The term mechatronics is a combination of mechanics and electronics. Nowadays a lot of machines and even simple household appliance consist of mechanisms driven by motors and actuators with electrical control circuits. The overall control of these machines is done by programmable components like PLC's, micro-controllers or even PC's.
For the practical course the students are asked to make a project for which the combination of mechanics and electronics is actually carried out. This means that a small mechanism controlled by a micro-controller unit has to be build.
These assignments enclose three major parts. Firstly the students have to design and build their mechanical set-up, secondly they have to create the electronic link between the micro-controller and this set-up which mainly comes near to signal conditioning, amplification and buffering. And the thirth part consists of programming the micro-controller in assembler language where the main goal is to get used to different possibilities of such a device and learn about the basics of a computer control unit such as interrupts.
These projects are part of the course Mechatronics which is taught in the fourth grade civil mechanical and electronical engineer. There is a list of proposed projects but the students are free to do their own proposals.
As a final result the students are asked to create a website about their project explaining in detail problems and solutions. These sites can be visited through links given in "Finished Projects"
Task definition and course material