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Jack Baskin School of EngineeringUC Santa Cruz

CMPE 118/L

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CMPE 118/L(218/L) - Mechatronics - Winter 2009

Invitation to Slug Spackler's Revenge (Public Demo) at 6:30PM on Wed., 11-March-2009 in Engineering II - 180 (Simularium).

This year's Slug Spackler's Revenge final project description

This year's Photos and a short KSBW news video about the event, and the webcast video

2006's Presentation

In 2006, the class was tasked with building a droid to shoot a tin can off of the other droid's head, The Good, The Bad, and The Slugly. The final project was the subject of a KSBW short news story, which 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 centered 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 — quizzes, quiz 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. Note that some students have reported that VLC works much better on MacOSX and Linux.



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), Due 14-Jan-09 @ 6PM (Pre-lab due on 8-Jan-09 @ noon).
  2. Lab 1: OpAmps, Signal Conditioning, and Sensors, Due 21-Jan-09, 6PM (Pre-lab due on 15-Jan-09 @ noon).
  3. Lab 2: Mechanical Prototyping, Due 28-Jan-09 @ 6PM (Pre-lab due on 22-Jan-09 @ noon).
  4. Lab 3: DC and Stepper Motors, Due 04-Feb-09 @ 6PM (Pre-lab due on 29-Jan-09 @ noon).
  5. Final Project: Slug Spackler's Revenge, Public Demo on 11-Mar-09, 6PM, Jack Baskin Engineering Room #152


Quizzes will be given out at least once a week at the beginning of class. These will be based on the reading material that should have been completed before coming to class. Occasional homework assignments will be handed out or assigned during lecture to complete a series of short exercises. Cooperation and collaboration on the labs and homework is encouraged, but this is NOT licence to copy. The work you turn in should be your own.


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 free from here.

  1. Lecture #0: Introduction to Mechatronics 06-Jan-2009
  2. Lecture #1: Event Driven Programming 08-Jan-2009
  3. Lecture #2: Basic Sensors 13-Jan-2009
  4. Lecture #3: Filtering 15-Jan-2009
  5. Lecture #4: OpAmps 20-Jan-2009
  6. Lecture #5: Statics 22-Jan-2009
  7. Lecture #6: Mechanical 22-Jan-2009
  8. Lecture #7: Digital IO 27-Jan-2009
  9. Lecture #8: Solenoids and DC Motors, 3-Feb-2009
  10. Lecture #9: Stepper Motors, 5-Feb-2009
  11. Lecture #10: Preliminary Design Review, 10-Feb-2009
  12. Lecture #11: Timers and ADC, 12-Feb-2009
  13. Lecture #12: Mechanical, 17-Feb-2009
  14. Lecture #13: Project Management, 19-Feb-2009
  15. Lecture #14: Modular C, 19-Feb-2009
  16. Lecture #15: Noise Isolation, 24-Feb-2009
  17. Lecture PDR: Preliminary Design Review, 17-Feb-09
  18. Basic Circuits: Supplementary Lecture, Pats I and II.
  19. Basic Semiconductors: Supplementary Lecture, Part III.
  20. Basic OpAmps: Supplementary Lecture, Part IV.
  21. Midterm Review: 5.Feb.2009.

General Class Information

Lecture times:
Tuesday-Thursday, 12:00 - 1:45 PM, Jack Baskin Engineering #372
Associated Lab:
Jack Baskin Engineering, 115, TA times TBD
[H&H]: The Art of Electronics, 2nd Ed., Horowitz and Hill, Cambridge University Press, 1989
[CKO]: Introduction to Mechantronics, pre-release., Carryer, Kenny, and Ohline, Prentice Hall, 2010
[Rorabaugh]: Mechanical Devices for the Electronics Experimenter, Rorabaugh, TAB Books, 1995
Name: Gabriel Hugh Elkaim (
Phone: 831-459-3054
Office: Engineering 2, 337B
Instructor Office Hours:
TTh, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, and by appointment
Teaching Assistant(s):
Name: John Burr (
Name: Max Dunne (
Name: Craig Moriwaki (
Phone: (831) 459-2140
Office: E2-316
Lab Hours: