When I search define:mechatronics in Google, two lonely results return (at the time of posting) and I don’t feel they give mechatronics a solid definition. Engineering is often defined as the “application of science and mathematics…” I feel mechatronics should simply be defined as the “application of all engineering disciplines.” However, the most common loose definition I find for mechatronics is the synergistic combination (or integration) of mechanics, electronics, software and computers. I realize that this would not be a dictionary definition, but unless you solve problems and realize the complexities interfacing all the systems of a device, I doubt ’synergy’ evokes the appropriate connotation or denotation of the word mechatronics.
The increasingly common-place Venn-diagram graphic depicts mechatronics at the center of engineering fields. Is mechatronics really part of every engineering field?
My opinion is that the creation of any new widget requires an expert from almost every field of engineering. Even if the product is simple, e.g. a D-FUZZ-IT comb, the manufacturing process required input from mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, .. in other words the product required a complex mechatronic system in order to bring the comb from concept to a final retail product. I believe that any modern product requires some mechatronic insight, whether from a mechanical, electrical, systems or a specifically mechatronic engineer. However, I do not feel that mechatronics is part of every engineering discipline in practice and in education — I think it should be, but is not.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
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