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This paper describes a multidisciplinary teaching program, designed to provide students with the broad knowledge and skills required to practice product development in robotics and mechatronics. The curriculum was designed to prepare students for the senior capstone design project, in which they design and build a working mechatronic/robotic system. It consists of a basic program in mechanical engineering, augmented with courses and laboratories in electronics, microprocessors, control, and computer programming. The early introduction of the specialty courses and the ample hands-on experience offered in the accompanying laboratories allows students to gain intuitive understanding of concepts that are usually foreign to mechanical engineers. The capstone design project attracts students to the program and serves as a beacon for the entire program. The program is now in its 11th year, receiving positive feedback from students and graduates.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013