industrial automation provides manufacturing with efficiency for both new and retrofitted industrial machinery using automation and process control equipment

Industrial Automation and Control

Industrial automation plays a very important role in the manufacturing industry

Automation devices using mathematical and organizational methods create complex systems for a huge range of industrial automation applications

Robotics and Mechatronics

Robotics, mechatronics, and advanced manufacturing and automated fabrication processes are the rapidly developing, interdisciplinary areas of engineering research dealing with the design and realisation of intelligent products, systems and processes.

Industrial automation processes often use robots. The appearance and capabilities of robots are diverse. However most robots share the same basic features being a mechanical, movable structure controlled by an independant control system.

The Three Laws of Robotics are a set of three rules written by science fiction author Isaac Asimov .The Laws are as follow:

1.  A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.  A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.  A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Robots generally have a device or tool mounted on the end of the arm (end effector). The effector can be anything from a welding device to a mechanical hand used to manipulate the environment.

Actuators are the 'muscles' of a robot, which convert stored energy into movement. The most popular actuators are electric motors and compressed air. Robots require a way to manipulate objects like pick up, modify, reject or otherwise have an effect. Thus the 'hands' of a robot are often referred to as grippers.

The robot must be controlled to perform tasks. Control of a robot involves three phases - perception, processing and action (robotic paradigms).

Sensors give information about the position of joints and the end effector. The information is processed and signals sent to the actuators which move the mechanical structure. Controlling a robot involves path planning, pattern recognition, and obstacle avoidance.

Mechatronics is becoming prominant in industrial automation and process control applications. Mechatronics is a combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and software engineering. The purpose of this multidisciplinary field is the study of industrial automation from an engineering perspective and serves the purposes of controlling advanced industrial automation systems. The word itself is derived from 'Mechanics' and 'Electronics'. The term Mechatronics was first used in 1969 in Japan by Mr. Tetsuro Mori of Yaskawa.

A typical mechatronic engineering degree would involve lessons in engineering mathematics, mechanics, machine component design, mechanical design, thermodynamics, circuits and systems, electronics and communications, control theory, programming, digital signal processing, power engineering, and robotics.