Research projects

Continuation of current research results in teaching the mechanics of compliant systems

Bild Projektionsflaeche mit Lagrange GleichungenTU Ilmenau / FG MSys

The project is part of the “eTeach Free Spaces” funding format of the Thuringia eTeach network, which is funded by the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society (funding code: FS_27). Teachers are offered the opportunity to further develop their instructional skills with the aim of increasing course accessibility. The goal is to apply improved methods for supporting the students as they acquire specialist and interdisciplinary skills and increase their learning success.
This project will combine current research results and classic teaching content and make it accessible to students via innovative, short teaching videos. As a transfer option, we will upload the teaching/learning videos created in German and English onto the Moodle learning platform, onto the department website and onto social media platforms.


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Lego® Technic in the world of mechanism and gear technology

The project is part of the “eTeach Free Spaces” funding format of the Thuringia eTeach network, which is funded by the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society (funding code: FS_25). Teachers are offered the opportunity to further develop their instructional skills with the aim of increasing course accessibility. The goal is to apply improved methods for supporting the students as they acquire specialist and interdisciplinary skills and increase their learning success.
The aim of the project is to further elaborate on the technical content of the subjects of gear and mechanism technology for students. Demonstration systems will be developed and constructed using Lego® Technic. These should consist of a large number of gearboxes that, if possible, contain only one drive. By analyzing the individual gears, influences/changes in, for example, kinematic dimensions (e.g. link lengths) on the transfer function can be answered.

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Technical implementation of magnetosensitive elastomers for reversible magnetically adjustable sensor systems

vibrating unitTU Ilmenau / MSys

DFG project BE 6553/2-1 as part of the German-Russian package proposal PAK907 "Magnetic hybrid materials with complex internal interactions"
Classical magnetic hybrid materials contain either magnetically soft or magnetically hard particles. Accordingly, they either have an active magnetorheological effect or are provided with passive magnetorheological properties due to the premagnetization of the magnetically hard particles. Within the framework of this research network of Russian and German working groups, we combine active and passive magnetorheological properties by mixing magnetically hard and magnetically soft particles in an elastomeric matrix. The goal is to synthesize corresponding materials tailored for sensory applications based on a detailed microscopic understanding. The focus is on investigations of magnetic hybrid materials in technical applications in actuator and sensor systems. The complex particle-particle and particle-matrix interactions at the microscopic level are key properties for the realization of tunable, adaptive functional elements consisting of such "smart materials" that can be controlled by controllable magnetic fields.


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Easier through the exam through digitally supported teaching/learning in the world of mechanisms and gear technology

Bild zur Nutzung der SoftwareTU Ilmenau / FG MSys

The project is part of the examING project - Digitization of Competence-Oriented Testing for Bachelor's Degree Courses in Engineering - which is funded by the Foundation for Innovation in Higher Education (Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre) in the federal-state program "Strengthening Higher Education through Digitization".
The aim of the sub-project is:

  • to develop new digital exam formats for teaching in the form of digital quizzes or interactive role-playing games, which, among other things, serve to prepare for exams


  • to create a new quality in the field of digital intermediate examinations for the acquisition of bonus points.

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GRK 2182: Part A3 "Design Fundamentals for Nanofabrication Systems"

nanopositioning machineTU Ilmenau
nanopositioning machine

The project is part of the project GRK 2182:  Cutting-edge and laser-based 3D nanofabrication in extended macroscopic workspaces (Research Training Group), which is funded by the DFG - German Research Foundation. The goal of the subproject is to set the stage for the next generations of nanopositioning and fabrication systems. The solution approach is based on the use of compliant mechanisms in combination with electrostatic drive systems. In order to meet the very high demands on the mechanical and electrical properties, the realization is to take place in the form of a planar, monolithic structure, which is micro-engineered on a silicon basis.

