Dr. Chia-han (John) Yang joined Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS) of UTS in 2013 and has since been a core member working on "Development of a Deployable Climbing Robot for the SHB Inspection and Condition Assessment" project.
He completed Bachelor of Commerce (Operations Management) and Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) conjoint degree from University of Auckland in 2006. He then received his Ph.D degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from University of Auckland in 2011.
His main research interests include robotics, software development, automation and distributed control systems.
- AEEA Engineering Innovation Excellence Award Winner (2016)
- Australia Engineering Excellence Award (AEEA Sydney 2016) Winner in Occupational Health and Safety and High Commendation in Control Systems, Networks, Information Processing and Telecommunications
- The Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards Winner in Industrial Application Category (APICTA 2015)
- Safework NSW Awards Winner (2015) – Best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue
- iAwards National Merit Recipient (2015) for New Product category
- iAwards NSW Merit Recipient (2015) for New Product category
- BuildIT PhD scholarship (2010 New Zealand National Scholarship)
- GFSS scholarship towards PhD degree (2007–2009 University of Auckland, Engineering Faculty Scholarship)
- Doctoral Completion Awards (2011 University of Auckland)
- 1st Class Honours in BE (2006)
- Industry Prize for the best Part IV project in Control Systems category (2006)
Robotics, Software Development, Distributed Control Systems, Automation Systems, Autonomous System, Path Planning, Computing
Yang, C-H, Vyatkin, V & Pang, C 2014, 'Model-Driven Development of Control Software for Distributed Automation: A Survey and an Approach', IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 292-305.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper presents a survey on model-driven design and validation approaches for distributed automation and control systems with essentially decentralized logic. Driven by the goals of flexibility and performance improvement, researchers have explored several approaches to distributed systems design, including multiagent systems, middleware, and distributed component architectures. This also results in several international standards and reference architectures, such as IEC 61499, OpenRTM, IEC 61804, etc. Verification and validation of distributed systems is another grand challenge. This survey presents methods of using traditional and novel modeling and simulation tools in the context of distributed systems. In particular, this paper then focuses on the developments related to IEC 61499 standard, which displays a range of research directions that aim to fill the gaps in the distributed systems modeling, implementation, and validation.
Yang, CH, Zhabelova, G, Yang, CW & Vyatkin, V 2013, 'Cosimulation Environment for Event-Driven Distributed Controls of Smart Grid', IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 1423-1435.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper proposes a cosimulation environment for 'hardware in the loop' or 'software in the loop' validation of distributed controls in a Smart Grid. The controls are designed using model-driven engineering with the IEC 61499 Function Block architecture. These are connected with plant models, for example, in Matlab/Simulink, through communication channels such as UDP or TCP sockets. This solution enables multi-closed-loop plant-controller simulation. The communication between plant and controller is event-driven. In order to perform a realistic simulation, the proposed solution takes into account computation and communication delays on the controller side in Function Blocks and compensates model time on the plant side in Matlab model accordingly. Causality and accuracy of the method have been formally addressed. This approach has been tested and demonstrated with several Smart Grid-related examples.
Yang, C & Vyatkin, V 2012, 'Transformation of Simulink models to IEC 61499 Function Blocks for verification of distributed control systems', Control Engineering Practice, vol. 20, no. 12, pp. 1259-1269.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In this paper, a new model-based engineering approach is introduced by bridging MATLAB Simulink with IEC61499 Function Block models. This is achieved by a transformation between the two block-diagram languages. The transformation supported by the developed tools sets the cornerstone of the verification and validation framework for IEC 61499 Function Blocks in closed-loop with the models of the plant. The framework also paves the way to running distributed simulations of complex hybrid (i.e., continuous-discrete) closed-loop plant-controller systems and building complex models using the efficient object instantiation techniques of IEC 61499
Yang, C & Vyatkin, V 2009, 'Automated Model Transformation between MATLAB Simulink/Stateflow and IEC 61499 Function Blocks', IFAC Proceedings Volumes, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 205-210.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Vyatkin, V, Hanisch, HM, Pang, C & Yang, CH 2009, 'Closed-loop modeling in future automation system engineering and validation', IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part C: Applications and Reviews, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 17-28.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper presents a new framework for design and validation of industrial automation systems based on systematic application of formal methods. The engineering methodology proposed in this paper is based on the component design of automated manufacturing systems from intelligent mechatronic components. Foundations of such components'information infrastructure are the new IEC 61499 architecture and the automation object concept. It is illustrated in this paper how these architectures, in conjunction with other advanced technologies, such as Unified Modeling Language, Simulink, and net condition/event systems, form a framework that enables pick-and-place design, simulation, formal verification, and deployment with the support of a suite of software tools. The key feature of the framework is the inherent support of formal validation techniques achieved on account of automated transformation among different system models. The paper appeals to developers of automation systems and automation software tools via showing the pathway to improve the system development practices by combining several design and validation methodologies and technologies. © 2008 IEEE.
