Mechatronics and Robotics, M.S.
In a global, competitive marketplace, to sustain the U.S. quest for leadership through the creation of an “innovation economy,” there is an acute need to train tomorrow’s workforce in cooperative, active-learning environments with students from diverse educational backgrounds. Recognizing the challenges and opportunities inherent in interdisciplinary education, in 2015, the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department began offering a new M.S. Degree in Mechatronics and Robotics.
Defined broadly, mechatronics is the synergistic integration of mechanical engineering, control theory, computer science, and electronics to manage complexity, uncertainty, and communication in engineered systems. Moreover, robotics (synergistic integration of mechanical structures, mechanisms, electrical and electronic components, electromechanical sensors and actuators, microcontrollers, and programming) offers an ideal technology platform on which to construct lasting new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. The exciting fields of mechatronics and robotics can spark intellectual curiosity and engage the interest of students in hands-on engineering education, engineering research, and creative and entrepreneurial explorations. This new M.S. degree offering modernizes our curricula offerings, makes it relevant to students’ interest, and addresses workforce demands for graduates who have broader inter-disciplinary training and practical experience in the field of mechatronics and robotics with project work.
About the ProgramCatalog Description
The M.S. degree in Mechatronics and Robotics will provide an interdisciplinary education to students through coursework, experiential learning, and project (or thesis) work. Students will learn fundamental theory, modeling methods, hardware components, interfacing requirements, simulation and programming tools, and practical applications of mechatronics and robotics. Specifically, real-world mechatronics and robotics systems will provide an avenue for physics-based system modeling. In addition to mechanical aspects, students will learn about building-blocks of mechatronics and robotics, i.e., sensing, actuation, computing technologies, and algorithms, thus being introduced to real-world tools used by practicing professionals. Having learned the fundamental theory, modeling, hardware, and programming tools through core courses, students can specialize in one of three areas, namely, assistive mechatronic and robotic technologies; mobile robotics; or microrobotics. All students will also acquire fundamentals of entrepreneurship through formal course work. All courses as well as project (or thesis) work will engage students in hands-on learning and explorations that will provide them with a comprehensive experience in systems integration and product development. Finally, the entrepreneurship activities will allow students to envision and gain an appreciation of the pathway from education to careers.
A bachelor’s degree and a good academic record in mechanical, electrical, or electronics engineering from a reputable college or university are generally required for admission to this program. Applicants with degrees from other fields may be admitted but may have to complete additional studies to achieve a comparable background. Courses required to achieve this status are specified as part of the admission evaluation. Undergraduate courses specified for this purpose cannot count toward credits for the graduate degree. Graduate programs are subject to prior approval of a graduate adviser designated by the department.
To earn a Master of Science in Mechatronics and Robotics degree at the School of Engineering, you must complete 30 credits as outlined in the required courses below. At least 6 credits will be fulfilled through your chosen specialty.
- 3 Credits Mechatronics ME-GY5913
- Introduction to theoretical and applied mechatronics, design and operation of mechatronics systems; mechanical, electrical, electronic, and opto-electronic components; sensors and actuators including signal conditioning and power electronics; microcontrollers—fundamentals, programming, and interfacing; and feedback control. Includes structured and term projects in the design and development of proto-type integrated mechatronic systems.
- 3 Credits Introduction to Robot Mechanics ME-GY6913
- Robot components and types, and their mathematical modeling. Spatial description of position and orientation. Types and modeling of robotic joints. Differential rotation and translations. Forward and inverse kinematics. Homogeneous transformation. Denavit-Hartenberg kinematic convention. Jacobian and mapping. Manipulator statics and dynamics. Robot mechanism design. Power train and transmission. Motion planning and control. Kinematic/kinetic redundancy and optimization. Locomotion and balancing. Biomimetics and humanoids.
Prerequisites: ME-UY 3223 and ME-UY 3413 or instructor's consent (for undergraduates) or Graduate Standing
- 3 Credits Simulation Tools and Software for Mechatronics and Robotics ME-GY6923
- The student who completes this course will gain an advanced understanding of the principles underlying simulation of dynamical systems, with particular reference to mechatronics and robotic systems. He/she will be able to use modern tools for simulation of mechatronics and robotic systems. Moreover, he/she will be able to design and implement control algorithms and assess their performance on the simulated systems.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
- 3 Credits Advanced Mechatronics ME-GY6933
- Introduction to, applications of, and hands-on experience with microcontrollers and single-board computers for embedded system applications. Specifically, gain familiarity with the fundamentals, anatomy, functionality, programming, interfacing, and protocols for the Arduino microcontroller, multi-core Propeller microcontroller, and single-board computer Raspberry Pi. Includes mini-projects and term projects in the design and development of proto-type integrated mechatronic systems.
