Establishment Of Mechatronics Laboratory At Umes
2003 Annual Conference Proceedings
Modern mechanical engineering curriculum not only emphasizes the fundamentals of solid mechanics, fluid mechanics and thermal sciences but also the applications of these subjects in design, control and manufacturing. Mechatronics is the synergistic integration of mechanics, instrumentation and control, software engineering and information technology. As such it integrates well with not only the modern evolution of mechanical engineering curricula but has wide and growing manifestation in the
... generation of industrial products as well as children's toys. The initial funding for the "Mechatronics Laboratory" at University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) has been obtained from a local industry (Connectiv Power). The present set-up of the laboratory consists of an industrial SCARA ( Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) robot equipped with machine vision capability for guidance, inspection and recognition associated with robotic manipulation of parts. An open loop stable vibration control platform, an open loop unstable inverted pendulum and a dual water tank system interfaced with appropriate sensors and actuators provide capabilities for learning both analog and digital control of systems belonging to the solid mechanics and fluid mechanics fields. Modern software tools that include graphical programming capability using Simulink and compilation via Real time Windows Target, Real time Workshop (all from Mathworks) and Visual C++ (Microsoft) allow for developing and executing variety of control algorithms on these systems. Capabilities for remote operation of these systems over the internet have also been implemented. The laboratory facilities provide education and research capability at the interfaces of traditional disciplinary boundaries. The laboratory is also equipped with LEGO MINDSTORM and LEGO DACTA products as well as the MIT Handyboard for exploration of mechatronics and robotics activities for engineering juniors and K-12 students. This paper will provide an overview of current capabilities of "Mechatronics Laboratory" and explore the avenues of future research and outreach activities.