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MEC8057 : Mechatronics and Mobile Robotics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr John Hedley
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in MEC3027 and MEC8058 to equip students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the key mechatronic concepts and their specific application to the robust design of mobile robotic systems. Concepts are mathematically analysed with subsequent engineering solutions firstly being developed via simulation and finally implemented and characterised on hardware. The module aims to equip students with the necessary skills to effectively develop system level and robotic solutions for today’s smart technology.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module firstly introduces examples of smart technology with emphasis towards autonomous systems. The first half of the module then concentrates on exploring design and development of such mechatronic systems, in particular circuit design with the use of operational amplifiers. Starting from the basic circuit building blocks, students will develop the knowledge and skills to design, build and test complete electronic solutions. The second half of the module looks to utilise these mechatronic design approaches to develop autonomous mobile robotics. The kinematics to drive such systems are mathematically derived and then developing these robots towards autonomy is explored through application of suitable sensing, data processing and control algorithms. Application of artificial intelligence to robotic solutions is introduced.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion124:0024:00Practical application of material learnt towards a goal orientated project
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials92:0018:00Recorded lectures.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Computer based examination
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities95:0045:00Computer based tutorials and trial exams.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading85:0040:00Recommended reading for required knowledge of module.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading95:0045:00Focused mini-assignments to support their module assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching93:0027:00Teaching (tutorials) to support independent study and reinforce skills practice including lab exercises
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is divided into discrete sessions with each session addressing a particular aspect of mechatronics design and robotic engineering. Each session consists of a series of pre-recorded lectures covering all the required material for that session followed by an in-person tutorial class covering tutorial problems, simulation work and hands-on activities. Recommended reading links give students a deeper and broader understanding of the subject.

The timetabled sessions give students the opportunity to access help for any of the module material whilst a discussion board allows for additional queries to be addressed outside of timetabled sessions. A blend of simulated and hands on activities allows students to learn the required knowledge and skills and apply this to real work scenarios.

Opportunities are provided throughout the module for students to practice examples of the assessments and receive feedback of their performance. Students are encouraged to monitor their learning as the module progresses.

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
Design/Creative proj2M60Video presentation of assignment 14 minutes
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Digital Examination2MFormative practise of the NUMBAS exam
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignment assesses the student’s ability to apply the knowledge and skills developed during the module towards creating and evaluating a mechatronics design and robotic solution to a given problem specification. IA computer-based exam assesses students on specific technical knowledge of the module material under time constrained conditions. An open book approach is adopted to encourage students to make the necessary notes in preparation for the exam, this gives students the opportunity to reflect on areas of strength and weaknesses in their knowledge of the subject.

Students are given a range of NUMBAS based tutorial questions during the teaching aspect of the module to practice on, these give immediate feedback on marking and advice on how to answer the question and help students prepare for their module assessment. The students are also required to do mini-assignments and lab work during the module, advice and feedback is available to any student needing help with these. The module assignment is based on these activities. Thus all assessment in this module is based on formative practice of the material.

Reading Lists