University of Delaware, Mechatronics

This page was last modified on Wed 26 Apr 1995

An Introduction to Mechatronic Design CISC 667-010

William Harwin

The Syllabus for 1995 may change slightly but these changes will be documented here. A 1994 syllabus is also given for comparison since the structure of the course changes from year to year.

I hope to arrange information to be on line as well as via a mechatronics data book. This is experimental so please let me know what works and what doesn't


Lectures will be on Wednesdays at 2.30 unless otherwise indicated.

Class of 95

Typically a class day consists of an hour of lectures followed by two hours laboratory time when I will be available to help in what ever way possible. Additional time outside this period will also be required, preferably not all in one night to meet the next deadline.

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Mechatronics is the intersection set of computer, electronic and mechanical engineering. This course will


Theoretical component:

Theory covered in this course will include a revision of basic electronics, mechanics and computing. Additional theory in these areas will be given but due to the breath of the field it will be primarily intended to assist students with the project phases of this course. The student will also be introduced to engineering design principles and shown how design tools can be used to improve the process of taking an idea for a mechatronic product to a workable prototype.

Introductory design exercise:

Groups of 3 will be formed to design and build a small walking robot. The robots will be tested in a number of informal events. Rules are given in the syllabus.

Product dissection

A commercial mechatronic product will be reverse engineered and features of its design will be analyses.

Primary design project:

Larger groups will be formed to design and prototype a more substantial mechatronic device. In 1993 this was a mobile robot that was able to navigate the corridors of a building. In 1994 the design exercise was a novel computer mouse that could be used to feel the walls and openings of the virtual world it occupied.

This years design will be a 3 Degree of freedom haptic display using motors and magnetic particle brakes. It time permits we will use this to control a wheelchair mounted rehabilitation robot

Required Background:

The following are a guideline rather than strict course prerequisites.

Computing -
Ability to program, preferably in C and Basic. Knowledge of boolean logic.

Electrical -
What batteries and resistors are (Ohms law),
ability to follow a simple electrical circuit.

Mechanics -
Basic vector arithmetic applied to forces,
ability to distinguish between a force and a moment,
understanding of the basic workings of levers, pulleys etc.

Personal -
Enthusiasm, ability to work both independently and in a team. This is not an easy course and a sense of humor helps.

Recent Instructors: William Harwin and Richard Foulds [Spring~93, Spring~94]

Please note, because of the multi-disciplinary nature of this course it is recommended that you talk to the instructors before signing up. Also the Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories are an off campus site. Some work can be done on campus but the class will meet once a week at the Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories.

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