Virtual Seminar: Process-Embedded Sensing and Machine Learning for Smart Manufacturing


Robert X. Gao, Ph.D.

Cady Staley Professor and Chair

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Case Western Reserve University


As the fundamental building blocks of Industry 4.0, sensing and artificial intelligence have played a critical role in advancing the state-of-manufacturing. The ability in acquiring data in real-time and extracting clues from data to guide the action of assistive infrastructure such as robots is essential to enhancing process control and production planning.

This seminar highlights research on manufacturing process-embedded sensing and machine learning for smart manufacturing, illustrated in two examples. The first one highlights the design and characterization of a capacitance-based pressure sensor array with wireless microelectronics for online texture geometry measurement in microrolling. The second example illustrates machine learning techniques for the recognition of current and prediction of future actions of human operators during assembly operations, which are the prerequisites for human-robot collaborative assembly. The presentation highlights the potential of use-inspired fundamental research on smart manufacturing.

Robert Gao is the Cady Staley Professor of Engineering and Department Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since receiving his Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany in 1991, he has been working on physics-based sensing methods, stochastic modeling and machine learning techniques for improving the observability of dynamical systems such as manufacturing equipment and processes to ultimately improve process and product quality control.

Prof. Gao is a Fellow of the ASME, IEEE, SME, and CIRP (International Academy for Production Engineering). He published more than 170 journal articles and holds 13 patents. He is a recipient of the SME Eli Whitney Productivity Award, ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award, IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society’s Technical Award, IEEE Best Application in Instrumental and Measurement Award, and NSF CAREER award. He is a Senior Editor for the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics.