Aerospace Mechatronics

Prof. M. R. Emami
University of Toronto
Institute for Aerospace Studies
4925 Dufferin St., Ontario, Canada M3H 5T6

Phone: +1-416-946-3357
Fax: +1-416-946-7109
Email: emami (at)


  • Ph.D. – University of Toronto
  • M.Sc. – Sharif University of Technology
  • B.Sc. – Sharif University of Technology

Research Overview

The goal of the Aerospace Mechatronics research thrust is to develop systematic frameworks and modular architectures for the concurrent, detail-level engineering of aerospace systems, from conception to configuration and integration, to realization and implementation.

Some of the group’s current research activities include:

  • Holistic Mechatronics: a new concurrent design methodology is developed through introducing the universal notion of satisfaction and expressing the holistic behaviour of multidisciplinary systems using the concept of energy. The application of the methodology to an industrial robot manipulator has shown promising results.
  • Reconfigurable Mechatronics: the research focuses on the development of concurrent design frameworks for autonomously reconfigurable mechatronic systems. The merits of the research are shown through its applications to reconfigurable robotic rovers as well as a newly-designed 18 d.o.f. autonomously reconfigurable serial manipulator.
  • Mechatronics by Analogy: the research postulates that by establishing a similarity relation between a complex system and a number of simpler systems it is possible to design the former using the analysis and synthesis means developed for the simpler systems. The methodology is successfully applied to the design of a robotic leg.
  • Heterogeneous Robotic Team: The new approach of Control ad Libitum is introduced for developing control architectures that allow a team of non-uniform (both software and hardware) rover platforms to perform collectively, while adapting to changing hardware and tasks in real-time without the intervention of a central server or operator.
  • Robotics Social Learning: The research studies interactions between collective, cooperative and collaborative behaviours of a robotic team, and attempts to develop hybrid multi-agent learning algorithms for enhancing such social behaviours concurrently.
  • Free-base Robot Manipulation: the research aims at reformulating the kinematic and dynamic equations of free-base manipulators, based on symplectic geometry, in order to obtain suitable laws for the concurrent base-manipulator motion control. The goal is to develop a new generation of free-flying manipulators that can be released from the base station for reaching larger workspaces.
  • Aerospace Remote Experimentation: the research attempts to establish a transformative vision of remotely accessible aerospace laboratories for both pedagogical and research purposes. The goal is to enable students and researchers to reliably operate remote devices (such as manipulators) in space and also conduct from Earth future experiments on the moon.
  • Robotic Hardware-in-the-loop Simulation: a practical framework for the concurrent engineering of reconfigurable robot manipulators is constructed through the development of a hardware-in-the-loop design and simulation platform.
  • Mechatronics Pedagogy: the research attempts to define a hybrid framework for teaching mechatronics that synergistically utilizes various learning theories. The premise is that teaching mechatronics requires both direct instruction and learner-controlled knowledge construction. One key outcome of the research is the invention of an affordable, comprehensive, and transparent Personal Mechatronics Laboratory toolkit for students and researchers.