The word “Mechatronics” was created by combining the words “Mechanical” and “Electronics”. Mechatronics products are those where mechanical and electronic components are tightly integrated and one must consider both aspects in the design and performance of the product. As microprocessors and sensors become even more widespread, Mechanical Engineers need to become familiar with integrating electronics into mechanical designs. Mechatronics projects by their nature are multidisciplinary projects; effective performance requires close integration of mechanical design, electronics, and software. Multidisciplinary projects are at the leading edge of many technological breakthroughs, and developing skills to work on such projects is an especially valuable. For these reasons, we have chosen to use a Mechatronics project in MAE156A as a vehicle for learning design.
In the MAE156A Mechatronics projects emphasis will be placed on:
Understanding and modeling each individual component.
Comparing theoretical predictions to actual performance.
Optimizing a system guided by theory and experimental results.