This specialisation will be offered from Sept. 2020
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Combinging Mechanical Engineering with Electrical Engineering, Software Programming or Biomedical Engineering

Are you interested in combining Mechanical Engineering with other technical disciplines, such as electrical engineering, software programming or biomedical engineering? Would you like to contribute to revolutionary changes in robot-aided minimally invasive surgery? Or to the development of innovative functional prosthetics, exoskeletons, rehabilitation robots and the intelligent and precise production systems of the future? If the answer is yes, the Master’s specialisation in Robotics could be the perfect choice for you.

Three topics

Within the Robotics specialisation, we offer three topics: 

  • Medical Robotics
  • Precision Robotics
  • Industrial Robotics

Medical Robotics 

You will learn to combine different engineering disciplines to design, model and control a range of medical robotic systems, with the overall aim of improving healthcare. You will also learn to analyse aspects of human functioning and human-robot interactions. As an expert in the mechanical properties of living biological tissue and systems dynamics, you will be well-equipped to develop instruments and methodologies that help patients and clinicians. The research you will be involved in has already led to many innovative medical devices. Examples include rehabilitation robotics, diagnostic robots for (impaired) motor control, surgical robotics, continuum robots, micro-robots, endo- and exoprostheses and wearable exoskeletons. In this specialisation, you will also engage in testing the effectiveness of these devices in the clinical practice and in cooperation with industrial partners.

  • Expand the mechanical or biomedical engineering expertise you gained in your Bachelor’s programme
  • Learn to apply your expertise in the specific field of healthcare
  • Learn to make use of different disciplines and to work across boundaries to create effective, Personalised healthcare solutions
  • Become a highly valued cross-disciplinary specialist in the increasingly interwoven fields of healthcare and technology

Precision Robotics 

You will learn to model, design and control robots for precision applications. At the basis of our approach are techniques for modelling robot mechanics accurately and efficiently. These models form the basis of control and design (principles) for accurate motion and positioning. The deterministic approach allows mitigation of kinematic, static, dynamic and thermal influences and measurement uncertainties. This provides a basis for well-defined interaction with uncertain environments. The trend is to use robots in increasingly less structured environments. Precision robots are essential for developments in the semiconductor industry and have many other applications like image-based medical intervention, handling of agricultural products and flexible manufacturing systems. You will:

  • Attain the skills required to contribute to the development of robots for the world-leading Dutch high-tech sector, industry 4.0 and many more robotic applications
  • Learn how to model complex mechanics efficiently and accurately (flexible multi-body) 
  • Learn to design for accurate motion and positioning (flexures, deterministic design, hysteresis, energy management)
  • Learn to design control that adapts to changes in the robotic system and its environment (advanced feedforward, adaptive control, beyond rigid body control)

Industrial Robotics 

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and robots are used more and more on the manufacturing shop floor. Their range of application is diverse and examples include autonomous guided vehicles for the automation of transportation, robotic manipulators in configurable work cells, and collaborative robots working together with human operators. In this specialisation, you will learn about diverse industrial robotic technologies and how the integration of these technologies on the shop floor can be optimized. You will also learn about diverse tools and methodologies you can apply to design innovative manufacturing cells for the ‘factory of the future’, which will integrate robotics technologies. Examples include robotic welding cells and reconfigurable manufacturing cells for customized production. In addition, you will learn how to: 

  • Integrate innovative work cell designs on the shop floor while optimizing operational factors such as manufacturing facility layout, production throughput, takt times, etc. 
  • Apply tools and design methodologies to real-life cases (at companies working in cooperation with the department). 
  • Learn in a challenging multi-disciplinary education and research environment and develop a strong focus on innovative and problem-solving competencies. 

Why choose this specialisation at UT? 

You can obtain a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from many universities, both in the Netherlands and around the world. The ME programme at the University of Twente and this particular specialisation are unique because:

✓ Taking the Robotics specialisation at the University of Twente will give you a head start in your career, as it will expose you to some of the very best and latest research in this field. For example, our Surgical Robotics Lab is a global pioneer in the development of innovative solutions for a broad range of clinically relevant challenges, such as the use of snake-like flexible devices (continuum robots, steerable needles, magnetic catheters) and medical micro-robotics. In addition, our Wearable Robotics Lab is used for the development, testing and evaluation of wearable robots like exoskeletons, bionic prostheses, exo-suits and body-worn collaborative robots in a safe and real-life environment. The lab is a joint facility of the University of Twente and Roessingh Research and Development.

✓ You will be studying at a university that places a high value on valorization and societal impact.

✓ You will be involved in the Twente Robotics programme.

Examples of specialisation courses

  • Computer vision;
  • Robust control;
  • Non-linear control;
  • Optimal control;
  • Biomechatronics;
  • Design principles for precision mechatronics;
  • Human movement control;
  • Identification of human physiological systems;
  • Flexible multi-body mechanics;
  • Design principles for precision mechanisms;
  • Advanced motion control;
  • Automated production systems;
  • Industrial robotics;
  • Case studies in industrial robotics. 

graduation

Below you'll find a list of graduation projects as an example of what you can do for your graduation assignment:

  • MRI-based needle tip tracking for prostate interventions;
  • Magnetic-actuation for steerable catheter;
  • Design and control of bio-inspired micro-robots;
  • Design of a wearable exoskeleton or an MRI-compatible surgical robot for prostate biopsies;
  • Design of an energy-storing knee-ankle prosthesis;
  • Design of a robot for trans-cranial magnetic stimulation;
  • Design of a wearable hand exoskeleton;
  • Design of soft robotics;
  • Control of an arm exoskeleton;
  • Deep-learning controllers for walking with lower-extremity exoskeletons;
  • Step planning for dynamic walking with exoskeletons on unstructured terrain;
  • Iterative learning control of our robotic gait trainer LOPES;
  • Model-based control of steerable surgical needles or of micro-robotics;
  • Adaptive feedforward control for a 6DoF parallel manipulator;
  • Model reference adaptive control for active vibration isolation control;
  • Design of automated assembly stations for EuroValve butterfly valves;
  • Automating assembly processes of press-brake tooling using collaborative robots;
  • Design of safety-oriented collaborative manufacturing cells;
  • A prioritization approach for robotising press-brake tooling assembly;
  • Development of a safety assessment expert tool for collaborative robot systems. 

Career prospects

Most of our graduates quickly find exciting jobs, for example with companies such as Demcon, a high-end technology supplier of products and systems, ASML, world-leader in lithography equipment for the semiconductor industry, research institute TNO, bearings and positioning system developer PM, micro-motor specialist Maxon Motors or engineering firm VIRO. Additional exciting career opportunities include the company WILA, which is a renowned manufacturer of a variety of tooling for press braking. AWL, a designer and system integrator of state-of-the-art welding cells, is also a very interesting perspective employer for graduates of this programme. 

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