Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of science that deals with the study of the engineering mainly across electrical and mechanical systems. As compared to the conventional discrete divisions of mechanical, computer, control and electronic engineering, this field combines the relevant aspects of all these disciplines, and plays an integral role across industries by unifying the principles taught separately in each field.
To successfully complete a graduate course in mechatronics means the student should be able to understand equally well concepts such as modelling and real-time computer interfacing as well as use of sensors, controllers and actuators.
Over the last decade, mechatronics has extended from fields like transport systems and photography to even artificial intelligence. The modern day hard-drive, common household appliances such as washing machines and coffeemakers, the QR code are all innovations that can be credited to this specialised field of engineering.
Current advancements in Mechatronics Engineering include
- Robotics: A standout subset of mechatronics engineering, robotics is the one field in which huge strides are being made in research. This entails designing products and processes related to robotics, which supplements the current understanding of the field.
- Wireless Sensor Networks: With applications in defence and health sectors, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the sensing and controlling capabilities of mechatronic systems. The ability to interact or relay information to other agents by mechatronics systems, and then managing and controlling the same has numerous research possibilities.
Mechatronics Engineering In India
Courses at both Bachelors and Masters level are offered for Mechatronics Engineering in India and some eminent institutions include Manipal Institute of Technology, NIT Surathkal and Vellore Institute of Technology.
Students wishing to pursue mechatronics engineering should possess a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of physics, chemistry and mathematics. An innate sense of analysing taught concepts to translate into real-world applications is a skill that would take an aspiring mechatronics engineer to great heights in his/her professional career.
The aspirants should have the ability to grasp concepts and principles from a multitude of engineering fields and must be able to apply said concepts towards practical applications. A research-oriented thought process would suit them too.
Master’s programmes are offered in different branches such as:
- mechatronic system design
- systems engineering
- mechatronic control engineering
- automotive mechatronics and intelligent vehicles
- computational mechanics
- mechatronic product realisation
- geomechanical engineering
- bionics engineering
- precision engineering
Job-oriented courses are available in:
- big data sciences
Top Companies in the Field
- Systemantics: This company designs and develops industrial scale user-friendly robots using patented design innovations.
- GreyOrange: It primarily deals with the development of intelligent robotics employed towards warehouse and supply chain automation.
- Gridbots: The company claims to be able to accomplish industrial level tasks which are seemingly impossible with solutions within the scope of engineering.
- Sastra Robotics: The products manufactured by Sastra Robotics mimic human actions and reactions using an innovative approach and cost-effective design.
- KUKA Robotics: Primarily dealing with tailor-made industrial robot manufacturing, KUKA robots have been used for applications like factory use, material handling, cardiac surgery and more.
- Robotics Engineer/Technician: In essence, a robotics engineer fabricates and finetunes technology related to robots and robotic systems. Their work falls primarily under the umbrella of Computer Aided Design (CAD), construction of the robot and subsequent research & development towards practical applications in the energy, healthcare, manufacturing and mining sectors to name a few. Their jobs entail the creation of innovative robots that are cost-effective, function efficiently and offer an edge over existing technology.
- Automation Engineer: While the manufacturing industry has been employing the support of an automation engineer for a long time, the role of automation engineering is fairly new to the healthcare, finance and business industries. The primary role of an automation engineer is to identify and eliminate errors in either the software development of a product or customer service processes (like in the case of Chatbots). This eventually eases the load on workers while ensuring efficient and reliable processes.
- Control System Design/ Troubleshooting Engineer: Employed in automotive, manufacturing and construction sectors, control system engineers primarily design and develop equipment which are used to monitor and control the efficiency of engineering machinery and systems. This is a relatively new discipline and a niche of mechatronics engineers choose to branch out into control system design.
- Electronics Design Engineer: Attributing to their strong background in electronics engineering with an understanding of design and theories, a professional with this background, designs and develops innovative electronic systems, equipment, products and components.
- Mechanical Design Engineer : As a mechanical design engineer, CAD software is used to develop models to meet the requirements of clients or towards completion of a project. On approval of the model, designs are finalised and implemented. In some cases, reproduction and archiving designs may be part of a mechanical design engineer’s job description too.
- Data Scientist: Pursuing a career in this field may require a specialist masters education in data sciences. Currently one of the most marketable professional skills globally, the synergism of biology and finance fields with mechatronics engineering is one that is quickly expanding and sure to get even bigger in the near future.
- Instrumentation Engineer : The design, development, installation, management and subsequent maintenance of equipment used in the monitoring and control of engineering machinery, systems and processes falls under the banner of an instrumentation engineer. The effective and safe operation of these systems and operations should be the main priority for these professionals.