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CMPE 118 - Winter 2006 - Introduction to Mechatronics

Public Demo--SlugFest 2006: The Good, The Bad, and the Slugly

Friday, 17/Mar/2006, Jack Baskin Engineering 152, 6:30-8 PM

Flyer for event here

Last Year's Presentation

Last year, the class was tasked with building a droid to shoot their way through the death-star in a the final project, Episode III: Revenge of the Slugs. The presentation by the four groups were captured on video, and can be seen here.


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 (ME210/EE118) 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. A Mac OSX version of the codec can be found here that allows playback of the files.



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 (OpAmp,Comparators)
  3. Lab 2: Rapid Prototyping (Foam Core, Laser Cutter)
  4. Lab 3: Controlling DC Motors
  5. Final Project: SLUGFEST-2006: The Good, The Bad, and the Slugly



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. DC Motor Problem: complete and bring SOLVED to lecture 7-Feb-05




Homework Solutions


    1. Homework #1 Solution Set

Class Presentation Slides

The class lectures use the digital ink capabilities of the TabletPC. The ink is saved back into the presentation, and the presentation is saved to the website for convenience. This year we are using Classroom Presenter rather than PowerPoint. It apprears to be far more stable, and has several nice utilities for the TabletPC. The presentation files are in the .CSD format, and you will need to download Presenter to view them. Presenter can be downloaded here.

  1. Lecture #0: Introduction to Mechatronics, 05-Jan-2005
  2. Lecture #1: Event Driven Programming, 10-Jan-2006
  3. Lecture #2: Basic Sensors, 12-Jan-2006
  4. Lecture #3: Basic Sensors, 19-Jan-2006
  5. Lecture #4: Statics, 26-Jan-2006
  6. Lecture #5: Mechanical CAD, 31-Jan-2006
  7. Lecture #6: Digital I/O, 02-Feb-2006
  8. Lecture #7: Solenoids/DC Motors, 02-Feb-2006
  9. Lecture #8: Stepper Motors, 07-Feb-2006
  10. Lecture #9: Timers and ADC, 14-Feb-2006
  11. Lecture #10: Mechanical Properties, 16-Feb-2006
  12. Lecture #11: Project Management, 21-Feb-2006
  13. Lecture #12: Modular "C", 23-Feb-2006
  14. Lecture #13: Project Design Review, 23-Feb-2006
  15. Lecture #14: Filtering, 28-Feb-2006
  16. Lecture #15: Noise, 02-Mar-2006
  17. Lecture #16: Control, 09-Mar-2006
  18. Lecture #17: Intro to GPS, 16-Mar-2006
  19. Lecture #18: Communications, 18-Mar-2006
  20. Supplementary Lecture: Basic Electronics, 06-Feb-2006
  21. Supplementary Lecture: Basic Semiconductors, 08-Feb-2006
  22. Supplementary Lecture: Basic OpAmps, 12-Feb-2006
  23. Midterm Review: Midterm Review, 09-Feb-2006

General Class Information

Lecture times:
Tuesday-Thursday, 12:00 - 1:45 PM, Baskin Engineering Rm. 156
Class Webforum:
WebForum - for announcements, general discussion, and help
Associated Lab:
Jack Baskin Engineering, 115, 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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