do it a different way by calling it mechatronics,” said Devaprasad. “That reduces the risk for the graduates. We include the bread-and-butter engineering fields of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, and we do it with a robotics concentration. Yet mechatronics is a broader and more useful term for graduates.”
Advanced manufacturing requires the range of skills encompassed by mechatronics, even if only a portion of that manufacturing involves robots. “How does robotics fit in? There are times when mechatronics is used interchangeably with robotics because robotics is a multiple disciplinary function,” Devaprasad said. “Universities are offering degrees in robotics engineering, but the engineers coming out of those programs are going to be called mechatronics engineers.”
Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.