Each of the 2.737 students is assigned one of these project kits for prototype work during the semester. The green card to the right is a custom interface card to the dSPACE hardware in the PC bringing all the signals out for easy access. Across the top is a bank of BNC connectors and in the middle is a circuit used to demonstrate the effects of aliasing and quantization. (Image courtesy of Prof. David Trumper.)
This course teaches the design of mechatronic systems which integrate mechanical, electrical, and control systems engineering. A computer hard disk drive is an example of a complex mechatronic system discussed in the class. Laboratories form the core of the course. They cover topics such as aliasing, quantization, electronic feedback, power amplifiers, digital logic, encoder interfacing, and motor control. The labs make extensive use of Simulink®, a MATLAB® toolbox which allows for graphical simulation and programming of real-time control systems. The new lab facilities feature dSPACE digital signal processors which are programmed through Simulink®. Each student builds circuits on a breadboard kit which is issued to them.