Tuesday, October 27, 2009
What actually Mechatronics is?
This Venn Diagram or I would like to call it the Mechatronics Circles, shows the components of Mechatronics. It is actually the diagram taken from Wikipedia, only an improved version.
Maybe you have heard of mechanical engineering or electronic engineering, but you will seldom find people say mechatronic engineering. A name, by a senior engineer of Japan Company Yaskawa, Mr. Etsuro Mori was introduced in 1969. The term was so special by then, it was patented in 1971. After 11 years, the trademark was removed for general use. This field of engineering is new if compared to other engineering field in example mechanical engineering and electronic engineering as mentioned above.
As it was started in Japan, this field is slow to gain industrial and academic acceptance in Great Britain and the United States but it is growing fast as this field is offered in various educational institution for instance our proud University Teknologi Malaysia. With all kinds of alternatives names, ranging from electromechanical systems to control and automation engineering, it is now known as ‘mechanical engineering for the twenty-first century’.
‘The synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronic control and systems thinking in the design of products and process’ (Bradley, Dawson et. Al, Mechatronics, Electronics in products and processes, Chapman and Hall Verlag, London 1991). With this definition, you can presume the field consists of many components. Well, it does! This field related to controlling and regulating systems with control theory (control engineering), as well as controlling robots (servo technology). With the latter subject been compacted, it is put under microprocessors.
Communication technology also connected to mechatronics for instance remote operations of robotics arm from a distance place. Nowadays, leading researches in mechatronics (to name a few) are intelligent control (the ability of a system to respond to uncertainty and determine the best solution to it, which is a scientific and technical field, based of artificial intelligent and automation control) and biomechatronics (integrating human body and robotics mechanism to support movement.
Most technologies out there at the present time are application of mechatronic. For an instance, control architecture with the usage of control algorithm will produce ‘spinning’ devices such as CD player, VCD player, hard disks in computers, auto focus cameras, washing machines et cetera. Biomedical devices such as CT scan machine is an example of sensors and control in mechatronics. Mechatronic also applies to transport and travel which includes computer-controlled light railway transit (PutraLine, Kuala Lumpur), aircraft without pilot and so forth. Robotics can be operated for manufacturing, exploration, medical and so on.
After some brief information on mechatronics, let us discover information relevant to those interested in mechatronics engineering studies. Basic studies of this field include fundamental mathematics and sciences such as engineering mathematics, engineering statistics, algorithm, thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, and so on. Studies also include computer skills for instance computer systems, C Programming Technique, CAD program and so on. Mechanics field including machine component designs, mechanical design, servo mechanism, and such. Electric and electronics fields which include electric technology, electronic devices, circuit systems, programmable logic controller. Networking, for example signal and network theory. Specialized studies include control engineering, robotics systems, artificial intelligent, microprocessor, microcontroller and such. Studies stated above varied from institution to institution globally.
Of course, to achieve a successful engineer, one should have special characteristics. They must have interest in designing and computer with strong usage of language. Besides they should have the curiosity on how things work and how to improve it (creative and critical thinking). In addition, the ability to produce intelligent solution to problems faced by people will make a successful engineer. Job careers are diverse in the world out there. Studies in mechatronic field will earn job in example automation engineer, professional engineer, control engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and much more.