2022 Advanced Course of Actuator Engineering

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Suzumori Koichi  Yoshida Kazuhiro 
Class Format
Lecture    (Livestream)
Media-enhanced courses
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Academic year
Offered quarter
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Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

Actuators are significant elements to drive mechanical systems. Due to the multiple requirements and the development of advanced materials and processing technologies, the development and application of advanced actuators are required with high-performance and/or availability in extreme environments. In this course, piezoelectric, electrostatic, fluid power and shape memory alloy actuators with different working principles and soft and micro actuators with different functionalities are taken up and their working principles, performance, control methods and applications are explained. The fundamentals of advanced mechanical engineering are covered.
As key technologies in mechanical engineering, this course aims at building a fundamental of advanced mechanical engineering by offering technological information of various advanced actuators with different working principles and functionalities.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Describe working principles and performance of advanced actuators such as piezoelectric, electrostatic, fluid power, shape memory alloy, soft and micro actuators.
2) Describe control methods and applications of advanced actuators.
3) Design advanced mechanical systems with wide variety of specifications selecting adequate actuators.


Piezoelectric actuators, Electrostatic actuators, Fluid power actuators, Shape memory alloy actuators, multiple degrees-of-freedom actuators, Microactuators

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The instructor will explain individual actuator's working principle, performance, control method, applications and features. The instruction will be conducted online using Zoom, etc.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Fundamentals of advanced actuators Understand the definition of actuator and the background and significance of development of advanced actuators
Class 2 Electrostatic actuators Understand the working principle, performance and control methods of electrostatic actuators
Class 3 Fluid power actuators Understand the working principle, performance and control methods of fluid power actuators
Class 4 Shape memory alloy actuators Understand the working principle, performance and control methods of shape memory alloy actuators
Class 5 Piezoelectric actuators Understand the working principle, performance and control methods of piezoelectric actuators
Class 6 Soft actuators Understand the working principle, performance and control methods of soft actuators
Class 7 Microactuators Understand the working principle, performance and control methods of microactuators

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are provided during class.
Reference books:
Actuator System Technical Committee of JSME-MDT Ed., Actuator Engineering, Yokendo Co., Ltd., (2004) (in Japanese)
T. Higuchi and M. Ohka Ed., Forefront of R & D of Actuators, NTS Inc., (2011) (in Japanese)
 K.Suzumori, Introduction to Actuators, Kodansya, (2014) (in Japanese)

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' understanding level of the concept and the technical information of advanced actuators will be assessed by reports.

Related courses

  • MEC.H433 : Mechatronics Device and Control
  • MEC.H531 : Robot Control System Design
  • MEC.J531 : Micro and Nano Systems
  • MEC.J432 : Mechanism and Control for Ultra-precision Motion

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None required.

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