Source: The Johannes-Kepler University in Linz,
Theses on the Subject "Mechatronic"
The historical development of technical science has led to a specialization
of teaching and research. Characteristic of this is the current course plans
for the study of mechanical and electrical/electronic engineering.
The extreme specialization in the education of mechanical, electrical and
electronic engineers is reflected in the work methodologies of many project
and construction departments: the planning and design occurs within strictly
defined areas of specialization, not over the system as a whole, which
consists of a collection of mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and electronic
subsystems, bound together and controlled by some computational process.
Innovations that extend the current technical possibilities are only
What is to be understood by the term Mechatronic?
Mechatronic is the totality of fundamentals, procedures and techniques for the service, production and development of future-oriented machines, devices and installations. Mechatronic is thus an interdisciplinary technical discipline, built upon the basis of classical mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering, binding these sciences not only with one another, but also with computer science and software engineering. As a central focus is the integral development of systems from technical components ("Mecha''), which are to be intelligently controlled ("tronic''). A system composed of mechanical and electrical parts, overlaid with sensors, which record information, microprocessors, which interpret, process and analyse the information, and assemblies which then react upon this information, thus becomes a complete mechatronic system. The terminology "Mechatronic'' has existed since about 1980 in Japan, apparently the imprint of an employee of the Yasukawa Company. The actual collection of subjects and ideas that make up mechatronics, however, is not new: in the aerospace industries, for example, they have existed and been successful for quite some time. The development of economical computational power and intelligent power electronics is the main reason that this interdisciplinary point of view has been used for the development of new products outside the scope of aerospace. A range of examples might include automatic video cameras, the CD player, the modern photocopier, the user-friendly Fuzzy-logic washing machine, the car engine with emission sensors and computer controlled injection. Upon further investigation of these examples, one finds that the mutual penetration of these sciences in industrial applications does not simply bring about improvements in products, but actually leads to completely new solutions. It would be however false to believe that mechatronics is only for high tech products. Mechatronic solutions to problems are to be found throughout the spectrum of engineering fields.
Source: Institute for Mechatronics, University of Chemnitz, Germany.
What is Mechatronics
Interdisciplinary High Tech Research Field, that links the following Fields:
Source: University of Sydney, Australia
What is Mechatronics, Anyway?
Mechatronics has been defined as the synergistic integration of mechanical devices, electronics and software. Mechatronics is viewed as encompassing topics ranging from embedded microprocessor control of "intelligent" products, to robotics and manufacturing automation. It is associated particularly with the enhancement of products, machinery and processes with electronics and computers. Mechatronics has allowed entirely new classes of machinery (such as photocopiers, car antiskid braking systems, etc.) to be created.
The addition of some inexpensive electronics and a simple computer can radically change the functionality of a machine. As an example, consider a mechatronic clothes dryer. What is the function of a clothers dryer? To dry clothes, of course. Then, instead of running the dryer for a set time, let the machine measure the moisture content of the exhaust air, and turn itself off as soon as the clothers are dry. The mechatronic dryer saves energy, and wear & tear on your clothes. As a further refinement, the dryer can turn the clothes over every few minutes so that they don't become creased before they can be removed.
Our undergraduate degree concentrates on educating young engineers to use existing and emerging technologies to solve practical problems.
In research, we are interested in areas that combine mechanics, electronics, control and software, and involve new theory, experimental work and/or hardware development. Of particular interest to us are the fields of autonomous robot vehicles, sensing and control, and the application of microprocessors in "intelligent" machinery (a large field!!).
IntroductionMechatronics combines mechanical engineering, electronics and computing. It is the enabling technology of computer-automated manufacturing through the use of robots and automated machine tools. Mechatronics may concern individual machines such as robots, or manufacturing systems automated in their entirety.
Mechatronic engineers use computers and other digital control systems to control industrial processes. They bring electronic, material and mechanical sciences together with robotics, manufacturing and packaging techniques to create a diverse range of products.
These range from everyday products such as washing machines, cameras, photocopiers and anti-lock car brakes, to miniaturised substitutes for human organs, to powerful and precise computer-controlled machine tools used in manufacturing.
This course was the first of its kind in Australia, and is in high demand by local and overseas students.
Major Subject AreasMajor subject areas in our Mechatronic Engineering degree are:
Specialisation in the final years of the degree can involve:
Source: Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Mecha...what?Recently a technical committee on mechatronics (R. Comerford, Mecha...what?, Spectrum, August 1994.) adopted the following definition:
Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronic control and system thinking in the design of products and manufacturing processes.
Pragmatically, japanese engineers call mechatronics:
The way of designing subsystems of electromechanical products to ensure optimum system performance.
For sure, mechatronics is an area where true concurrent engineering methodology can be fully exploited to guarantee the best final results.
Source: University of Darmstadt, Germany
Today, innovations are evolving from combination of different technologies. Microelectronics, mechanics, optics and software interact when technical systems of our times become reality. Education and research at the Institute for Mechatronics are heeding these circumstances.
The Institute for Mechatronics is sited in the department of communication engineering at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt. Research and education are tightly coupled as the students' projects are directly involved with research. Research work is done in the following fields:
A central point in the education are the "project-seminars" where teams of four students and a professional engineer are developing and realising a new device. Significant in the seminars is teamwork on solving scientific and technical projects, guide lining for design methodology, presentation and the documentation of the results. The themes for project-seminars and other projects are usually evolving from the research or industrial partners.
The students are allowed to set their own aspects in education, due to the flexibility of the study. After a given guideline almost two thirds of the courses can be chosen in the area of communication, control and mechanical engineering, physics and mathematics, economics and social science. The ability to break into new areas is improved by interdisciplinary courses.