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Essentials of Mechatronics

Essentials of Mechatronics

John Billingsley

ISBN: 978-0-471-72341-7

Jun 2006

280 pages

In Stock



Learn how to study, analyze, select, and design a successful mechatronic product

This innovative, cutting-edge publication presents the essential nature of mechatronics, a field at the crossroads of information technology and mechanical and electrical engineering. Readers learn how to blend mechanisms, electronics, sensors, control strategies, and software into a functional design. Given the breadth that the field of mechatronics draws upon, this publication provides a critical service to readers by paring down the topics to the most essential ones.

A common thread throughout the publication is tailoring performance to the actual needs of the user, rather than designing "by the book." Practical methods clarify engineering trade-offs needed to design and manufacture competitive state-of-the-art products and systems.

Key features include:
* Easy-to-construct set of laboratory experiments to give readers practice in controlling difficult systems using discrete-time algorithms
* Essentials of control theory, concentrating on state-space and easily constructed simulations in JavaScript, including typical mechatronic systems with gross nonlinearities where linear methods give the "wrong answer"
* Hot topics that include advances in the automotive, multimedia, robotics, defense, medical, and consumer industries
* Author-provided Web site at offers additional resources, including videos, dynamic simulation examples, software tools, and downloads

There are hundreds of choices involved in all but the simplest of mechatronic design tasks. Using this publication as a reference, electrical, mechanical, and computer designers and engineers can find the most efficient, cost-effective methods to transform their goals into successful commercial products. With its use of laboratory experiments, this publication is also recommended as a graduate-level textbook.

Author Web site located at provides in-depth support material that includes links to simulations for modeling dynamic systems with real-time interactions, image processing examples, and 3D robot modeling software, enabling readers to "construct" and manipulate their own mechanism as well as other useful links.

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1. Introduction.

1.1 A personal view.

1.2 What is and is not mechatronics.

2. The bare essentials.

2.1 Actuators.

2.2 Sensors.

2.3 Sensors for vision.

2.4 The computer.

2.5 Interface electronics for output.

2.6 Interface electronics for input.

2.7 Pragmatic control.

2.8 Robotics and kinematics.

3. Gaining Experience.

3.1 Getting to grips with QBasic.

3.2 The simplest mobile robot.

3.3 Ball and beam.

3.4 'Professional' position control.

3.5 An inverted pendulum.

4. Introduction to the Next Level.

4.1 The web site.

5. Electronic Design.

5.1 The rudiments of circuit theory.

5.2 The operational amplifier.

5.3 Filters for sensors.

5.4 Logic and latches.

6. Essential Control Theory.

6.1 State variables.

6.2 Simulation.

6.3 Solving the first-order equation.

6.4 Second order problems.

6.5 Modeling position control.

6.6 Matrix state equations.

6.7 Analogue simulation.

6.8 More formal computer simulation.

7. Vectors, Matrices and Tensors.

7.1 Meet the matrix.

7.2 More on vectors.

7.3 Matrix multiplication.

7.4 Transposition of matrices.

7.5 The unit matrix.

7.6 Coordinate transformations.

7.7 Matrices, notation and computing.

7.8 Eigenvectors.

8. Mathematics for Control.

8.1 Differential equations.

8.2 The Laplace transform.

8.3 Difference equations.

8.4 The z-transform.

8.5 Correlation and convolution.

9. Robotics, Dynamics and Kinematics.

9.1 Gears, motors and mechanisms.

9.2 Three dimensional motion.

9.2 Kinematic Chains.

9.3 Robot dynamics.

9.4 Simulating a robot.

10. Further Control Theory.

10.1 Control topology and non-linear systems.

10.2 Phase-plane methods.

10.3 Optimisation.

11. Computer Implementation.

11.1 Essentials of computing.

11.2 Software implications.

11.3 Embedded processors.

12. Machine Vision.

12.1 Vision sensors.

12.2 Acquiring an image.

12.3 Analyzing an image.

13. Case Studies.

13.1 Robocow - a mobile robot for training horses.

13.2 Vision guidance for tractors.

13.3 A shape recognition example.

14. The Human Element.

14.1 The user interface.

14.2 If all else fails, read the instructions.

14.3 It just takes imagination.