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WIP: Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Definitions Among Students, Educators, and Industry Professionals

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechatronics and Robotics II

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35559

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35559

Download Count

148

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Paper Authors

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James A. Mynderse Lawrence Technological University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3297-6636

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James A. Mynderse is an Associate Professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical, Robotics, and Industrial Engineering at Lawrence Technological University where he serves as director for the MS in Mechatronic Systems Engineering program. He received his BS, MS, and PhD in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. His research interests include mechatronics, dynamic systems, and control with applications to piezoelectric actuators, UAVs, and manufacturing. He serves as the faculty advisor for the LTU Baja SAE team.

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Nima Lotfi Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Nima Lotfi received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran, in 2006, his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2010, and his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology,
Rolla, MO, USA, in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Mechanical Engineering Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, USA. His current research interests include characterization and electrochemical modeling of Li-ion batteries, traditional and electrochemical model-based Li-ion battery management system design, and real-world applications of
control and estimation theory especially in alternative and renewable energy systems, mechatronics, robotics, and electrified and autonomous transportation. Dr. Lotfi is a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society and ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division.

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Nikhil Bajaj University of Pittsburgh

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Dr. Bajaj earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and has held research assistant positions on several projects in the areas of nonlinear dynamics, control systems, sensing and machine learning, computational design, and heat transfer. He has held a summer research position with Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories and has also served as a consulting mechatronics engineer with two startup technology companies, in the areas of force sensing in gaming devices and the control of multi-actuator haptics. His research interests include nonlinear dynamical and control systems, and the analysis and design of mechatronic systems, especially in the context of cyber-physical systems—in particular making them secure and resilient.

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Vishesh Vikas The University of Alabama

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Vishesh Vikas is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (UA) and the director of the Agile Robotics Lab at UA. His research interests are in the field of soft robotics, bioinspired robotics and tensegrity mechanisms. He received his MS (2008) and PhD (2011) in Mechanical Engineering from the Center of Intelligent Machines and Robotics, University of Florida, Gainesville. Thereafter, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Neuromechanics and Biomimetics Devices, Tufts University (2012-2016). He has served as the Chair of Student Mechanisms and Robotics Design Competition at the ASME IDETC (2017-2019). Currently, he serves on the Electronic Editorial Board for the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics (JMR).

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Michael A. Gennert Worcester Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3170-2190

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Michael A. Gennert is Professor of Robotics Engineering, CS, and ECE at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he leads the WPI Humanoid Robotics Laboratory and was Founding Director of the Robotics Engineering Program. He has worked at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the University of California Riverside, PAR Technology Corporation, and General Electric. He received the S.B. in CS, S.B. in EE, and S.M. in EECS in 1980 and the Sc.D. in EECS in 1987 from MIT. Dr. Gennert's research interests include robotics, computer vision, and image processing, with ongoing projects in humanoid robotics, robot navigation and guidance, biomedical image processing, and stereo and motion vision. He led WPI teams in the DARPA Robotics Challenge and NASA Space Robotics Challenge and is author or co-author of over 100 papers. His research has been supported by DARPA, NASA, NIH, NSF, and industry. He is a member of Sigma Xi, and a senior member of IEEE and ACM.

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Abstract

Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering (MRE) is a growing engineering discipline focused on the creation of smart and autonomous systems and processes in an integrated and interdisciplinary fashion towards improving the quality of human lives. Despite the growing need for MRE professionals and increasing numbers of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, this field does not yet enjoy recognition as a distinct and identifiable discipline.

A distinct and identifiable engineering discipline must address four questions: 1) What is the body of knowledge that practitioners must master? 2) What skills must practitioners demonstrate? 3) What are the ways of thinking that permeate the discipline? 4) How do practitioners define and distinguish the discipline? Within the MRE community, there is disagreement over how these questions are addressed, and hence, whether and how to define a unified “mechatronics and robotics engineering” discipline or to differentiate “mechatronics engineering” from “robotics engineering”.

Four groups of stakeholders were identified: prospective students, current students, educators, and industry professionals. An online survey with common sections on definitions of “mechatronics engineering” and “robotics engineering” and stakeholder-specific questions about differentiators was distributed to stakeholders via email invitation. Quantitative data analysis was used to code and categorize responses. Preliminary data analysis results for categories and codes are presented.

Mynderse, J. A., & Lotfi, N., & Bajaj, N., & Vikas, V., & Gennert, M. A. (2020, June), WIP: Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Definitions Among Students, Educators, and Industry Professionals Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35559

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