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Synthesis of compliant mechanisms in force measurement and weighing technology for precision applications

The aim of the project is the development and experimental validation of model-based synthesis methods and synthesis guidelines for compliant mechanisms in force measurement and weighing technology. For the first time, an analytical model will be formed based on fundamental research of physical effects, such as elastic aftereffects and temperature dependencies. According to current knowledge, no suitable synthesis approaches exist for deformation bodies in force measurement and weighing technology. Systems in this field have specific requirements for the design of the compliant mechanisms, which means that novel synthesis methods are needed. The project is intended to make a significant contribution to closing this gap in the state of research. By means of metrological investigations, it is to be examined whether the uncertainties of the developed models and approaches can be reduced. Since the manufacturing quality has a significant influence on the motion properties of individual solid-state joints and entire compliant mechanisms, robustness and sensitivity analysis will be performed to quantify the effects of manufacturing tolerances on the mechanisms. After the developed analytical model is verified by measurement, synthesis methods will be developed. This will be used to find novel solutions for the design of compliant mechanisms as force sensors.
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Design of bipedal runners for energy-optimal locomotion in varying environments

Bild mit LäuferTU Ilmenau / MSys

Walking systems for energy-efficient locomotion on two legs in different environments and with different gaits (walking and running) are to be developed. The adaptability of these systems is to be achieved through "compliant smart mechanics" (COSM). These are compliant mechanical systems that combine "smart materials" with geometric or structural properties (targeted mono- or bistable behavior). These mechanisms are applied not only as a connection between two adjacent segments of the walking system, but also between its extremities. The high energy efficiency for the different gaits and environments results from the development of optimal characteristics (force-displacement and/or force-velocity) and its realization by COSM.
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Soft tensegrity structures with variable stiffness and deformation capability

Bild einer Tensegrity-StrukturTU Ilmenau

The aim of the project is the investigation of intrinsically compliant tensegrity structures based on highly elastic materials with pronounced variable stiffness and deformation capability for the application in the field of soft material robotic systems. The consideration of special compliant materials with an energy-less (passively) adaptive dynamic behavior, applied to the tensegrity structures, is an essential part of the investigations. The central hypothesis is: intrinsically compliant tensegrity structures differ significantly from other compliant systems by their pre-stress state and specific morphology. Due to these two properties, these structures are particularly predestined for future-oriented applications in soft-material robotics. The application of special smart materials in such structures for the simultaneous generation of actuator and sensory properties leads to a high degree of functional integration. Therefore, the project considers the exploration and analysis of such structures and the derivation of fundamental principles of their adaptive behavior, using a holistic approach based on structural, material and manufacturing aspects. The results of the basic research in this project form the basis for the exploration of the potential, the advantages as well as the limits of compliant tensegrity structures for the application in soft material robotics.
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Completed research projects

  • Compliant systems [06/2017 - 05/2022]; sponsored by: DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Heisenberg Programm)
ModellbildTU Ilmenau

The common long-term goal of the research group is to penetrate the physical limits of precision weighing technology. Disturbing influences and effects are to be fundamentally investigated, modeled and, based on this, constructively, control-technically and electronically mastered. On this basis, a relative standard deviation of the mass differences of 5∙10-12, i.e. 5 nanograms, is aimed at for comparisons of 1 kg mass standards. Currently, 50 nanograms is achieved here. The aim is thus to reduce the standard deviation by a factor of 10. There is a very great need for this, both for the practical dissemination of the SI unit kilogram and for fundamental investigations after a possible redefinition.

TU Ilmenau

The aim of the project is to develop the fundamentals for the synthesis of compliant mechanisms with optimized solid-state joints. As a focus of the 1st project phase, the effects of the joint contour on the mechanism properties were investigated in comparison to the rigid body model. The investigations show that joints with polynomial contours optimized directly in the mechanism offer an advantage over conventional contours, as they allow a simultaneous increase in range of motion and precision. Further improvement can be achieved by using different contours in a mechanism as well as a favorable design of the joint orientation and coupling geometry. Based on the 1st phase, there is an additional need for research in the geometric design of monolithic micro- and nanopositioning systems with macro dimensions. Here, the focus is on the further development of a novel synthesis method based on the joint rotation angles, which is improved compared to the idealized rigid body model. This allows the targeted geometric design of compliant mechanisms taking into account the influence of scaling.

TU Ilmenau

The aim of the project is the logical extension of the instrumentation developed in the previous project by an integrated sensor system for the detection of deformation states and/or interaction forces with the surrounding tissues. In order to maintain the advantageous compliance of the developed actuators, electrically conductive silicones are to be used, since these are just as flexible as the base material used for the instruments or the actuator technology already developed. Furthermore, conductive polymers change their electrical resistance in dependence of the material strain, whereby an inherent sensor technology can be realized in the silicone-based instrumentation.