WEBINAR: A Personal Evolution for Deployment of Mechatronics/Robotics Courses from 2000 - present

  • Last Post 12 December 2018
Zuzana Fabusova posted this 26 November 2018

Friday, December 7, 10 am EST
Presenter: Dr. Venkat Krovi, Michelin Endowed Chair Professor of Automotive Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University

The mechatronic/robotic paradigm offers immense value for modulating physical power under computer-control and thereby extend the reach of humans in performing the 4D (dull-dumb-dirty-dangerous) tasks. System-level realizations require a synergistic merger of theories/technologies from multiple disciplines (mechanical, electrical, electronics and computational-science) to successfully straddle the physical-digital worlds. The ability to trade-off functionality via suitable blend of hardware/software components creates an enlarged design trade-space while ultimate subject to the real-world constraints of time/space/energy.

A truly renaissance mechatronics/robotics engineer now requires proficiency in both traditional engineering concepts as well as a systems engineering skillset for implementing the ensuing complex systems. The recent trend towards larger-scale distributed autonomous systems (capable of exploiting multimodal distributed and networked spatial and temporal data) has only served to exacerbate the challenges. Empowering students with proficiency in mechatronics/robotics requires exposing them to both the pedagogic concepts as well as experiential deployments – all within the curricular constraints of disciplinary-oriented courses.

In this talk, Dr. Krovi will describe his efforts since 2000 at deploying mechatronics/robotics courses geared towards senior-undergraduate/first-year graduate engineering students, with limited prior exposure to mechatronic/robotics systems. Our emphasis on realizing reliable and robust systems builds on a scaffolded learning framework with significant experiential system-integration efforts layered through the course. The project-based learning emphasis – beginning with the individual 2-week labs early in the course culminating in an integrative final course project – facilitated active student engagement and, of course, contributed to the pressure and drama!

Over the years, the course content evolved to parallel the evolution of technologies: sensing (e.g., ultrasonic sensors to newer LIDAR), compute platforms (e.g., Basic Stamps/Arduino to ROS-based NVIDIA TK-1) and actuation (small modular-kits to larger-scale RC-Cars). Dr. Krovi will conclude with presenting vignettes of these deployments, discussion of lessons learned, and opportunities for future improvement.


Zuzana Fabusova posted this 12 December 2018

Webinar recording is now available on our YouTube channel: