Modelling and control of anaerobic digestion processes for biogas production

The research, set up as part of the activities of the project Fabbrica della Bioenergia, has been initially focused on the Object-Oriented modeling of biochemical processes involved in anaerobic digestion for biogas production, then it was directed towards the analysis and synthesis of advanced identification and control techniques.

Object-Oriented modeling of mechatronic systems

The research activity in the field of Object-Oriented modeling was concentrated on the development of models of vehicles, especially motorcycles, used in the study of ABS braking systems and attitude verification, and on the development of modular models  of mechanical systems with distributed compliance. More recently, the research has been focused to the development of tools for symbolic manipulation of models, aimed at a reduction of the model order and at the use of the same models in advanced control techniques.

Control of drives with elasticity, friction and torque disturbances

The experimental findings obtained from the analysis of the performance of force/position control strategies have suggested other lines of research, related to modeling, identification and compensation of torque disturbances and to the suppression of vibrations in servomechanisms with elasticity. The research on torque disturbances has led to the synthesis of a simple and compact model, easy to use even for adaptive compensation. The heavy influence of friction on the performance of the servomechanisms has finally led on one hand to a survey on modeling of friction, which has led to the development of an innovative model, and on the other hand to the analysis of some particular limit cycles.

Modelling and simulation of mechanical systems

The activity initially focused on the analysis of discontinuous mechanical phenomena. Subsequently, it was directed to the creation of an innovative environment for dynamic simulation, initially in the context of traditional techniques and then in the design of a modular and acausal environment, based on Object-Oriented concepts, techniques and tools. Research has been referred to by three case studies: the modeling of a gripper designed for space applications, of an agricultural tracked vehicle, and of a three-axis machining center. A research more closely related to applications, dealt with traditional tools, was instead directed towards the modeling of hard disk drives.