TPM (Travail Pratique de Master) project proposals – Spring 2020

Integrated actuators – Prof. Y. Perriard

Note: Projects are intended for Microengineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering sections.

For information and registrations contact:

For opportunities to carry out a Master Project in foreign academic institutions or with one of our Swiss industrial partners, please contact Prof. Y. Perriard.

Transportation fees will be reimbursed.

1. Alternative, Magnetically-Levitated Motor Topologies for High Speed
Patricio Peralta

At LAI, a micro motor with a magnetic bearing is being developed in collaboration with a Swiss company. The magnetically levitated drive is designed to reach speeds of 100 krpm. To reach this objective, different motor types can be constructed. These can be rated by different criteria, such as motor loss minimization, simplicity of fabrication, bearing stability, etc.

Among this motor portfolio, only one motor topology has been constructed until now. Nevertheless, other motor types are still adequate. Their optimization, and ultimately, their construction, would enable to perform a head-to-head comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of different motor types of high scientific interests.

The work will initially demand an overview of levitation system topologies and their geometries. Once this is chosen, analytical and computational models are to be constructed and analyzed striving towards high-speed operation and stiff levitation.

The micro motor has to ultimately be constructed. The construction of the motor envisions state of the art magnetic materials, and high precision manufacturing involving 3D printers and laser cutting technology. Finally, the mounting of its sensor systems is to be conceived, as well as the adaptation of existing software for motor control.

2. Development of a Framework for Topology Optimization of Compliant Mechanisms
Adrien Thabuis, Sean Thomas

Topology Optimization investigates the distribution of material inside a discretized design domain to improve a given objective. It has become an innovating and revolutionary way to create complex and organic designs. In this new age of additive manufacturing such as 3D printing, the capacity to fabricate such new designs have become a reality. Compliant mechanisms, on the other hand, are a well-established solution to create miniaturized systems. By combining these mechanisms with topology optimization, we can create unique solutions that can further innovate this space.
The goal of this project is to extend an existing topology optimization framework in Python to design compliant mechanisms. The current version maximizes the rigidity of 3D mechanical structures subject to various loads. It should be modified to maximize the strain inside the structure in order to result in compliant mechanisms. A Matlab framework for 2D has already been developed to this purpose and can be used as a reference. A prototype inspired by this algorithmic design can then be fabricated and tested.
The student will have the opportunity to explore the inner workings of the topology optimization algorithm so as to adapt it. They will also be able to design and fabricate a novel system that has been imagined completely by a computer algorithm.

Source :

Evolution of the topology for an optimized compliant force inverter.

3. Drone-ready Robotic Gripper powered by Shape Memory Alloys
Sean Thomas

The goal of this project is to create a functional prototype of a compact lightweight gripper that harnesses the power of Shape Memory Alloys (SMA). The use of compliant mechanisms and flexible joints to create a miniaturized gripper has now become a reliable solution. The objective would be to explore various compliant solutions, fabricate them and render them compatible with the exotic behaviour of SMAs.
The student will be asked to exercise his creative muscles by designing an innovative gripper using novel systems focused on compliant mechanisms. The student will also have the opportunity to experience the Shape Memory Effect to find novel ways to couple this behaviour with the compliant system.

The hope of this project is create a low-weight high-force output gripper solution that can be used in numerous applications such as drones and surgical tools.

Source :