexible structure for flexture based surgical tool. It will allow for 2DoF of rotations. End effector integrated in such flexure will be a gripper, or other depending on medical application.

Whole structure should be open for either manual or robotic actuation.

Required background :

  • Mechanical design

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Flexure based tool improvement for reduced fingers strength

People with certain neurological pathologies such as MS, ALS or cerebral stroke have often difficulties to manipulate tools that require a voluntary extension (opening) of the hand such as scissors or pliers.

The goal of this project is to develop a mechanism that can be added to any of these tools to simplify their manipulation. Fist prototypes will be realized using the lab’s 3D printer and laser cutter as well as external resources.

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Capteur de couple ultrasensible pour caractérisation de paliers horlogers

Le but de ce projet est de concevoir un banc de test pour mesurer les couples de frottement des micro-roulements à billes en fonction des charges axiales et radiales, ainsi que de la vitesse angulaire (en particulier à très basse vitesse). Les performances des paliers à roulement seront comparées à celles des paliers sur pierres. Le banc sera conçu de manière à ce que la mesure ne soit pas influencée par les couples de frottements des dentures). Ce projet se déroule en collaboration avec un partenaire industriel.

Le projet se déroule sur le site de Neuchâtel (Microcity). Un dédommagement est prévu pour compenser les frais de déplacement de Lausanne à Neuchâtel.

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]

Intégration de fonctionnalités d’assemblage dans les bagues de roulements à billes miniatures

L’assemblage de roulements à billes miniature est une opération délicate en raison de l’effet des tolérances sur les jeux fonctionnels du roulement. De plus le démontage de tels paliers est difficile. Le but de ce projet et d’inventer des bagues de roulements qui intègrent des fonctionnalités d’assemblage, en exploitant par exemple la technologie des guidages flexibles. De telles baguent devront relaxer les tolérances requises, faciliter le montage et le démontage et des roulements et éventuellement réduire la transmission de bruit acoustique. Ce projet se déroule en collaboration avec un partenaire industriel.

Le projet se déroule sur le site de Neuchâtel (Microcity). Un dédommagement est prévu pour compenser les frais de déplacement de Lausanne à Neuchâtel.

Sections : SMT IMT or other interested
Contact email : [email protected]