Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Mechatronics 2

Module aims

This module will demystify electronics and control through hands-on experience of building electronic systems and of using the instrumentation needed to see how they behave. It will develop understanding of, and an ability to use, some of the analogue electronic stages used in instrumentation and control systems - in particular: 'front ends' which generate voltage signals from changes detected by sensors, stages for processing (e.g. adding, differentiating or filtering) these signals and circuits for amplifying signals to drive output devices (e.g. a meter, motor or switch).

ECTS units: 5

Learning outcomes

Recall the principal terminology, concepts and circuit symbols of simple analogue electronic instrumentation and actuator-drive systems;

Translate simple problems involving mechatronic control systems into a form which can be solved using standard mathematical methods;

Describe the operation and limitations of a digital control system with analogue inputs and outputs;

Solve problems involving current and voltages in basic semiconductor networks;

Manipulate problems of system response using the language of block diagrams, transfer functions and Bode plots;

Measure the behaviour of simple analogue and digital electronic systems and systematically debug them;

Design simple controllers to regulate the behaviour (e.g. motor speed and motor position) of a mechatronic system;

Work effectively in a small group to construct, test and program a simple mechatronic control system.

Module syllabus

Introduction: to mechanical electrical, electronic, e.g. Mechatronic systems and their control through everyday examples.

Unit 1 - DC Networks and Components

Chapter 1 - Electrical Circuits: Revision of Kirchoff's laws applied to networks of linear elements, volt-amp characteristics of a one-port electrical device and the operating point of a network.

Chapter 2 - Electronic Circuits: Overview of semiconductors and analysis of networks of non-linear elements, such as Diodes and Zener diodes, with application to constant voltage power supplies and overvoltage protection.

Unit 2 - Data Acquisition

Chapter 3 - Analogue to Digital Conversion and Back: Analogue-to-digital and digital-to-analogue conversion, digital data representation and circuit analysis of useful conversion stages.

Chapter 4 - Introduction to Lab Equipment: Basic principles, technology and application of all lab equipment, including and overview of the BASIC AtomPro microcontroller and the NI ELVIS Data Acquisition system; introduction to Basic, which is the programming language of the AtomPro chip.

Unit 3 - Signal Amplification and Processing

Chapter 5 - Transistors: Basic transistors and MOSFETs, pulse width modulation, operating states, common collector and common emitter circuits and Darlington pairs.

Chapter 6 - Operational Amplifiers: Principles, ideal model and limitations of op-amps, op-amps in DC and time-dependent feedback stages, effects of negative feedback, inverting and non-inverting amplifiers.

Chapter 7 - Signal Conditioning (Filters): Low-pass and high pass filters using complex impedances, system response in the time and frequency domain, Bode plots for single stages and cascades, 'gain' and 'phase', covering both magnitude/time and phasor representations.

Unit 4 - Control

Chapter 8: Performance of dynamic systems of first and second order. Fundamentals of control theory: block diagrams and feedback. Proportional control. Proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control. Detailed analysis of DC motors: speed and position control.



Teaching methods

Allocation of study hours  
Lectures 59
Group teaching 0
Lab/ practical 0
Other scheduled 0
Independent study 66
Total hours 125
ECTS ratio 25


Assessment type Assessment description Weighting Grading method Pass mark Must pass?
Examination Written Examination (1.5h, closed book)   Numeric 40%  

Reading list


Module leaders

Professor Ferdinando Rodriguez Y Baena