Asee peer logo

WIP: A Systems-level Approach for an Introductory Mechatronics Laboratory Course for Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Students

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Mechatronics & Simulation

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Karnveer Gill Greensea Systems Inc.

visit author page

Karnveer Gill received his B.S. degree from San Francisco State University in Electrical Engineering. In his time at San Francisco, he worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant in Mechatronics as well as a research assistant in the Control for Automation and Rehabilitation Robotics Lab. He currently works in the marine robotics industry as a Junior Robotics Engineer at Greensea Systems Inc. His current research interests include ROV's and EOD robotics.

visit author page

author page

Nick Morales


David Quintero San Francisco State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. David Quintero received B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, a M.S. degree from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas all in mechanical engineering. He is now an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at San Francisco State University. He teaches courses in control systems and mechatronics. His current research interests include design of hybrid actuators for wearable robots, rehabilitation engineering, biomechanics, assistive robotics, and biomechatronic systems.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Mechatronics is an interdisciplinary engineering field that involves knowledge across mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. In general, undergraduate engineering programs teach mechatronics as individual topic labs that then request students in developing a full system-level mechatronics semester project utilizing skills of design, manufacturing, and electronics. This lab format may not provide effectively the necessary learning skills to perform system-level integration and debugging for multidisciplinary problems that are typically encountered in a mechatronics project. This paper shares the development of an introductory laboratory curriculum that teaches mechanical engineering students to gain fluency in electronics and software with system-level demonstration to be a valuable employer of mechatronics. When we talk about systems, we use the NASA Systems Engineering handbook definition as “a construct or collection of different elements that together produce results not obtainable by the elements alone.” This is the mindset we want students to carry throughout the mechatronics curriculum. To focus on the practical applications of mechatronics, we developed a lab curriculum that cultivates system-level thinking around the build and integration of a hypothetical NASA Mars rover project. Overall, the course aims to teach students analog/digital sensing technologies, actuation hardware, Proportional-Integral-Derivative control, and microcontroller software implementation from a system-level teaching approach ensuring cross-functional debugging skills for each lab. This approach can be advantageous towards students completing their semester project in the design and development of their own mechatronic system.

Gill, K., & Morales, N., & Quintero, D. (2020, June), WIP: A Systems-level Approach for an Introductory Mechatronics Laboratory Course for Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35520

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015