Engineering of the future – Mechatronics Engineering
What is Mechatronics Engineering?
Mechatronics Engineering is a new branch of engineering which has been gaining popularity in Malaysia. There are only a few private universities offering this degree course.
According to Wikipedia “Originally, mechatronics just included the combination between mechanics and electronics, hence the word is only a portmanteau of mechanics and electronics; however, as technical systems has become more and more complex the word has been “updated” during recent years to include more technical areas.
French standard NF E 01-010 gives the following definition: “approach aiming at the synergistic integration of mechanics, electronics, control theory, and computer science within product design and manufacturing, in order to improve and/or optimize its functionality”.
Mechatronics is the efficient and effective integration of mechanical systems, IT and electronics. It is a blend of mechanics and electronics, and uses the following:
- precision engineering
- control theory
- computer science
- sensor technology, to design enhanced or “smart” products, processes and systems.
It combines the classical fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, and computer science/information technology. A mechatronics engineer unites the principles of mechanics, electronics, and computing to generate a simpler, more economical and reliable system.Its application areas range from power systems to transportation to optical telecommunications to biomedical engineering, along with a host of others. Mechatronic systems are almost everywhere you look. For example, it can be applied to the automotive industry in the increasing combination of the mechanical part of the engine with electronics and artificial intelligence.
Another example is the Mars Rover that NASA built to send to planet Mars for research gathering purposes. The Mars Rover was the product of several years of research and development to ensure engineers on earth could effectively control the Rover on the unpredictable terrain of the planet Mars. It had to be able to negotiate any terrain encountered as well as perform fine motions to grab and sample rock and soil – much like expecting a rugby union prop to also be an accomplished ballet dancer! Of course that call occurred after a brilliant and novel Mars landing strategy was developed.
The future is virtually unlimited for mechatronics, and much of it is here today. Robotic systems and components are already as small as a few microns and researchers are investigating nano-technologies using mechatronic systems for implantation into the human body to repair or replace damaged physiological functions. The next two decades will see an explosion of automated mechatronic systems infiltrating our lives more and more every year – improving our quality of life and our knowledge of the world and universe we live in. Offices, homes, factories, and more are becoming more and more mechanised to be efficient.
What do Mechatronics Engineers do?
Mechatronics combines mechanical, electrical and software engineering in the design, development and control of diverse systems used in a range of industries including manufacturing, medicine and the service industries. Examples of mechatronic systems include aircraft, dishwashers, motor vehicles, automated manufacturing plants, medical and surgical devices and systems, robots of all types, many toys, artificial organs and many others. Mechatronics engineers are therefore involved in almost every possible industry at levels from applications development to manufacturing to advanced research.
Graduates with a Mechatronics degree can take up careers in a wide range of industries including robotics, aerospace, chemical, defence and automotive and manufacturing where complex software plays a major role, as well as in businesses that require extensive computer support, such as banking and commerce. Contributions can be made to these industries in a variety of roles including design engineer, software engineer, project planner, product designer and project manager.
Mechatronic students take courses from across the various fields listed below:
- Mechanical engineering and materials science subjects
- Electronic engineering subjects
- Computer engineering subjects
- Computer science subjects
- Systems and control engineering subjects
- Optomechanics (optical engineering) subjects
- Robotics subjects
Students need to have strong credits or distinctions in Additional Maths & Physics in SPM to go for this programme.
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Posted on April 16, 2012, in Choosing the right course, Engineering and tagged Degree, electonics, Engineering, engineering degree, Information Technology, IT, Mechatronics, mechatronics degree, Mechatronics Engineering, private university, Robotics, University. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.