ELEC 444: Modeling and Computer Control of Mechatronic Systems


Mechatronics is an ever growing area, which we all benefit from on a daily basis. Nowadays mechatronic systems are in all aspects of our lives from smart phones or kitchen appliances, or automobiles to medical devices. Mechatronics is at the junction of four major disciplines including mechanics, electronics, computer and control systems. The focus of this introductory course in on the control systems aspect of mechatronics. One challenge in the design of controllers is the hybrid nature of these systems, as they are often composed of continuous-time plants to be controlled and discrete-time controllers that are implemented in computer. The connection between these two components is made via data acquisition systems consisting of analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters. These systems are also called sampled-data systems. In this course will build upon your knowledge in discrete-time signal and systems (ELEC-324), sensors and actuators (ELEC-344) and continuous-time linear control systems (ELEC-443). In particular, we will learn about dynamic models of mechatronic systems as well as the design of discrete-time controllers to meet certain stability and performance criteria.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

  • You will learn about dynamic models for mechanical, electrical, thermal and fluid systems, and how to linearize the nonlinear dynamics associated with these systems.
  • You will add to the depth of your understanding in discrete-time signals and systems
  • You will be able to derive a discrete-time equivalent dynamic model of the continuous-time plant and data acquisition system.
  • You will be able to design discrete-time controllers by emulation or directly in discrete-time domain.
    • Design by Emulation: Design continuous-time controllers for the continuous-time plants and derive their discrete-time equivalents using various available techniques, including Euler rectangular methods, Tustin method, Impulse invariance, matched zero-pole, hold equivalents.
    • Direct Design: Use root locus or frequency-domain methods such as Bode or Nyquist plots to design a discrete-time controller for the discrete-time equivalent of the plant.
  • You will be able to analyze the stability of discrete-time feedback systems.
  • You will be able to analyze the transient response and steady-state response of discrete-time feedback systems.
  • You will learn about the effect of sampling rate and quantization on the stability and performance of these systems.

Credit Breakdown

Lecture: 3
Lab: 0.25
Tutorial: 0

Academic Unit Breakdown

Mathematics 0
Natural Sciences 0
Complementary Studies 0
Engineering Science 29
Engineering Design 10