The field of mechatronics is growing, with jobs in high demand as new technology is consistently developed in engineering. Below, we’ve compiled a complete guide that will get you up to speed on everything you need to know about mechatronics before you decide whether to pursue it as a full-time career.
From getting an idea of what mechatronics is all about to signing up for free online courses and finding resources on mechatronics, we will cover it all.
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What Is Mechatronics?
Mechatronics is a branch of engineering that focuses on designing, creating, and maintaining intelligent machines that have both mechanical and electronic components. It has been incorporated into a variety of other disciplines, including computer engineering, systems engineering, and programming.
It is used in sectors like electrical engineering, advanced manufacturing, and mechanical systems. A good example of mechatronics is today’s automobiles. Robotics is another example, producing robots that substitute or replicate human actions using electronic parts that respond to the commands of central computer software.
What Is Mechatronics Used For?
Mechatronics holds an important place in today’s world. It is featured in a wide range of consumer products and has many other applications, including those listed below.
- Factory automation. Mechatronics engineering is used to create devices that allow factory production of goods. Control systems for packaging or bottling food and drink products are all made with mechatronics engineering.
- Drones. Drones are a perfect example of the achievements made possible by mechatronics. They are a blend of mechanical and electrical engineering that have been applied in many new sectors in recent decades. From product delivery to military operations, drones now play an important role in our society.
- Aviation. Mechatronics is also used in aerospace and aviation. It provides us with new, refined approaches to aviation tasks.
- Robotics. The field of advanced robotics has fewer limitations thanks to mechatronics. Mechatronics has led to the creation of new sensors and instruments that have wide uses in robotics.
Types of Mechatronics
As an extremely versatile type of engineering, mechatronics can be found in a variety of disciplines worldwide. It comes into play anytime machines and smart-technology need to be combined. Some of the branches that make the most use of mechatronics are listed below.
Automation and Robotics
Automation and robotics engineering is the use of control systems and information technology skills to minimize the need for human labor while manufacturing products. Robots are used to speed up the development process. They are also used in nuclear physics, marine exploration, the operation of electrical signal transmission, and the construction of biomedical equipment.
Robots are gaining intellectual and mechanical capabilities so quickly that the possibility of a machine like WALL-E isn’t too far fetched in the future.
Servomechanism consists of an error detector that can recognize an inaccuracy between the original and the desired signal, a controller that responds to the data collected from the error detector and transfers the load, and finally, a feedback link so that new information can be issued to the error detector.
Automotive engineering involves the application, design, and manufacture of vehicles. Automotive engineers, also referred to as automobile engineers, work with other engineers to enhance the technical performance, aesthetics, and software of vehicles. With innovations making vehicles smarter and more efficient, this sector is moving up in terms of its applications of modern technology.
Sensing and Control Systems
Sensing and control is a cutting edge Internet of Things service system that enables smart solutions for energy efficiency, remote security, and building automation.
A sensor can be defined as a simple machine that converts a physical stimulus into a readable output. This concept is used for human-recognition through fingerprint, iris, and code scanning, and produces a designated output upon confirming recognition. We use it in our daily lives in smartphone sensors, biometric scanners, and facial recognition technology.
Computer-aided design, or CAD, involves utilizing computers to help with engineering and design in a wide range of projects. You need to learn AutoCAD or similar design software to create models used in metal fabrication, carpentry, and 3D printing. It is used by designers, architects, and engineers to devise models and 3D blueprints.
Structural Dynamic Systems
Structural dynamics is a category of analysis that examines the behavior of a structure when it is subjected to dynamic, or high acceleration, loading. It can take into account people, wind, waves, traffic, earthquakes, or even explosions. A few examples are seismographs, Richter scales, and automated and regulated traffic systems.
Medical mechatronics is the integration of technology and information across several fields, including biosignal sensing, real-time clinical data processing, electrical and mechanical device design, robotic support, and machine learning algorithms. It has enabled the creation of assistive devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators.
Mechatronics is a vast subject and learning about it can be an enjoyable process, with many chances to experiment and develop your own ideas. Whether you would prefer to learn through books or online courses, an eagerness and profound interest in mechatronics can take you a long way.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Mechatronics?
There are two main ways to learn mechatronics. One way is to enroll in a technical bachelor’s degree program, which will take four years to complete. Or, you may want to complete a technical master’s degree program, which can be completed in two years.
However, there are also many standalone courses you can pursue to get more familiar with
mechatronics. By joining an online course, taking part in an industrial project, or signing up for a training program, you can learn the fundamentals of mechatronics in as little as a week.
How to Learn Mechatronics: Step-by-Step
We have compiled a list of the best online mechatronics courses below, including in-person training programs offered by top universities. But first, let’s break down your mechatronics learning plan into five simple steps.
- Choose an online course or a training program. First, you need to decide which suits you better, an online course or an in-person training program. If you are comfortable with attending lectures online, then you can sign up right away. This will not only give you more flexibility but will also be cheaper than a degree program.
- Get enrolled. If you have decided to pursue a career in mechatronics and robotics, then don’t waste any time getting started. Enroll in a short online course or a training program to start your preparation.
- Collect extra certificates. Getting a degree is great, but what else can you do to stand out from other candidates? One option is to complete a course to specialize in a particular sector within mechatronics. For example, you can enroll in a fundamentals of robotics or machine learning course. Extra certificates will give you an edge over other candidates when applying for jobs.
- Increase your knowledge by reading books. Books are a good way to boost your knowledge. Choose from among the books that we have reviewed in the resource section of this guide.
