Hybrid Gravity Gradient Inversion-Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm for Motion Planning of Mobile Robots

Motion planning is a common task required to be fulfilled by robots. A strategy combining Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and gravity gradient inversion algorithm is proposed for motion planning of mobile robots. In this paper, in order to realize optimal motion planning strategy, the cost function in ACO is designed based on gravity gradient inversion algorithm. The obstacles around mobile robot can cause gravity gradient anomalies; the gradiometer is installed on the mobile robot to detect the gravity gradient anomalies. After obtaining the anomalies, gravity gradient inversion algorithm is employed to calculate relative distance and orientation between mobile robot and obstacles. The relative distance and orientation deduced from gravity gradient inversion algorithm is employed as cost function in ACO algorithm to realize motion planning. The proposed strategy is validated by the simulation and experiment results.

Stress Distribution in Axisymmetric Indentation of an Elastic Layer-Substrate Body

We focus on internal stress and displacement of an elastic axisymmetric contact problem for indentation of a layer-substrate body. An elastic layer is assumed to be perfectly bonded to an elastic semi-infinite substrate. The elastic layer is smoothly indented with a flat-ended cylindrical indenter. The analytical and exact solutions were obtained by solving an infinite system of simultaneous equations using the method to express a normal contact stress at the upper surface of the elastic layer as an appropriate series. This paper presented the numerical results of internal stress and displacement distributions for hard-coating system with constant values of Poisson’s ratio and the thickness of elastic layer.

Natural Frequency Analysis of a Porous Functionally Graded Shaft System

The vibration characteristics of a functionally graded (FG) rotor model having porosities and micro-voids is investigated using three-dimensional finite element analysis. The FG shaft is mounted with a steel disc located at the midspan. The shaft ends are supported on isotropic bearings. The FG material is composed of a metallic (stainless-steel) and ceramic phase (zirconium oxide) as its constituent phases. The layer wise material property variation is governed by power law. Material property equations are developed for the porosity modelling. Python code is developed to assign the material properties to each layer including the effect of porosities. ANSYS commercial software is used to extract the natural frequencies and whirl frequencies for the FG shaft system. The obtained results show the influence of porosity volume fraction and power-law index, on the vibration characteristics of the ceramic-based FG shaft system.

Simplified Stress Gradient Method for Stress-Intensity Factor Determination

Several techniques exist for determining stress-intensity factors in linear elastic fracture mechanics analysis. These techniques are based on analytical, numerical, and empirical approaches that have been well documented in literature and engineering handbooks. However, not all techniques share the same merit. In addition to overly-conservative results, the numerical methods that require extensive computational effort, and those requiring copious user parameters hinder practicing engineers from efficiently evaluating stress-intensity factors. This paper investigates the prospects of reducing the complexity and required variables to determine stress-intensity factors through the utilization of the stress gradient and a weighting function. The heart of this work resides in the understanding that fracture emanating from stress concentration locations cannot be explained by a single maximum stress value approach, but requires use of a critical volume in which the crack exists. In order to understand the effectiveness of this technique, this study investigated components of different notch geometry and varying levels of stress gradients. Two forms of weighting functions were employed to determine stress-intensity factors and results were compared to analytical exact methods. The results indicated that the “exponential” weighting function was superior to the “absolute” weighting function. An error band +/- 10% was met for cases ranging from a steep stress gradient in a sharp v-notch to the less severe stress transitions of a large circular notch. The incorporation of the proposed method has shown to be a worthwhile consideration.

The Effects of Electromagnetic Stirring on Microstructure and Properties of γ-TiAl Based Alloys Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting Technique

The γ-TiAl based Ti-Al-Mn-Nb alloys were fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM) on the TC4 substrate. The microstructures of the alloys were investigated in detail. The results reveal that the alloy without electromagnetic stirring (EMS) consists of γ-TiAl phase with tetragonal structure and α2-Ti3Al phase with hcp structure, while the alloy with applied EMS consists of γ-TiAl, α2-Ti3Al and α-Ti with hcp structure, and the morphological structure of the alloy without EMS which exhibits near lamellar structure and the alloy with EMS shows duplex structure, the alloy without EMS shows some microcracks and pores while they are not observed in the alloy without EMS. The microhardness and wear resistance values decrease with applied EMS.

