Ivan Ivanovich Artobolevsky (September 26 [October 9], 1905, Moscow, Russian Empire – September 21, 1977, Moscow Oblast, USSR) was a Soviet mechanical scientist, specialist in the theory of mechanisms and machines; member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Hero of Socialist Labor (1969). He was the Chairman of the Board of the All-Union Society “Znanie” (1966-77).

He was born in the family of priest. In 1938 his father – Ivan Alexeevich Artobolevsky – was shot.

In 1926 he graduated from the K.A. Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural Academy. In 1927 he graduated from the Mathematics Department of the Moscow State University’s Physics and Mathematics Faculty.

Since 1927 he worked as a teacher. From 1932 to 1949 he was professor at Moscow State University (first at the Department of Theoretical Mechanics). In 1941 he organized at the Mechanical and Mathematical Department of MSU (together with Bulgakov) the Department of Applied Mechanics, and was acting head of this department from 1941 to 1944. He read the annual course “Applied Mechanics” mandatory for all Mechanical Engineering students[1].

From 1937 he also worked at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering of the USSR Academy of Sciences; from 1942 he was Professor of the Moscow Aviation Institute.

In 1939 he was elected a corresponding member and in 1946 a full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

During the Great Patriotic War he was a chairman of All-Union Scientific Society of Machine Engineers (VNITOMASH).

Since 1947 he was deputy chairman, since 1966 – chairman of All-Union Society “Znanie”.

He was the deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of the 7th-9th convocations.

In 1956 he was a member of the USSR National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (1956).

In 1969 he initiated the organization of the International Federation of Theory of Machines and Mechanisms (IFTM), which had 45 member countries and was several times elected its president.

Graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the K.A. Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in 1926. I. I. Artobolevsky received the title of the agricultural mechanical engineer. His teachers at the Academy were such outstanding scientists as Academician V. P. Goryachkin and Professor N. I. Mertsalov. V. P. Goryachkin, the founder of the new science of agricultural mechanics, had a great influence on further scientific work of Artobolevsky. He worked under his supervision as a mechanic, a laboratory assistant and a research assistant and acquired much valuable knowledge and experience in the field of machines dynamics and experimental research. N. I. Mertsalov greatly deepened his interest in kinematic geometry; later, on his advice, Artobolevsky took a full course in Physics and Mathematics Department of Moscow University.

After graduating from the Agricultural Academy, I. I. Artobolevsky worked as an assistant at the Applied Mechanics Department of the Moscow Textile Institute, from 1928 – Associate Professor of the Moscow Electromechanical Institute, from 1929 to 1931 – Head of the Technical Mechanics Department of D. I. Mendeleev Chemical Technology Institute. After his confirmation as a professor in 1932, I. I. Artobolevsky was teaching for many years at the Zhukov Military Academy of Air Force. Zhukovsky Air Academy and the Moscow University. In 1932-1943 he was the head of the Department of Theory of Mechanisms and Machines at the Moscow Institute of Chemical Engineering, and then he was the head of the Department of TMM in the Moscow Aviation Institute for more than thirty years.

During his work in different institutes of higher education I.I. Artobolevskiy prepared and taught the courses on theory of mechanisms and machines, synthesis of mechanisms, dynamics of machines, general theory of vibrations, theory of control of machines, equilibration of aircraft and marine engines, theory of agricultural machines, theory of spatial mechanisms, theory of automatic machines, etc. During the scientific development of education process methods I. I. Artobolevskiy already in the 30th prepared the “Summary of the course of applied mechanics” (Moscow Institute of Chemical Engineering, 1931), he gave an article “Reconstructing the system of studying kinematics and dynamics of machines” (newspaper “Technique”, 1932), developed one of the first programs of the course “Theory of mechanisms and machines” (MSU, 1934), published in two parts the textbook on this course (MIHM, 1937-1938).

In parallel with his teaching activities, during these years I.I. Artobolevskiy was working intensively in the field of the structure and kinematics of planar and spatial mechanisms, was involved in force analysis, the theory of balancing of machines, the study of motion of mechanisms, the calculation of flyweights, he wrote works on the approximate and exact synthesis of mechanisms, began to develop the basis for the theory of machines-automates. In 1936, for his great achievements in scientific development of problems of mechanism theory, the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences awarded to I.I. Artobolevsky the scientific degree of the Doctor of technical sciences without a dissertation defence.

Since the establishment of the Commission for Machine Learning in the Department of Engineering Sciences I. I. Artobolevsky was its permanent member; together with E. A. Chudakov he put a lot of effort and energy into the organization of a research institute on the basis of this commission.

Since 1938 up to his last days of life, the scientific activity of I. I. Artobolevsky was directly connected to the Institute for Machine Science. Since the foundation of the Institute he was the permanent head of the Department of Theory of Mechanisms and Machines. In the pre-war period, up to the evacuation of the Institute to Kazan, he was the deputy director of IMASH for scientific work.

On the basis of the Institute of Machine History, I.I. Artobolevskiy created the standing Seminar on Theory of Mechanisms and Machines, for which he was the scientific supervisor for almost forty years. IMASH and the Seminar on Theory of Mechanisms and Machines became organizers and coordinators of the most important works in the field of theory of machines and mechanisms carried out in the USSR; at the same time, on this basis, highly qualified scientific personnel were trained. Under the guidance of I. I. Artobolevskiy, more than 100 scientific workers defended their PhD theses, more than 30 of his pupils became Doctors of Science. For many years, he was an editor-in-chief and chairman of the editorial board of the “Proceedings of the Seminar on Theory of Mechanisms and Machines” (since 1962, “Theory of Machines and Mechanisms”; since 1966, “Mechanics of Machines”).
Already in the 30s, carrying out investigations of various mechanisms, I. I. Artobolevsky came to conclusions, on the basis of which he developed a system of unified classification of mechanisms, the beginnings of which he discovered in the works of L. V. Assur, and then broadly developed and presented in generalized form in “The bases of unified classification of mechanisms” (1939). It also became the basis for the fundamental course “Theory of Mechanisms and Machines”, which was published in 1940 and then repeatedly republished.

