WEST LAFAYETTE, IN-Engineers at Purdue University and Tel Aviv University (Tel Aviv, Israel) have created a new mathematical method for designing better structures, machines and robots. The team has done so by creating a battery of theorems that join the science of statics, which deals with structures, with the science of kinematics, which deals with motion.
"These new theorems represent a common language and provide an understanding of what we call the duality between kinematics and statics," says Purdue associate professor of mechanical engineering Gordon R. Pennock. "The practical result is that engineers can use this knowledge to design better structures and better machines."
The research is detailed in a technical paper that will appear in the January issue of the Journal of Mechanical Design, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The paper was written by Pennock and Offer Shai, a civil engineer in the Department of Mechanics, Materials and Systems at Tel Aviv University.
The dual theorems could enable civil engineers to design structures that better withstand the forces and moments associated with motions such as those caused by earthquakes, perhaps at less expense than today's designs. They could also be incorporated into design software, resulting in more intelligent programs that both mechanical and civil engineers could use to create better machines and structures, Pennock says.