STTR Phase II: Advanced Virtual Manufacturing Lab for Research, Training and Education

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Advanced Science and Automation Corp. (ASA Corp.)
5980 West 71st Street, Suite 202, Indianapolic, IN, 46278
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Tamer Wasfy
(757) 469-6839
Business Contact:
Tamer Wasfy
(757) 469-6839
Research Institution:
Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ.
Hazim El-Mounayri
620 Union Drive
Indianapolis, IN, 46202
(317) 278-3320
Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer ( STTR) Phase II project proposes the creation of an Advanced Virtual Manufacturing Lab (AVML) for training and education on high-tech CNC machines. The key elements of the AVML are: (a) textured 3D photo-realistic virtual models of the machines and lab that include the machines' controls and moving parts; (b) semi-empirical model of the machining operation; (c) hierarchical knowledge-base for process training; (d) unstructured knowledge-base for lecture delivery; (e) natural-language human-like intelligent virtual tutors. In this phase of the research, the AVML will be completed by adding more capabilities, including 5-axis milling and collision detection between the tool and the machine, and enhancing the accuracy and completeness of the machining operation model. Furthermore, the AVML will be enhanced by incorporating Conversational Programming, different types of machine controllers, and two additional types of machines: CNC lathe and production-grade 5-axes milling machine. Pilot implementations will be conducted at a university and two community colleges. Applications of AVML include: training students to operate manufacturing machines in a safe environment, allowing students and researchers to view and interact with a near-physically accurate simulation of manufacturing machines, and optimization of the manufacturing process plan by testing various plans on the virtual machine before machining on the physical machine. Manufacturing drives innovation and is a powerful engine of economic growth. However, US manufacturers face a shortage of workers to run tomorrow's factories. The AVML will enhance the quality, accessibility, and productivity of manufacturing education and training and will advance scientific discovery and engineering analysis of manufacturing processes. Also, The AVML will enhance experimentation and learning, increase student creativity and problem-solving capability, enhance collaboration among students, teachers, and industry experts, and promote participation and equal access of underrepresented groups to manufacturing technology training. Most potential manufacturing workers do not have access to state-of-the-art manufacturing labs that can provide the required training. The AVML will enable such access. This success, in turn, will strengthen US manufacturers' competitiveness and further important US national interests.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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