Course 5: Mechatronics - Foundations and Applications
Introduction to Mechatronics and Mechatronics in Real Life
Maria Popovchenko May 29, 2006
Abstract Mechatronics is a natural choice for explaining a process that seeks, from the outset, to generate deﬁnitive engineering system solutions, which are inextricably bound by those integrating technologies associated with the inveteratemechanical, electronic and computer based disciplines. Mechatronics opens up enormous technological possibilities, as already evidenced by the appearance of sophisticated products like ever-smaller camcorders and compact disc players. These would never have been plausible by adopting a traditional single disciplinary or combinational approach. By deﬁnition, then, Mechatronics is not a subject, science ortechnology per se - it is instead to be regarded as a philosophy - a fundamental way of looking at and doing things, and by its very nature requires a uniﬁed approach to its delivery. The traditional western approach has relied on single discipline identities and evolutionary solutions based on bolt-on technology. On the other hand, Mechatronics solutions require the use of integrated teams ofpersonnel working towards a common goal. Thus the Mechatronics engineer identiﬁes with systems thinking, and a philosophy that lies behind it all. A Mechatronics ’product’ derived through systematic, rather than piecemeal processing. It, therefore, seeks to optimize an ’engineered’ solution rather than compromise it. Mechatronics philosophy adequately describes the process by which it is achieved.This insight quite naturally lends itself to the concept of ’total quality’, something that western industrialized nations have only in the last decade or so come to aspire to. But for Mechatronics, quality is already implied by the way in which system based solutions are to be sought, and the methodologies used for achieving it. It is hoped that industry and commerce will similarly come to respectand aspire to Mechatronics for what it stands for - total synergy.
1 Introduction 2 Principles of Mechatronic Systems Construction 3 Modern Trends of Mechatronic Systems Development 4 Levels of Mechatronic Systems’ Integration 5 Career Paths in Mechatronics 3 6 9 11 12
The word mechatronics was ﬁrst introduced by the senior engineer of a Japanesecompany ; Yaskawa, in 1969, as a combination of ”mecha” of mechanisms and ”tronics” of electronics, and the company was granted trademark rights on the word in 1971. The word soon received broad acceptance in industry and, in order to allow its free use, Yaskawa decided to abandon his rights on the word in 1982. The word has taken a wider meaning since then, and is now widely used as a technicaljargon word to describe a philosophical idea in engineering technology, more than technology itself. For this wider concept of mechatronics, a number of deﬁnitions has been proposed in scientiﬁc literature, diﬀering in the particular characteristics, which each deﬁnition is intended to emphasize. The most commonly used one emphasizes synergy: Mechatronics is synergistic integration of mechanicalengineering, electronics and intelligent computer control in design and manufacture of products and processes. The development of mechatronics has gone through three stages. The ﬁrst stage corresponds to the years when this term was introduced. During this stage, technologies used in mechatronic systems developed rather independently and individually. With the beginning of the eighties, asynergistic integration of diﬀerent technologies started taking place, the notable example is optoelectronics (i.e. an integration of optics and electronics). The concept of hardware/software co-design also started in those years. The third and the last stage can also be considered as the beginning of the mechatronics age since early nineties. The most notable aspect of the third stage is the increased...
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