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MEC8057 : Mechatronics and Mobile Robotics

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr John Hedley
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to equip students with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of key mechatronic concepts and their specific applications to the robust design of mobile robotic systems. Topics covered include: an overview of the philosophy and methodology of mechatronic systems; introduction to embedded processors, programming, interfacing and analogue electronics; practical experience in the design and development of a mechatronic system, a knowledge and understanding of mobile robots, robot kinematics, mobile robot design principles and sensor/control systems.

Outline Of Syllabus

-Introduction to the philosophy and methodology of mechatronics, including the design and manufacture of
mechatronic products.
-Review of mechatronic machine systems, control, programming and computational requirements.
-Embedded processor design and interfacing, including ADC, DAC, serial/parallel communication protocols.
-Real-time computational requirements including effects of quantization and aliasing
-Application and selection of sensors, review of signal conditioning techniques and analogue/digital
-Introduction to the design and configuration of mobile robots, controller architectures and applications
-Kinematics and trajectory control of mobile robots, including modelling and simulation
-Sensor control of mobile robots for localisation, navigation and obstacle avoidance
-Design and development of a fully functional mobile robot mechatronic system

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Practical application of material learnt towards a goal orientated project
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Computer based examination (PiP)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials103:0030:001 hour PiP lecture supported by 2 hours recorded lectures.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities210:0020:00Computer based tutorials and trial exams.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading73:0021:00Recommended reading for required knowledge of module.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading105:0050:00Exercises and focussed mini-assignments to support their module assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00Synchronous PiP teaching ("tutorials") to support independent study and reinforce skills practice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching36:0018:00PiP Lab based project building with staff support
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Learning outcomes are addressed by a series of introductory lectures on each topic supplemented by academically supported tutorials. Essential reading references are given to direct the students to the more in depth knowledge required for the module. Practical skills are introduced through a series of supported lab classes. The assignment gives the opportunity to focus on what needs to be learnt through practical implementation of the material covered in the module.
Students are given a range of NUMBAS based tutorial questions during the teaching aspect of the module to practise on, these give immediate feedback on marking and advice on how to answer the question. The NUMBAS exam is a selection of these tutorial questions. The students are also required to do exercises during the module, advice and feedback is available to any student needing help with these exercises. The assignment for this module is again based on these exercises in which the student needs to piece together different exercises they have done to complete the assignment. Thus all assessment in this module is based on formative practise of the material.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination602A40NUMBAS based digital Exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M60Video presentation of assignment
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Digital Examination2MFormative practise of the NUMBAS exam
Written exercise2MFormative practise of the assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignment is based around utilising the knowledge and skills developed throughout the module and a means of assessing how well the students can apply these skills and knowledge. The computer based exam covers the engineering material learnt over the duration of the course and the skills learnt during development of the project based assignment. It assesses the same material as the assignment but under time constraint conditions.

Reading Lists