Mech-a-what? Mechatronics — the Engineering Field You Didn’t Know Existed

We’re a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none sort. We’re specialized at not being specialized, yet mechatronic engineers can do quite a bit across multiple engineering disciplines and have a solid base from which to grow.

Mech-a-what? Mechatronics — the Engineering Field You Didn’t Know Existed

 

“Mech-a-what?” “What’s a mech-aaaa-TRON-ic engineer?” “What’s mechatronics?”

 

Welcome to the world of Mechatronic Engineering. According to Wikipedia:

Mechatronics, which is also called mechatronic engineering, is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the engineering of both electrical and mechanical systems, and also includes a combination of robotics, electronics, computer, telecommunications, systems, control, and product engineering.

Mechatronic engineering is an engineering “specialty” that’s been around for quite some time, but wasn’t assigned its own field classification until recently. To put it simply, mechatronic engineering is a hybrid of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. This puts applications of robotics, control systems, electro-mechanical systems, and similar engineering in this field.

 

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Pepper Sorting Machine I created along with other classmates as part of a group project.

 

 

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Functional Block Diagram explaining the System

 

A great way to illustrate this is to think of us as go-betweens for mechanical and electrical teams, being able to speak both languages of the different fields, while not necessarily being specialized in one field over another (though having strengths in one versus another is likely). Some “mechas,” as we may refer to ourselves, have additional backgrounds in computer science, computer engineering, manufacturing, electrical engineering, or business.

So why has no one actually heard of us? My guess is it’s due to schooling — most know of mechanical, electrical, computer, civil, aerospace, robotics, and other degrees, partly because they’re offered at schools all over the world. Not very many schools offer a dedicated mechatronic engineering degree, though, which severely limits the exposure of this recently defined field.

 

 

So in a nutshell, we’re a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none sort. We’re specialized at not being specialized, yet mechatronic engineers can do quite a bit across multiple engineering disciplines and have a solid base from which to grow.

Mechatronic engineering alumni work with massive industrial robots, smaller robots in pick-and-place operations, control systems for bottling or packaging of food and drink products, drones, designing control systems for rides in amusement parks, prototype development, or even working to bring a robot to every home and office such as myself.

 

Content Credit: medium.com/mistyrobotics/

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