Prerequisites: ME-GY 5913
- 3 Credits Entrepreneurship MG-GY7703
- This course focuses on entrepreneurship and venture creation as key engines for wealth creation and successful business strategy in the modern, innovation- intensive, high-tech economy. The course deals with key issues such as: (1) assessing attractiveness of opportunities; (2) launching a new venture; (3) nurturing, growing and entrepreneurial venture; (4) obtaining the necessary financial, human and technology resources; (5) managing the transition from a small entrepreneurial firm to a large, sustainable, professionally managed but still entrepreneurial corporation; and (6) being an entrepreneur and promoting entrepreneurship in a large corporation.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
ME-GY xxxx Required for Specialty Area, Credits: 6.00 total
ME-GY xxxx Project (ME-GY 9963) or Thesis (ME-GY 9973) Approved by Research Advisor, Credits: 6.00 total
Free Electives, Credits: 3.00 total
Free elective suggestions:
- 3 Credits Advanced Trends in Technology Management & Innovation MG-GY7743
- This course explores several trends that have emerged in the technology management and innovation arena in the past decade. These include the advent of digital-based innovation in the late 1990s which has had a profound affect on how many firms conduct business; the effect of the crash of the NASDAQ in March 2000 and the September 11 event which had a major effect on corporations which now had to operate within major economic and creative constraints; the development of the concept of networks as it relates to the organization and strategy of the firm; the development of the wireless technology platform and its effect on technology innovation; and the development of a new innovation paradigm which suggests a relationship between information technology, creativity, and business practices. The course emphasizes classroom discussions as well as team based and individual projects.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
- 1.5 Credits High-technology Entrepreneurship MG-GY7861
- This course focuses on entrepreneurship as a critical engine for wealth creation in the high-technology and innovation-intensive economy. The covers covers such key issues as: (1) assessing attractiveness of opportunities; (2) launching a new venture: (3) obtaining the necessary financial, human and technology resources; (4) managing the transition from a small entrepreneurial firm to a large, sustainable professionally managed but still entrepreneurial corporation; and (5) being an entrepreneur and promoting entrepreneurship in a large corporation.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
- 1.5 Credits Introduction to Managing Intellectual Property MG-GY7871
- This course focuses on the role of intellectual property (e.g., patents, trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, etc.) as a major element in modern technology and information strategy. Relevant concepts and case studies use examples of classical and digital innovations.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
- 3 Credits Managing Technological Change & Innovation MG-GY8653
- The course focuses on effectively managing technological change and innovation, which is accomplished with a dual perspective. One perspective is based on individual, group and organizational theory, research and practice. This body of literature, viewpoints and experience provide essential guides to manage successfully the introduction of newtechnologies. Realizing the full potential of
new technologies requires effectively managing change to assure the commitment of all stakeholders. The second perspective is based on innovation theory, research and practice. This body of literature, viewpoints and experience provide key insights to for effectively managing the process of innovation and the impact of innovation on all parts of an enterprise. Specifically, the course explores a firm’s explicit need to manage and inspire people so they can communicate and innovate effectively.
Prerequisite: Adviser’s approval and graduate standing
Two courses from the same specialty area must be taken from the following list to develop a specialization
Assistive mechatronic and robotic technologies
- 3 Credits Robots for Disability ME-GY7913
- This course will introduce personal, societal, and technological challenges related to physical disability, cognitive disability, and senior living. After an introduction to these challenges, students will learn about current state of art mechatronics and robotics solutions to handle these problems. Finally, they will apply their mechatronics and robotics learning to produce novel robotics solutions to address a specific problem related to a disability.
Prerequisite: ME-GY 5913 or permission of instructor.
- 3 Credits Robotic Gait and Manipulation ME-GY7923
- Review of fundamental robot kinematics, dynamics, and control. Types of robotic manipulation. Design and control of robotic manipulators. Robotic hand and arm. Robotic manipulation modeling, simulation, and experiments. Gait types of legged systems. Biped and quadruped systems. Human walking and running, and passive dynamics. Design and control of biped walking robots. Robotic gait modeling, simulation, and experiments. Focus on hands-on experience in design, fabrication, and control of simple mechanisms.
