Mechatronics requires synergistic ways of looking at design tools and drive systems. Precisely designed components -- motors, drives, and gearboxes -- can be viewed as standardized modular units fulfilling requirements for speed, torque, motion sequence, dynamics, and positioning accuracy. (Source: Lenze Americas)
While I found the concepts introduced in this article very interesting, I struggled throughout as well. By placing the enineering burden from three major disciplines on one person without the benefit of additional perspectives that come from having a team is not a direction that I would normally pursue. Most folks recognize the value of interacting with their colleagues that specialize in other areas. Whenever I would build a test set, building a test fixture was a very important part of the design. Having very limited mechanical engineering ability, I consulted with the guys that had that expertise...and through our collaboration an effective test fixture design would emerge. I would respectfully disagree with the scenario of a very unintelligent design that did not work well because it was built by three different engineers with differing fields of expertise.
It seems to me that in order to educate a mechatronics engineer would also take an even more intensive education with a much more expanded degree plan - something a lot of folks would not be able to afford time-wise or financially - but if they didn't get a good education they would be a "jack of all trades and master of none" which might do well for home projects but not for industry.
Two different shape-shifting polymers have been announced from two different universities: Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Zhejiang University in eastern China. Both of them change their shapes when immersed in water, and the one from Wyss Institute was made with 3D-printing techniques.
When you think of the DARPA Robotics Challenge, you may imagine complex humanoid contraptions made of metal and wires that move like a Terminator Series T-90. But what actually happened at the much-vaunted event was something just a bit different.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.