ECE 456/556: Mechatronics

The study of electro-mechanical systems controlled by microcontroller technology. The theory, design and construction of smart systems; closely coupled and fully integrated products and systems. The synergistic integration of mechanisms, materials, sensors, interfaces, actuators, microcontrollers, and information technology.

Reference book (optional)

David G. Alciatore, Michael B. Histand, Introduction to Mechatronics and Measurement Systems, 4th Edition, McGraw Hill, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0-07-338023-0.

Bolton, Mechatronics: Electronic Control Systems in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, 4/e, Prentice Hall, 2009, ISBN 978-0132407632.


Grading Scheme

The course materials can be classified into basic material (95%), recommended materials (4%), and optional materials (1%). Exam and homework will be based mainly on the basic material. Recommended materials will be presented once a while for your entertainment, and optional materials will be presented once a long while for your imaginations.

A.  Homework:                                                                                        15%

B.  Lab                                                                                                    10%

C.  1st Exam:                                                                                           25%

D.  2nd Exam:                                                                                           25%

E.   Project:                                                                                              25%

The problems of both exams will be based mainly on lecture materials and the textbook.

Your Class Grade = MAX {Relative standing, Absolute standing}, where

(a) Relative standing

The whole class grade will be “curved” and your grade will be based on your relative standing in the class.

(b) Absolute standing (AS – average score)

A+: AS ³ 98% A: 98%> AS ³ 92% A-: 92%> AS ³ 90%
B+: 90% > AS ³ 88% B: 88% > AS ³ 82% B-: 82% > AS ³ 80%
C+: 80% > AS ³ 78% C: 78% > AS ³ 72% C-: 72% > AS ³ 70%
D+: 70% > AS ³ 68% D: 68% > AS ³ 62% D: 62% > AS ³ 60%
F: 60% > AS


ECE 456/556 Goals and Expectations of the Instructor


The Learning Goals:

  • Expose students to several “Basic Mechatronics Concepts and Techniques”.
  • Learn how to use Mechatronics via microprocessor based PID control for Autonomous Vehicle control (class project).
  • Learn and have hands-on experience of Mechatronics and Control.


Expectations of the Students in the Class

  • As reported in many education literatures, students on the average need to spend three hours per week to study a one-credit hour course. Thus, you are expected to spend at least nine hours/week to study for this course.
  • You are expected to work hard in the course and to be challenged by the materials. I hold high standards for your academic achievements.
  • Do reading assignment before attending each class.
  • You are expected to regularly attend lectures.
  • Do your own homework (i.e., don’t copy from other students’ work).
  • Turn in your homework according to the submission system deadline. Late homework will be penalized by taking 30% off of the homework grade for each day that they are late.
  • Try hard to solve the technical problems by yourself (with a lot of joy); if unsuccessful, discuss the problems among classmates (teamwork spirit); if still unsuccessful, ask help from the instructor or the TA (that is why we are here).
  • Smile and be enthusiastic.


Rewards to the Students

  • You will achieve all the goals listed previously.



ECE 456/556: Mechatronics Syllabus


1. Introduction

1.1       Basic concepts of Mechatronics

1.2       Examples and applications

1.3       EV3 as the testbed

2. Sensors

2.1       Performance terminology

2.2       Static and dynamic characteristic

2.3       Touch sensor

2.4       Color sensor

2.5       Ultrasonic sensor

2.4       Encoder

3. Signal Conditioning

3.1       Basic concept

3.2       Some basic operational amplifier circuit design

3.3       Sampling

3.4       A/D converters

3.5       D/A converters

3.6       Multiplexers


4. Actuators

4.1       Dc motor modeling

4.2       Dc motor steady-state operations

4.3       Pulse width modulation

4.4       Solid-state switches

4.5       H-circuits

4.6       Dc motor dynamics operations

4.7       Speakers


5.    System Integration and Control

5.1      System order

5.2      Control system performance

5.3      Steady-state errors

5.4      Dynamic responses

5.5      Proportional, Derivative, and Integral controller

5.6      PID gain tuning


6.    Project

6.1      Unmanned vehicle

6.2      Microcontrollers

6.3      System integration

6.4      Control algorithm design