Prerequisite: ME-GY 6913
- 3 Credits Fundamentals of Robot Mobility ME-GY7933
- This course presents the concepts, techniques, algorithms, and state-of-the-art approaches for robot perception, mapping and localization. The course will show the theoretical foundations and will also have an experimental component based on Matlab/ROS. The course will start from basic concepts in probability and then introduce probabilistic approaches for data fusion such as Bayes Filters, Kalman Filter, Extended Kalman Filter, Unscented Kalman Filter, and Particle Filter. Then, the course will introduce the SLAM problem showing how this has recently been solved using batch optimization and graph methods. Finally, mapping algorithms will also be briefly discussed.
Prerequisite: ME-GY 6923 or ME-GY 6703 or permission from instructor
- 3 Credits Networked Robotics Systems, Cooperative Control and Swarming ME-GY7943
- The student who completes this course will gain an advanced understanding of the analysis and control of networked dynamical systems, with a specific accent on networked robotic systems. He/she will be able to study the properties of networked robotic systems through the analysis of the intertwining properties of the network structure and of the individual dynamics of the single robot. Moreover, he/she will be able to understand and design algorithms for distributed control of teams of mobile agents and robots.
- 3 Credits Introduction to Smart Materials and Structures ME-GY7953
- This course presents the fundamentals of fabrication, modeling, analysis, and design of smart materials and structures. Students will be exposed to the state of the art of smart materials and systems, spanning piezoelectrics, shape memory alloys, electroactive polymers, mechanochromic materials, and fiber optics. They will explore the application of such materials in structural systems from the aeronautic, automotive, biomedical, and nautical industry. They will gain familiarity with multiphysics phenomena taking place within smart materials. Such knowledge will, in turn, inform the use of commercial software to simulate smart materials and structures for application in sensing and actuation.
- 3 Credits Design and Simulation of Microelectromechanical Systems ME-GY7963
- This course presents the fundamentals of fabrication, modeling, analysis, and design of micro/nano sensors and actuators. Students will be exposed to the state of the art of micro/nano fabrication. They will gain familiarity with multiphysics phenomena at the micro/nano scale toward an improved understanding of fundamental sensing and actuation principles. Such knowledge will, in turn, inform the use of commercial software to design and simulate micro/nano devices for real world application.
Variable X credits M.S. Project ME-GY 996X
This course is an engineering project under faculty guidance. A written project proposal and final report must be submitted to the department head and the adviser and may be extended to a thesis with the project advisor’s recommendation. Credit only upon completion of project.
Variable X credits M.S. Thesis ME-GY 997X
The master’s thesis presents results of original investigation in the student’s specialty. This effort can be an extension of ME-GY 9963, with approval of the project adviser. Continuous registration is required. Maximum of 9 credits of ME-GY 996X/ME-GY 997X are counted toward the degree.
Important Credit and Course Notes
- To graduate, you must have a 3.0 GPA or better in each of the following:
- In the average of all graduate courses taken at the School of Engineering (whether or not some of these courses are being used to satisfy specific degree requirements)
- In the average of all courses submitted for the graduate degree
- In each guided studies, readings, projects, thesis, courses, or credits enrolled
- You must take at least 21 credits out of the 30 credits needed for the degree at the School of Engineering. In other words, 9 credits may be transferred from elsewhere
- No more than 6 credits in “Guided Reading” courses are allowed
- Validation credit is not allowed, but the graduate adviser may waive specific requirements (and substitute designated ones), based upon your prior studies or experience
- Transfer credits are not granted for the following:
- Undergraduate courses
- Courses counted toward satisfying undergraduate degree requirements
- Courses not related to the graduate program as stated in this catalog
- Courses that received a grade lower than B
- You must complete your degree in 5 years, unless a formal leave of absence is approved before the period for which studies are interrupted
- If you decide to do a ME-GY 9973 Master Thesis for 9 credits as part of your work for the degree, 3 out of the 9 credits will be counted against the 3 credits of Free Electives
- You are not allowed to submit more than 3 courses (9 credits), starting with a 5 for MS degree requirements satisfaction
- Departmental electives include courses with a mechanical (ME), aerospace (AE), or materials (MT) prefix, plus departmental thesis or project credits
- All courses and program details are subject to adviser approval