Mechatronics, the term coined in Japan in the 1970s, has evolved over the past 25 years and has led to a particular breed of smart products. What is mechatronics? It is a natural step in the evolutionary process of modern engineering design. For some engineers, mechatronics is nothing new, and for others, it is a philosophical approach to design that guides their activities. Of course, mechatronics is an evolutionary process and not a revolutionary one. It is clear that there is no comprehensive definition of mechatronics, but in reality it is not needed. It is understood that mechatronics concerns the synergistic integration of mechanical, electrical and computer systems.
One can understand to what extent mechatronics reaches various disciplines by characterizing the constituent components of mechatronics, which include: (i) modeling of physical systems, (ii) sensors and actuators, (iii) signals and systems, ( iv) computers and logic systems. and (v) software and data acquisition.
Engineers and scientists from all backgrounds and fields of study can contribute to mechatronics. As the boundaries of engineering and science become less well defined, more and more students will seek multidisciplinary training with a strong design component. Academia should move towards a curriculum that encompasses coverage of mechatronic systems. In the future, the growth of mechatronic systems will be fueled by growth in the constituent areas. Advances in traditional disciplines fuel the growth of mechatronic systems by providing “enabling technologies”.
For example, the invention of the microprocessor had a profound effect on the overhaul of mechanical systems and the design of new mechatronic systems. We should expect continued advancements in cost-effective microprocessors and microcontrollers, the development of sensors and actuators made possible by advancements in MEMS applications, adaptive control methodologies and real-time programming methods, networking and wireless, mature CAE technologies for advanced system modeling, virtual prototyping and testing. The rapid and continuous development in these fields will only accelerate the pace of smart product development. The Internet is a technology which, when used in combination with wireless technology, can also lead to new mechatronic products.
While developments in the automotive field provide striking examples of mechatronic development, there are many examples of smart systems in all areas of life, including smart home appliances such as dishwashers, vacuum cleaners. , microwaves and devices compatible with the wireless network. In the field of “human-friendly machines”, we can expect advances in robot-assisted surgery, sensors and implantable actuators. Other areas that will benefit from advances in mechatronics may include robotics, manufacturing, space technology, and transportation. The future of mechatronics is wide open.
Source by Rahul R