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Mechatronics For Multidisciplinary Teaming

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.844.1 - 8.844.10



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Paper Authors

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Michael Batchelder

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Elaine Linde

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Dan Dolan

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Daniel Dolan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Document 2003-1235 Session 2526 Mechatronics for Multidisciplinary Teaming

Elaine Linde, Daniel Dolan, Michael Batchelder South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


At the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, students from Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering all take a Mechatronics course during their sophomore or junior year. The course follows the textbook Mechatronics by Alciatore and Histand rather closely. For the lab projects, students use a small computer circuit board containing a PIC microcontroller. The computer circuit board was designed and built at the school. Students design interfaces for transducers and actuators to be controlled by the software executed on the PIC which they develop in the C language using the PCW compiler from CCS, Inc. The 16F876 PIC microcontroller used has a flash program memory so that compiled code can be downloaded in seconds, speeding the software development and debug cycle.

Along with the standard quizzes, tests and labs, the students must complete two projects. One project is the construction and demonstration of a robot designed to run the IEEE Region V robotic contest. The other project is chosen by the student team. Each team must be multidisciplinary; it must have at least one ME and at least one EE or CompE. Student teams have become very successful at completing the increasingly imaginative projects they choose.

Results from the five years over which the course has been developed show increases in teaming skills; increased cooperation among students of different departments leading to more multidisciplinary capstone design projects; increased multidisciplinary participation in student competitions such as IEEE Robotics, American Solar Challenge, and Formula SAE; increased levels of enjoyment as students succeed in real engineering projects (especially obvious as students cheer on their team’s robot in the end of semester competition).

Batchelder, M., & Linde, E., & Dolan, D., & Dolan, D. (2003, June), Mechatronics For Multidisciplinary Teaming Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11521

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