The methods of structural analysis of mechanisms and the classification suggested by I.I. Artobolevsky became the basis for developing and improving the methods of kinematic and kinetostatic analysis of complex multi-link flat mechanisms. At the same time, I. I. Artobolevsky conducted extensive studies of spatial mechanisms, which he generalized in his monograph “The Theory of Spatial Mechanisms”. Fundamentally new in the theory of these mechanisms were questions posed later by I. I. Artobolevsky not only on kinematics, but also on dynamics of systems with many degrees of freedom, which is especially important in development of such new structures as robots, manipulators, stepping machines.

I. I. Artobolevskiy had carried out a lot of research in the field of mechanism dynamics, in particular, in calculation of flywheels for machine units, in equilibration of mechanisms with complicated kinematic diagrams on foundations, in dynamic analysis of mechanisms with variable link masses, etc. The methods of dynamic analysis of mechanisms with a variable mass, developed by I.I. Artobolevsky and his pupils in 1950-60s, were widely used in the design of road construction machines, winding devices and metallurgical machines. With his direct participation, such an important direction of modern machine science as acoustic dynamics of machines emerged and began to develop.

Academician I.I. Artobolevskiy’s research was also fruitful in the theory of automatic machines. The beginning of this work was the collective two-volume monograph “Methods of Analysis of Automatic Machines”. The development of methods of structural, kinematic and kinetostatic analysis of automatic machines and the methods of their energy evaluation prepared the transition in the 50-60s to the solution of much more complex tasks – optimization of synthesis of technological machines for different purposes.
The range of scientific interests of I. I. Artobolevsky was always exceptionally wide. Apart from the above-mentioned directions, he was involved in the investigation of the vibration shock and vibration systems, machine control theory, and machine diagnostics in medicine. With his direct participation at the Vishnevsky Institute of Surgery. The Laboratory of Medical Cybernetics was established with his direct participation at the Vishnevsky Institute of Surgery, successfully developing the problems of computer-assisted disease diagnostics.

The tremendous intensity of Artobolevsky’s scientific and literary-publishing activity is indicated by the fact that he is the author of about 1000 printed works. Among them are already mentioned major researches and such capital works as “Mechanism Synthesis” (1944), the reference manual in four volumes “Mechanisms” (1947-1951), “Mechanism Theory for reproduction of plane curves” (1959), and fundamental five-volume edition “Mechanisms in Modern Technology” (1970-1976).

I.I. Artobolevsky’s scientific-organizational activity has always been distinguished by high activity and purposefulness. He organized and headed the Scientific Council on Theory of Machines and Machine Systems and the Scientific Council on Theory and Principles of Robots and Manipulators. In 60 70-s he significantly enlarged and activated his activities the Seminar on Theory of Mechanisms and Machines headed by I.I. Artobolevski, which nowadays counts 18 branches and sections in different cities of the USSR and unites many scientists, specialists, teachers of higher education.

Since 1954, on the initiative and under the guidance of I. I. Artobolevskiy, the All-Union Meetings on the main problems of the theory of machines and mechanisms were held in the Soviet Union every three years. Results of scientific research were comprehensively discussed at these representative scientific forums, activities of some research centers in the country were coordinated, new directions of works in the field of machine mechanics were outlined.

Deeply aware of a great and fruitful role that international contacts and exchanges play for the Soviet and world science, Academician I.I. Artobolevsky put much effort and energy in bringing together the scientists from different countries working in the field of theory of machines and mechanisms. He was one of the founders of the International Federation of the Theory of Machines and Mechanisms (IFTM). During the first constituent General Assembly of the IFTOMM, which was held in 1969 in Zakopane (Poland), I. I. Artobolevskij with his colleagues delivered the reports “Some General Problems of Modern Automatic Machines Theory”, “Fundamentals of the Theory of Automatic Rotor Machines Systems”, and “Basic Problems of Acoustic Machine Dynamics”. At the meeting of the Executive Board of the IPTOMM I. I. Artobolevsky was elected president of this international organization and remained its president for eight years, until 1977.

I. I. Artobolevsky was well known for his public activities both in the field of science and public, political and cultural life of the country. In 1945-1951 he was the Chairman of the All-Union Scientific Engineering Society of Machine Builders, in 1957-1964 he was the Chairman of the Board of the Society “Znanie” of the RSFSR, from 1961 he was the Vice President of the Institute of the Soviet-American Relations, from 1965 – Vice President of the World Federation of Scientific Workers. Together with Academician S. I. Vavilov and other prominent scientists, he was the initiator of creation of the All-Union Society “Znanie”, and from 1966 until the last days of his life he was the Chairman of its Board.

The scientific and social activity of I. I. Artobolevsky was highly appreciated and recognized by the state. He was awarded the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor, five orders of Lenin, other orders and medals. Three times he was elected Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and since July 1974 he was a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Long-term scientific researches of I.I. Artobolevsky, his scientific, organizational and public activities had brought him worldwide fame. In 1967, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers of Great Britain awarded him the James Watt Medal – the world’s highest award for mechanical engineers. The World Peace Council awarded him the Jubilee Silver Medal of Joliot Curie for his active participation in the peace movement. Academician I. I. Artobolevsky was a foreign member of several foreign academies of sciences, an honorary doctor of several universities, an honorary member of the International Academy of History of Science.