This paper adapts an Ant Colony intelligent Optimization algorithm (ACO) to four design problems important in Mechatronics applications: (1) Stress- and volume minimization of a helical compression spring subject to a set of geometrical and stress constraints for material volume minimization, (2) tuning the gains of a PID-controller for a second-order plant with a transport lag, (3) design of a planetary gear leg of a walking machine for a desired straight line trajectory and driving actuator torque, and (4) synthesis of four-bar mechanisms. A brief overview of the ACO algorithm is first presented and its adaptation to each design problem is explained and demonstrated by way of examples that have been solved by other optimization techniques for comparison. In all four examples, the ACO algorithm produced better results in terms of cost-function values while satisfying all necessary constraints.

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