Experimental Study of Discharge with Sharp-Crested Weirs

In this study the water flow in an open channel over a sharp-crested weir is investigated experimentally. For this reason a series of laboratory experiments were performed in an open channel with a sharp-crested weir. The maximum head expected over the weir, the total upstream water height and the downstream water height of the impact in the constant bed of the open channel were measured. The discharge was measured using a tank put right after the open channel. In addition, the discharge and the upstream velocity were also calculated using already known equations. The main finding is that the relative error percentage for the majority of the experimental measurements is ± 4%, meaning that the calculation of the discharge with a sharp-crested weir gives very good results compared to the numerical results from known equations.

Flame Kernel Growth and Related Effects of Spark Plug Electrodes: Fluid Motion Interaction in an Optically Accessible DISI Engine

One of the aspects that are usually neglected during the design phase of an engine is the effect of the spark plug on the flow field inside the combustion chamber. Because of the difficulties in the experimental investigation of the mutual interaction between flow alteration and early flame kernel convection effect inside the engine combustion chamber, CFD-3D simulation is usually exploited in such cases. Experimentally speaking, a particular type of engine has to be used in order to directly observe the flame propagation process. In this study, a double electrode spark plug was fitted into an optically accessible engine and a high-speed camera was used to capture the initial stages of the combustion process. Both the arc and the kernel phases were observed. Then, a morphologic analysis was carried out and the position of the center of mass of the flame, relative to the spark plug position, was calculated. The crossflow orientation was chosen for the spark plug and the kernel growth process was observed for different air-fuel ratios. It was observed that during a normal cycle the flow field between the electrodes tends to transport the arc deforming it. Because of that, the kernel growth phase takes place away from the electrodes and the flame propagates with a preferential direction dictated by the flow field.

Design of Stainless Steel Implant for Fractured Distal Femur

Perfect restoration of fractured distal femur has been a challenging task for the medical practitioners. In the present study, model of a fractured bone has been created using the scan data of the damaged bone. Thereafter, customized implant of Stainless Steel (SS-316L) for this fractured femur bone is modeled using the reverse engineering approach. Clinical set-up is prepared by assembling all the models together. Stress and deformation analysis of this clinical set-up has been performed in order to check the load bearing capacity and intactness of the joint. From this analysis, it has been inferred that the stresses and deformation developed due to the static load of the person is within the permissible limits.

Experimental Investigation the Effectiveness of Using Heat Pipe on the Spacecraft Mockup Panel

The heat pipe is a thermal device which allows efficient transport of thermal energy. The experimental work of this research was split into two phases; phase 1 is the development of the facilities, material and test rig preparation. Phase 2 is the actual experiments and measurements of the thermal control mockup inside the modified vacuum chamber (MVC). Due to limited funds, the development on the thermal control subsystem was delayed and the experimental facilities such as suitable thermal vacuum chamber with space standard specifications were not available from the beginning of the research and had to be procured over a period of time. In all, these delays extended the project by one and a half year. Thermal control subsystem needs a special facility and equipment to be tested. The available vacuum chamber is not suitable for the thermal tests. Consequently, the modification of the chamber was a must. A vacuum chamber has been modified to be used as a Thermal Vaccum Chamber (TVC). A MVC is a vacuum chamber modified by using a stainless mirror box with perfect reflectability and the infrared lamp connected with the voltage regulator to vary the lamp intensity as it will be illustrated through the paper.

Investigation of Water Transport Dynamics in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Based on a Gas Diffusion Media Layers

In this investigation, synchrotron X-ray imaging is used to study water transport inside polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Two measurement techniques are used, namely in-situ radiography and quasi-in-situ tomography combining together in order to reveal the relationship between the structures of the microporous layers (MPLs) and the gas diffusion layers (GDLs), the operation temperature and the water flow. The developed cell is equipped with a thick GDL and a high back pressure MPL. It is found that these modifications strongly influence the overall water transport in the whole adjacent GDM.

