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Infusing Mechatronics and Robotics Concepts in Engineering Curriculum

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.751.1 - 23.751.18



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Paper Authors


Anca L. Sala Baker College of Flint

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Dr. Anca L. Sala is Professor and Dean of Engineering and Computer Technology at Baker College
of Flint. In addition to her administrative role she continues to be involved with development of new
engineering curriculum, improving teaching and assessment of student learning, assessment of program
outcomes and objectives, and ABET accreditation. She is an active member of ASEE, ASME, and OSA
serving in various capacities.

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Infusing Mechatronics and Robotics Concepts in Engineering CurriculumMechatronics and Robotics have continued to grow in importance in recent years which has led manycolleges and universities to start offering courses on these topics. A brand new technical elective course,“Introduction to Mechatronics”, was offered for the first time in spring 2012 at the author’s institution.While the course provides for ten weeks of instruction in Mechatronics, as an elective it does not reacha sufficient number of students. The author received a competitive grant internal to the institution for aproject to infuse mechatronics and robotics concepts and applications throughout the engineeringcurriculum. The project was completed during academic year 2011-12.Several hands-on modules were developed for three courses in the engineering curriculum, spanningthe entire freshman to senior experience. The modules were developed with “active learning” principlesin mind, to ensure students’ full participation in the learning process in the classroom. The author chosethe affordable and now widely adopted LEGO Mindstorms platform to illustrate basic mechatronicsconcepts and applications.The targeted courses were the freshman “Introduction to Engineering and Design” course, junior“Kinematics” course, and senior “Dynamic Systems and Control” course. The modules were deployed inthe three courses throughout the academic year, and were assessed using a variety of assessment toolsincluding rubrics and student surveys. In end-of-course surveys students expressed satisfaction with thehands-on modules and suggested ways to improve the experience. The paper will present the modulesdeveloped for the three courses, including learning objectives, hands-on activities, performance results,and survey data. Conclusions and future plans will be addressed.

Sala, A. L. (2013, June), Infusing Mechatronics and Robotics Concepts in Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19765

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