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CMPE 118 - Spring 2005 - Introduction to Mechatronics

Public Demo @ 5PM, Thursday 9-Jun-05 in E2-192


Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of mechanical engineering ("mecha" for mechanisms), electronic engineering ("tronics" for electronics), and software engineering. The purpose of this interdisciplinary engineering field is the study of automata from an engineering perspective and serves the purposes of controlling advanced hybrid-systems such as production systems, synergy-drives, planetary-rovers, automotive subsystems such as anti-block system, spin-assist and every day equipment such as autofocus cameras, video, hard disks, cd-players, washing machines, lego-matics etc.

Mechatronics is centred on mechanics, electronics and computing which, combined, make possible the generation of simpler, more economical, reliable and versatile systems.

The word "mechatronics" was first coined by Mr. Tetsuro Moria, a senior engineer of a Japanese company, Yaskawa, in 1969. Mechatronics may alternatively be referred to as "electromechanical systems," or as "smart products."


This course is based on a the Smart Product Design sequence (ME218A, B, C), and the one quarter Mechatronics class (ME118) offered at Stanford by the Smart Product Design Lab, headed by Dr. Ed Carryer.

I would like to acknowledge the tremendous help of Prof. Ed Carryer of Stanford University in teaching the subject matter to me, for all of his help with the slides, the software libraries, and the electronic hardware, and lastly for pioneering this video capture technology, and helping me to set this course up. Without his help and inspiration, this class would not be here.

Index of class resources

General Class Information — class and section times, instructor and TA information

Lecture Video — Video files of the lectures, and download information for the right codec.

Handouts — homework problem sets, homework solutions, other helpful handouts

WebForum - for announcements, general discussion, and help


Lecture Videos

The technology to record these videos is supported by a grant from the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and it is an experiment. Feedback as to the utility, and the usability of these videos would be highly appreciated. The basic hardware required is a tablet PC with the Office Tablet PC extensions, and a standard headset to capture the lecturers voice. Additionally, a program called Camtasia is used to capture the entire sequence into a standard movie format that can then be viewed at a later time for review and additional study.

You may view these lectures at any time, but do not distribute them beyond the UCSC environment. These lectures have been created using the Camtasia software, and can be played through the Camtasia player software, downloadable for free from techsmith here, or through the standard windows media player with the techsmith codec.



This is a lab class. That means that almost everything you will learn will be by doing, and that doing will be in the labs. The Pre-Labs are serious, as they are there to ensure that you don't hurt yourselves, or damage the equipment. Make sure that you have understood what is going on, and use you colleagues for guidance. Expect to put in long hours doing the labs, but they will definitely be worth it in the end.

  1. Lab 0: The Roach (Event Driven Programming)
  2. Lab 1: Basic Circuits (Sensors and Sensing)
  3. Lab 2: Fabulous Foamcore (Rapid prototyping)
  4. Lab 3: Driving DC Motors (Steppers and Brushed DC)
  5. Final Project: The Death Star (Episode III: Revenge of the Slugs)



Homeworks are handed out in class, and are due back either in class or in my office, 337B Engineering 2, at 6 PM on the following week. Homeworks will only be accepted at the beginning of class, not at the end of class. Homeworks turned in late will be receive half the total points once the solution set has been posted. Cooperation and collaboration on the homeworks is encouraged, but this is NOT licence to copy. The work you turn in should be your own.

  1. Homework #1:




Homework Solutions


    1. Homework #1 Solution Set

Class PowerPoint Lectures

The class powerpoint lectures use the digital ink capabilities of the TabletPC. The ink is saved into the black powerpoint presentation, and the presentation is saved to the website for convinience. Note that there seems to be a large scale degredation in quality of the ink as it is saved into the documents.

  1. Lecture #1: Introduction to Mechatronics, 29-Mar-2005
  2. Lecture #2: Event Driven Programming, 31-Mar-2005
  3. Lecture #3: Sensors, 5-Apr-2005
  4. Lecture #4: OpAmps and Comparators, 12-Apr-2005
  5. Lecture #5: Statics and Mechanics, 14-Apr-2005
  6. Lecture #6: CAD/CAM/CAE, 19-Apr-2005
  7. Lecture #7: Digital IO, 21-Apr-2005
  8. Lecture #8: DC Motors, 26-Apr-2005
  9. Lecture #9: Stepper Motors, 28-Apr-2005
  10. Lecture #10: Timers and A/D, 03-May-2005
  11. Lecture #11: Mechanics and Materials, 06-May-2005
  12. Lecture #12: Project Management, 10-May-2005
  13. Lecture #13: Preliminary Design Review, 12-May-2005
  14. Lecture #14: Modular Programming in C, 17-May-2005
  15. Lecture #15: Noise Isolation, 19-May-2005
  16. Lecture #16: Introduction to GPS, 24-May-2005
  17. Lecture #17: Introduction to Controls, 26-May-2005
  18. Lecture #18: Project Progress, 31-May-2005
  19. Lecture #19: IO Board, 2-Jun-2005

General Class Information

Lecture times:
Tuesday-Thursday, 4:00 - 5:45 PM, Baskin Engineering Rm. 372
Class Webforum:
WebForum - for announcements, general discussion, and help
Associated Lab:
Jack Baskin Engineering, 150, times TBD
The Art of Electronics, 2nd Ed., Horowitz and Hill, Cambridge University Press, 1989
Mechanical Devices for the Electronics Experimenter, Rorabaugh, TAB Books, 1995
Name: Gabriel Hugh Elkaim (elkaim@soe.ucsc.edu)
Phone: 831-459-3054
Office: Engineering 2, 337B
Instructor Office Hours:
Tuesday-Thursday, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, and by appointment
Teaching Assistants:
Name: Rob Kelbley (rkelbs@soe.ucsc.edu)
Name: Eric Decker (cire@deckerstone.net)
Phone: (831) 459-2140
Office: E2-316
Office Hours:
TBD, and by appointment

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