- Work experience. The best way of learning anything is through experience. Try to find a paid or unpaid short-term project that you can work on before you apply for work at a top tech company.
The Best Mechatronics Courses and Training
There are several courses and training programs to help you better understand IAM. Below we have compiled a list of the best options available.
Best In-person Training Programs
If you are not comfortable with distance learning and you also want to build up your network while completing your education, then enrolling at a university might be the best option for you.
Below we have listed out the best training programs offered by top universities.
University of Michigan – Master of Science in Robotics
This master’s degree program at the University of Michigan is one of the best options for mechanical engineers looking to strengthen their robotics knowledge. It focuses on the research and development of interactions between humans and machines, bio-inspired compliant systems, and nanomanipulation.
Build Mechatronics Projects This Winter Vacation
This training program by SkiFy Labs will help you make the most of your vacation by exploring the practical objectives of mechatronics as a stream. In it, you will engage in on-site training in a city near you.
Which Other Colleges Offer a Degree in Mechatronics?
Several other educational institutions offer a degree in mechatronics.
- University of Liverpool, UK.
- University of Hartford, Connecticut.
- University of West Scotland, UK.
- Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, New York.
- University of Sheffield, UK.
- Indiana University, Indiana.
- Purdue University, Indiana.
Online Mechatronics Courses
There are a lot of courses online that will teach you about mechatronics, which makes finding the best ones difficult. To help you out, we have listed the best online mechatronics
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courses and training programs below.
Mechatronics Revolution: Fundamentals and Core Concepts
- Provider: EdX
- Time: 16 weeks
- Prerequisites: None
- Price: $149
This online course from EdX will teach you to recognize all the elements of a microcontroller, as well as how motors, sensors, and circuits commonly used in mechatronic devices operate. It will also help you learn how to create basic programs for microcontrollers using interrupt-driven programming.
Robotics and Mechatronics: A basic Guide to Begin With
- Provider: Udemy
- Time: 8.5 to 10 hours
- Prerequisites: None
- Price: $26.50
This course is a brief introduction for people who are truly passionate about learning robotics. The modules start with basic concepts and work toward the advanced, explaining the core concepts of robotics in a lucid manner.
Applications In Delta-PLC
- Provider: Udemy
- Time: 2.5 to 4 hours
- Prerequisites: None
- Price: $26.50
This introductory course will provide you with simple explanations of the basics of mechatronics. The course is divided into 16 sections, with each section providing practical examples. You will also be provided with an explanation file explaining all the concepts in detail.
Best Free Mechatronics Courses
Below are some of the best free online certifications that will spark your interest in the field of mechatronics by explaining key concepts.
Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, And Control Specialization
- Provider: Coursera
- Time: Six months
- Prerequisites: None
- Price: Free
This course from Coursera is a comprehensive study of spatial motion and the dynamics of rigid bodies. It features representations from the modern theory of screws and the product of the exponential formula.
You will learn to write robotics software and improve your knowledge of robotics mathematics.
- Provider: Coursera
- Time: 11 hours
- Prerequisites: None
- Price: Free
This certification course from Coursera will teach you how the integration of smart sensors and controls are helping improve productivity. You’ll be exposed to various sensors and sensing techniques, process control strategies, and open architecture systems that can be leveraged to enable intelligent machining.
This course will get you ready to start your own intelligent machining projects.
Best Books for Mechatronics Engineering
Mechatronics System Design by Devdas Shetty
This book lays out a very detailed theory on mechatronics design. You may want to use it as a follow up to the mechatronics handbook. It provides comprehensive information on sensors, actuators and transducers, and also deals with signal conditioning.
Mechatronic Systems, Sensors, And Actuators: Fundamentals And Modeling by Robert H. Bishop
This book contains an elaborate summary of several key mechatronics concepts, including modeling, systems and control, and fluid subsystems. These elements make up many mechatronic systems sensors and actuators. This is a good course for beginners as it uses basic language when explaining concepts.
PIC Microcontroller and Embedded Systems: Using Assembly and C for PIC18, by Danny Causey and Rolin McKinlay
Though these microcontrollers are no longer used, they form an excellent base of learning as you study the architecture of other advanced systems and how they can be integrated using smart technology.
Hydraulics And Pneumatic
This book attempts to present mechatronics in a simple manner so that even those who have never had formal training in the sector can understand its concepts and applications.
Best Online Mechatronics Resources
This is an exclusive PDF, containing notes handwritten by professors in the field. It covers all the fundamental concepts you should be familiar with to learn mechatronics.
Free Study Material by MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the best higher education institutes in the world, gas compiled this free study guide. You can download it from their official website. This guide covers all the information you might need to complete your mechatronics course.
Mechatronics Resources by Colostate
Colostate provides this in-depth collection of resources. This extensive set covers all modern mechatronic topics including actuators and electrical components. These will assist you in understanding practical applications of the concepts you have learned and will encourage you to experiment.
Should You Study Mechatronics?
With the advent of technology and with the constant expansion of the IOT industry, there is an increasing demand for engineers and others with relevant skills who can help advance mechatronics.
According to the most recent US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available to mechatronics engineers is expected to experience moderate growth over the next decade.
Therefore, the scope of mechatronics as a field will widen, and possessing the requisite skill-set could prove highly advantageous as you move ahead in your career.
According to recruiter.com, a mechatronics engineer in the US makes around $88,800 to $103,380. So, if you are aspiring to be an engineer and you are interested in its mechanical and electrical aspects, then mechatronics is just the right choice for you.
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