Elements of Mechatronics System

Principal elements of mechatronics systems are as follows:

1. Mechanical: Mechanical elements refer to mechanical structure, mechanism, thermo-fluid and hydraulic aspects of a mechantronics system. The mechanical element may include static/dynamic characteristics and it interacts with its environment purposefully. The mechanical elements of mechatronics systems require physical power to produce motion, force, heat, etc.

2. Electro-Mechanical: These elements refer to sensors and actuators. A variety of physical variables can be measured using sensors, light using photo resistor, level and displacement using potentiometer, direction/tilt using magnetic sensor, sound using microphone. Actuators such as light emitting diode (LED), DC Servomotor, stepper motor, rely solenoid speaker, shape memory alloy, electromagnet and pump apply commanded action on the physical process. In recent years, IC-based sensing and actuation solutions have also become ubiquitous.

3. Electrical/Electronic: It refers to electrical components, inductor, transformer, circuits and analog signals. Electronics elements refer to analog/digital electronics transistors, thyristors, opto-isolators, operational amplifiers, power electronics and signal conditioning. The electrical/electronic elements are used to interface electro-mechanical sensors and actuators to the control interface hardware elements.

4. Control Interface/Computer Hardware: These elements refers to analog-to-digital (A2D) converter, digital-to-analog (D2A) converter, digital input/output (I/O), counters, timers, microprocessor, microcontroller, data acquisition and control (DAC) board and digital signal processing (DSP) board. The control interface hardware allows analog/digital interfacing, communication of sensor signal to the control computer communication of control signal from the control computer to the actuator. The control computing hardware implements a control algorithm, which uses sensor measurements to compute control actions to be applied by the actuator.

5. Computer: Computer elements refer to hardware/software utilized to perform computer-aided dynamic system analysis, optimization, design and simulation, virtual instrumentation, rapid control prototyping, hardware in the loop simulation and PC-based data acquisition and control.