Portrait of David Bourne
Principal Systems Scientist
Home Department: RI
Office: 1612C Newell-Simon Hall
Phone: (412) 268-7811
Administrative Assistant: Peggy A. Martin
Mailing Address

My research is focused on building intelligent systems for automated manufacturing. The ultimate goal is to design an artifact and send the design to an automated production facility that would produce it. I am currently investigating several research issues in the design area:

  • Representing behavior in the design process: capturing the intended behavior of a part along with its geometry.
  • The semantics of tolerance: developing a representation and treatment of tolerances in both design and manufacturing.
  • Design for manufacturing and manufacturing feedback to design: building systems that provide feedback to engineering and design.

After a design is complete, it is passed to a production facility. Here, a setup and process plan is prepared along with descriptions of machine setups. The setup descriptions and the stock material are sent to the manufacturing workstations that automatically assemble the part into the fixtures. The manufacturing step is completed for that setup and for all subsequent setups, until the final part is correct and complete.

Setup, fixture, sensing and process planning: research projects to plan all aspects of a particular manufacturing process.

Sensor fusion: a research project to extract and combine information from many different sensors (e.g., acoustic emission, accelerometers, and vision) based on the task description.

Real-time, distributed coordination: a research project to develop general methods for solving problems in a distributed environment, where each system has its own set of goals.

Environment modeling: a research project to completely describe the work environment and to provide geometrical support services to other systems.

And finally, we are building the hardware environment that will sufficiently structure the environment to permit the automated production of one-off production quality parts.

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