Everyone’s talking about mechatronics, right? Not really if the searching company and university web sites is any measure.
Insert the term “mechatronics” in search engines at GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and VW and a not so grand total of seven hits is returned. And six are from Ford although if the s and mechatronic is entered dropped, GM’s is yields three hits. You only get six hits at Yaskawa’s web site that company lays claim to coining the term in 1969.
Where mechatronics gets the buzz is on college campuses, which tend to be more open about mechatronics insights, plans and discussions. After all, mechatronics to a large degree is really about training, education, orientation and design philosophy, the stuff of college campuses.
Caltech is the hands down winner with 1,180 hits followed by Georgia Tech with 852 and MIT with 672. The Univ. of Texas garnered about 240 and RPI at 170 or so. IEEE.org, a cyber-place of learning, did very well with 1,304 hits, beating out the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ 230 hits by an Obama-esque margin. ASME and the IEEE do, however, jointly run a periodical for engineering papers on mechatronics.
One notable exception in industry was Siemens with 1,037 hits. National Instruments which wholeheartedly has embraced mechatronics, rang in with 152. IT and electronics giants IT, Intel and H-P mustered a sad 5 hits. Microsoft chocked up 118 and while its archrival IBM notched 5.
Could web mentions be meaningless? While hardly scientific, they are barometer of where mechatronics is gaining traction. What’s posted on a company or university web site is a random but worthy snapshot of what’s important in the moment. I’ve heard many times that the auto industry will be the biggest beneficiary of mechatronics. Maybe they just don’t know it yet.