Automatic Control Laboratory
The collaboration between Advanced Manufacturing Lab (am|z) and Automatic Control Lab (IFA) is centered on developing a novel scan path generator for a laser powder bed fusion (PBF) machine capable of processing multiple materials simultaneously. The aim is to integrate the Machine Control Framework (AMCF) with our machine control system to enhance controlability and reliability.
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Programming Techniques
- Bachelor Thesis, ETH Zurich (ETHZ), Master Thesis
In sheet metal laser cutting, the correct
distance between the nozzle and the sheet is crucial for a stable cutting process. The nozzle
distance control utilizes a capacitive signal generated between the sheet and the nozzle and
calculates the current distance based on prerecorded calibration data.
Steadily increasing laser power allows higher feed rates, which poses increasing challenges
for the nozzle distance control. One approach to achieve superior control consists of
generating a digital mapping of the sheet geometry allowing for predictive control. A “Sheet
Estimator” would support the nozzle distance control and reduce the reaction delay in case
of local changes in the sheet geometry. In addition, it could also detect situations where a
cut-out part is tilted (crash risk) or the sheet metal starts to vibrate (poor cut) and thereby
enable an adequate reaction.
- Electrical Engineering, Intelligent Robotics, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics and Mechatronics
- Bachelor Thesis, Semester Project
In the majority of urban air mobility planning, goods such as Amazon packages and food are the targeted cargo population that urban air traffic will predominantly transport. Furthermore, this traffic will likely be conducted autonomously or in a semi-supervised style. This is in stark contrast to ground transportation, in which human-operated vehicles are the dominant population of ground
However, humans may wish to fly and/or navigate aerial vehicles themselves — for legal liability, for
improvements in safety/efficiency, and/or for recreational purposes. While human-operated vehicles are
most definitely less efficient than autonomous UAVs, it is not immediately obvious that the efficiency of
overall air traffic will decrease when introducing human-operated aerial vehicles. Will air traffic efficiency
decrease when human-navigated aerial vehicles operate alongside autonomous aerial vehicles in urban
skies, and are there situations in which introducing human traffic will improve air traffic efficiency?
- Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Optimisation, Transport Economics
- Master Thesis, Semester Project
In this project, we want to explore clustering methods for the plug and play distributed control of energy hubs and prosumer networks as well as distributed optimization methods that are blind to the local network. While standard distributed optimization method works well for a small number of hubs with a fixed network topology, changes in topology requires all the hubs in the network to modify their control and communication scheme and the optimization problem of each hub also grows drastically requiring a longer computation time. The goal is to develop strategies that mitigate these issues and can adapt to a rapidly changing energy network.
- Electrical Engineering, Systems Theory and Control, Systems Theory and Control
- Applications (IfA), Collaboration, Computation (IfA), Energy (IfA), Master Thesis
The revolutionary appeal of cryptocurrencies and the underlying distributed ledgers is that no one owns them. They are highly democratic systems (at least in principle): the community sets the rules of the ledger and maintains it. This has the unique feature of being highly dynamic and adaptable to the latest greatest in technology and societal needs. But to fully deliver on their appeal, distributed ledgers must employ a fair and efficient mechanism for self-governance. Should a ledger change its protocol, e.g., from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake? How should a newly identified bug be resolved? Many distributed ledgers have adopted voting-like mechanisms for this purpose, but crucially, voting rights are associated with the amount of tokens owned, and as a direct consequence, with the wealth of the users, contradicting the most basic principles of democracy. However, unlike in classical political decisions, crypto-governance decisions are highly dynamic and frequent - they almost occur in real-time. This makes them especially suited for a karma economy, which has been recently demonstrated to achieve highly fair and efficient outcomes in repetitive settings in a completely non-monetary manner.
- Systems Theory and Control
- Master Thesis, Semester Project
Sum-of-Squares (SOS) relaxation is a beautiful technique to solve nonconvex optimization problems. As computational capabilities continue to increase, so is the scope of engineering challenges that can be tackled with this method. The goal of this project is to exploit the flexibility of SOS relaxations to design new data-driven control methods for linear dynamics, that can more efficiently incorporate prior knowledge on the system and cope with noisy input-output data.
- Dynamical Systems, Optimisation, Systems Theory and Control
- Applications (IfA), Computation (IfA), Master Thesis, Theory (IfA)
Feedback optimization is emerging as a crucial methodology for the control of modern cyberphysical systems, thanks to its inherent robustness and ability to steer the plant to an unknown-a-priori efficient operating point. In this project, we will design and evaluate novel feedback optimization schemes, based on primal-dual dynamics, which can easily handle safety output constraints and promise improved robustness to measurement noise.
- Dynamical Systems, Optimisation, Systems Theory and Control, Systems Theory and Control
- Applications (IfA), Energy (IfA), Master Thesis, Theory (IfA)
Optimal steady-state operations are crucial for engineering systems. A promising paradigm called feedback optimization (FO) features autonomous optimality seeking with a minimal requirement on model information, i.e., the input-output sensitivity. In applications, however, uncertainties (e.g., random failures and parameter shifts) may cause a model mismatch, thus resulting in closed-loop sub-optimality. To address this critical issue, we will explore robustifying FO against structured model mismatch through regularization. To this end, we will formulate a min-max closed-loop optimization problem and solve the reformulated regularized problem in an online fashion. We will characterize the optimality and stability of the closed-loop behavior. Furthermore, we will numerically validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.
- Dynamical Systems, Electrical Engineering, Systems Theory and Control, Systems Theory and Control
- Bachelor Thesis, Master Thesis, Semester Project
To improve the understanding about the potential of different control methods for automatic train operation in terms of energy efficiency and punctuality, a commercial train simulator shall be extended to allow for real-time control by third-party software. Depending on the interest of the student, the implemented control algorithms may vary from heuristic approaches found in patent databases to novel optimization-based algorithms published in academic literature.
- Control Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Systems Theory and Control, Systems Theory and Control
- Applications (IfA), Bachelor Thesis, Computation (IfA), Energy (IfA), Master Thesis, Semester Project
Extending the Airborne Collision Avoidance System X (ACAS-X) from the one-on-one, fixed wing assumption setting to the multi-aircraft, rotary wing setting, this project will leverage the Markov game framework to evaluate multi-aircraft trajectories and resolve airspace conflicts. In particular, we will focus on verifying the computation complexity and validity of a game-theoretic ACAS model.
- Aerospace Engineering, Architecture, Urban Environment and Building, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Operations Research, Optimisation, Transport Economics
- ETH Zurich (ETHZ), Master Thesis, Semester Project