1.1) What is Mechatronics?
As a relatively new branch in the engineering field, Mechatronics was first introduced by the Japanese. It consists of the integration of electrical, mechanical engineering and computing. The term mechatronics does not have a solid definition; however, it is safe to say that that it is a multidiscipline and a combination of various systems. It is a key to the next generation of machine and robots.
1.2) Examples of Mechatronic systems
Usually, a mechatronic system is composed of four primary components. These components are sensors, actuators, controllers and obviously the mechanical components. Below are some examples of mechatronic systems:
- Robots: Robots are now well known for their wide applications in different segments. A robot is a device that is capable of independently moving either by walking or rolling on its wheels. They have been designed to perform complex actions such as grasping and moving objects. Some robots even resemble the behavior of living creatures such as animals or even humans.
- Washing machine: a washing machine is a device that is used to wash laundry, it is composed of 4 components: sensors, actuators, a microprocessor and the mechanical parts.
- The DA VINCI Surgical System: This is a surgical robotic device that was made by the American company Intuitive Surgical. It was approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the year 2000 to be used in surgeries. This revolutionary surgical device has made surgeons capable of performing the most complicated and delicate surgical procedures through very small cuts with high accuracy.
1.3) Fields where mechatronics can be used
Being a combination and the integration of many different systems, Mechatronics is a field of very vast scope and can be used in various fields and domains such as:
- The Medical field: such as surgery, Radiology, Emergency Medicine…
- Robotics Industry: basically the manufacture and designing of robots and robotic systems such as industrial robots
- Automotive/Automobile engineering: This branch of engineering refers to the integration of such technologies as mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering to design and manufacture of motorcycles, automobiles, and trucks.
- Research Organizations: such as Instrumentation and Sensors, Microfluidics and MEMS, Energy Conversion
- Mechanical Industry: This branch of mechanical engineering refers to the application of engineering, physics, and materials science principles for the designing, analyzing, manufacturing, and maintaining mechanical systems. Mechanical Industry is one of the oldest and broadest branches of the engineering field.
- Computer-Aided Designing (CAD): In simplest term, CAD is the use of computer systems (or workstations) to aid in the creating, modifying, analyzing, or optimizing of a mechanical design.
- Manufacturing Industry: This scope of engineering is utilized in the production of merchandise for use or sale using labor and machines or tools…
- Mining: It refers to the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth.
- Inspection: such as oil and gas pipeline inspection via drones.
1.4) Outlook for Mechatronics
Estimations show that mechatronics will soon have its impact on every field of engineering discipline and will be overwhelmingly used and implemented in almost all areas of our life. The pace of this technologies has Sooner or later, traditional machines and tools will be replaced by advanced mechatronic systems and robots.
2) Internet of Things
2.1) what is the internet?
The internet can be simply defined as the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol which is TCP/IP to link devices worldwide. It is sometimes called the network of networks because of its coverage of private, public, academic, business and every other existing network either locally or globally. Such networks and their consisting computers are linked together by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.
2.2) what is the internet of things?
The internet of things also known as IoT is a term that encompasses literally everything that is connected to the internet; however, it is increasingly being used to define objects or devices that talk and communicate with each other. In other words, the internet of things is simply made up devices from sensors to smartphones and wearables that are connected to each other.
By combining these connected devices with automated systems, it is possible to help someone with a particular task by gathering information, analyzing it and creating an action. It is also possible to learn from a process. In reality, this ranges from smart mirrors to beacons in shops and beyond.
2.3) Examples of the internet of things (IoT) devices
Any object that can be connected to the internet and controlled by it can be transformed into an IoT device. Below are some examples:
- Smart Door Locks: Smart Door Locks offer advanced access control to homes or business offices.
- Smart Bluetooth Trackers: these devices use Bluetooth signals digitally to track special items by your smartphone.
- Smart Bike Locks & Trackers: they are used for anti-theft purposes.
- Smart Home Retrofit: these devices allow users to control security locks, heating, cooling…
- Connected Smart Kitchen: they are used for controlling of IoT based cooking devices in a home.
- Smart Home Apps
2.4) Benefits of the internet of things
IOT has a lot of pros and advantages such as:
- Tracking behavior for real-time marketing: via IoT, businesses can gather latest information and data on their target audience.
- Sensor-driven decision analytics
- Optimized resource consumption: obviously the more data and formation you have on the situation the fewer resources and time is necessary.
- Providing Instantaneous and fast control of complex autonomous systems
- The lower death rate in driving: The World Health Organization estimated that over 1 million death happen annually due to auto-related accidents, and the majority of these deaths are caused by human errors; however, with IoT, it is possible that these numbers will be significantly reduced due to the automation of cars.
According to recent studies it is estimated that in the very near future, the number of devices that are connected to the internet will rise from 20 billion to 50 billion, not only that but also most companies and even industries will be transformed by the internet of things especially with the rise of mechatronics and automated smart systems that are taking over almost every field.