Countercurrent Flow Simulation of Gas-Solid System in a Purge Column Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Techniques

Purge columns or degasser vessels are widely used in the polyolefin process for removing trapped hydrocarbons and in-excess catalyst residues from the polymer particles. A uniform distribution of purged gases coupled with a plug-flow characteristic inside the column system is desirable to obtain optimum desorption characteristics of trapped hydrocarbon and catalyst residues. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach is a promising tool for design optimization of these vessels. The success of this approach is profoundly dependent on the solution strategy and the choice of geometrical layout at the vessel outlet. Filling the column with solids and initially solving for the solids flow minimized numerical diffusion substantially. Adopting a cylindrical configuration at the vessel outlet resulted in less numerical instability and resembled the hydrodynamics flow of solids in the hopper segment reasonably well.

The Conduct of Laundering Money through Transport of Cash in the Middle East and North Africa Region

This article mainly aims to detect and understand how money laundering activities are executed by transport of cash, identifying the underlying factors and separating legitimate from illegitimate usage of cash and how it is being used. This research provides academics with additional literature and provides bank supervisors and practitioners with a better understanding of sources and uses of cash in criminal activities and how cash is used in the laundering mechanism. Data are gathered through survey in the Middle East and North Africa region and review of the available research. The results of the analysis will help distinguish the factors affecting preference for cash rather other payment instruments in the region, identify what causes the tendency to launder illegal proceeds through cash transportation and how illegal cash is being laundered and moved. On the other hand, this paper sheds the light on major cash generating criminal activities, its sources and main destinations.

Kinetic Parameter Estimation from Thermogravimetry and Microscale Combustion Calorimetry

Flammability analysis of extruded polystyrene (XPS) has become crucial due to its utilization as insulation material for energy efficient buildings. Using the Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa methods, the degradation kinetics of two pure XPS from the local market, red and grey ones, were obtained from the results of thermogravity analysis (TG) and microscale combustion calorimetry (MCC) experiments performed under the same heating rates. From the experiments, it was discovered that red XPS released more heat than grey XPS and both materials showed two mass loss stages. Consequently, the kinetic parameters for red XPS were higher than grey XPS. A comparative evaluation of activation energies from MCC and TG showed an insignificant degree of deviation signifying an equivalent apparent activation energy from both methods. However, different activation energy profiles as a result of the different chemical pathways were presented when the dependencies of the activation energies on extent of conversion for TG and MCC were compared.

Modeling of Titanium Alloy Implant for Fractured Distal Femur

In the present work, reverse engineering (RE) approach has been used to create a 3D model of a fractured femur bone using the computed tomography (CT) scan data. Thereafter, counter fit fixation plates of Titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) have been designed and analyzed considering physiological static loading conditions. From the analysis, it has been inferred that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. It implies that these designed customized fixation plates are able to provide stable fixation resulting in improved fracture union.

Modeling Non-Darcy Natural Convection Flow of a Micropolar Dusty Fluid with Convective Boundary Condition

A numerical approach of the effectiveness of numerous parameters on magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) natural convection heat and mass transfer problem of a dusty micropolar fluid in a non-Darcy porous regime is prepared in the current paper. In addition, a convective boundary condition is scrutinized into the micropolar dusty fluid model. The governing boundary layer equations are converted utilizing similarity transformations to a system of dimensionless equations to be convenient for numerical treatment. The resulting equations for fluid phase and dust phases of momentum, angular momentum, energy, and concentration with the appropriate boundary conditions are solved numerically applying the Runge-Kutta method of fourth-order. In accordance with the numerical study, it is obtained that the magnitude of the velocity of both fluid phase and particle phase reduces with an increasing magnetic parameter, the mass concentration of the dust particles, and Forchheimer number. While rises due to an increment in convective parameter and Darcy number. Also, the results refer that high values of the magnetic parameter, convective parameter, and Forchheimer number support the temperature distributions. However, deterioration occurs as the mass concentration of the dust particles and Darcy number increases. The angular velocity behavior is described by progress when studying the effect of the magnetic parameter and microrotation parameter.