Yang, C, Paul, G, Ward, P & Liu, D 2016, 'A Path Planning Approach Via Task-Objective Pose Selection with Application to an Inchworm-Inspired Climbing Robot', IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, AIM, IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, IEEE, Banff, Canada, pp. 401-406.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper presents a stepping path planning
approach for a climbing robot inspired kinematically from
an inchworm caterpillar's looping locomotion. This approach
generates an optimised multi-step path to traverse through
space and to land a specific footpad onto a selected point on
a surface with a specific footpad orientation. The candidate
landing joint configuration for each step is generated by a pose
selection process, using an optimisation technique with task-
objective functions based on the constraints of the robot. Then
another technique is used to obtain a new set of poses satisfying
strict constraints of the landing motion. The set of candidate
landing poses is used to compute the subsequent steps. A valid
motion trajectory, which avoids all obstacles, can be generated
by a point-to-point planner for each of the landing poses from
the current pose. This single step planning technique is then
expanded to multi-step path planning by building a search
tree, where a combination of steps is evaluated and optimised
by a cost function, which includes objectives related to robot
movement. This approach is implemented and validated on
the climbing robot in real-world steel bridge environments.
The planner successfully finds multi-step paths in these field
trials enabling the robot to traverse through several complex
structures inside the bridge steel box girders.
Paul, G, Quin, P, Yang, C & Liu, D 2015, 'Key Feature-Based Approach for Efficient Exploration of Structured Environments', Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, IEEE, Zhuhai, China, pp. 90-95.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper presents an exploration approach for robots to determine sensing actions that facilitate the building of surface maps of structured partially-known environments. This approach uses prior knowledge about key environmental features to rapidly generate an estimate of the rest of the environment. Specifically, in order to quickly detect key features, partial surface patches are used in combination with pose optimisation to select a pose from a set of nearest neighbourhood candidates, from which to make an observation of the surroundings. This paper enables the robot to greedily search through a sequence of nearest neighbour poses in configuration space, then converge upon poses from which key features can best be observed. The approach is experimentally evaluated and found to result in significantly fewer exploration steps compared to alternative approaches.
Ward, PK, Manamperi, P, Brooks, P, Mann, P, Kaluarachchi, W, Matkovic, L, Paul, G, Yang, C, Quin, P, Pagano, D, Liu, D, Waldron, K & Dissanayake, G 2014, 'Climbing Robot for Steel Bridge Inspection: Design Challenges', Proceedings for the Austroads Publications Online, Austroads Bridge Conference, ARRB Group, New South Wales, pp. 1-13.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Inspection of bridges often requires high risk operations such as working at heights, in confined spaces, in hazardous environments; or sites inaccessible by humans. There is significant motivation for robotic solutions which can carry out these inspection tasks. When inspection robots are deployed in real world inspection scenarios, it is inevitable that unforeseen challenges will be encountered.
Since 2011, the New South Wales Roads & Maritime Services and the Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems at the University of Technology, Sydney, have been working together to develop an innovative climbing robot to inspect high risk locations on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Many engineering challenges have been faced throughout the development of several prototype climbing robots, and through field trials in the archways of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This paper will highlight some of the key challenges faced in designing a climbing robot for inspection, and then present an inchworm inspired robot which addresses many of these challenges.
C. h. Yang & V. Vyatkin 2010, 'Model transformation between MATLAB simulink and Function Blocks', 2010 8th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics, 2010 8th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics, pp. 1130-1135.
C. h. Yang & V. Vyatkin 2008, 'Design and validation of distributed control with decentralized intelligence in process industries: A survey', 2008 6th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics, 2008 6th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics, pp. 1395-1400.