Study of the Effect of Soil Compaction and Height on Pipe Ovality for Buried Steel Pipe

In this paper, the numerical study of buried steel pipe in soil is investigated. Buried pipeline under soil weight, after embankment on the pipe leads to ovality of pipe. In this paper also it is considered the percentage of soil compaction, the soil height on the steel pipe and the external load of a mechanical excavator on the steel pipe and finally, the effect of these on the rate of pipe ovality investigated. Furthermore, the effect of the pipes’ thickness on ovality has been investigated. The results show that increasing the percentage of soil compaction has more effect on reducing percentage of ovality, and if the percentage of soil compaction increases, we can use the pipe with less thickness. Finally, ovality rate of the pipe and acceptance criteria of pipe diameter up to yield stress is investigated.

Real-Time Episodic Memory Construction for Optimal Action Selection in Cognitive Robotics

The three most important components in the cognitive architecture for cognitive robotics is memory representation, memory recall, and action-selection performed by the executive. In this paper, action selection, performed by the executive, is defined as a memory quantification and optimization process. The methodology describes the real-time construction of episodic memory through semantic memory optimization. The optimization is performed by set-based particle swarm optimization, using an adaptive entropy memory quantification approach for fitness evaluation. The performance of the approach is experimentally evaluated by simulation, where a UAV is tasked with the collection and delivery of a medical package. The experiments show that the UAV dynamically uses the episodic memory to autonomously control its velocity, while successfully completing its mission.

Optimization of Surface Finish in Milling Operation Using Live Tooling via Taguchi Method

The main objective of this research is to optimize the surface roughness of a milling operation on AISI 1018 steel using live tooling on a HAAS ST-20 lathe. In this study, Taguchi analysis is used to optimize the milling process by investigating the effect of different machining parameters on surface roughness. The L9 orthogonal array is designed with four controllable factors with three different levels each and an uncontrollable factor, resulting in 18 experimental runs. The optimal parameters determined from Taguchi analysis were feed rate – 76.2 mm/min, spindle speed 1150 rpm, depth of cut – 0.762 mm and 2-flute TiN coated high-speed steel as tool material. The process capability Cp and process capability index Cpk values were improved from 0.62 and -0.44 to 1.39 and 1.24 respectively. The average surface roughness values from the confirmation runs were 1.30 µ, decreasing the defect rate from 87.72% to 0.01%. The purpose of this study is to efficiently utilize the Taguchi design to optimize the surface roughness in a milling operation using live tooling.

Analysis of Air-Water Two-Phase Flow in a 3x3 Rod Bundle

This study investigated the void fraction characteristics under low superficial gas velocity (Jg) and low superficial fluid velocity (Jf) conditions in a 3x3 rod bundle geometry. Three arrangements of conductivity probes were set to measure the void fraction at various cross-sectional regions, including rod-gap, sub-channel and rod-wall regions. The experimental tests were performed under the flow conditions of Jg = 0-0.236 m/s and Jf = 0-0.142 m/s, and the time-averaged void fractions were recorded at each flow condition. It was observed that while the superficial gas velocity increases, the small bubbles started to cluster together and become big bubbles. As the superficial fluid velocity increases, the local void fractions of the three test regions will get closer and the bubble distribution will be more uniform across the cross section.

Research of Amplitude-Frequency Characteristics of Nonlinear Oscillations of the Interface of Two-Layered Liquid

The problem of nonlinear oscillations of a two-layer liquid completely filling a limited volume is considered. Using two basic asymmetric harmonics excited in two mutually perpendicular planes, ordinary differential equations of nonlinear oscillations of the interface of a two-layer liquid are investigated. In this paper, hydrodynamic coefficients of linear and nonlinear problems in integral relations were determined. As a result, the instability regions of forced oscillations of a two-layered liquid in a cylindrical tank occurring in the plane of action of the disturbing force are constructed, as well as the dynamic instability regions of the parametric resonance for different ratios of densities of the upper and lower liquids depending on the amplitudes of liquids from the excitations frequencies. Steady-state regimes of fluid motion were found in the regions of dynamic instability of the initial oscillation form. The Bubnov-Galerkin method is used to construct instability regions for approximate solution of nonlinear differential equations.