The Mechatronics and Intelligent Machines Laboratory (MIML) was established in 1999 in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with initial funding in part by NSF to support mechatronics related courses in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Mechatronics as an engineering discipline is the synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronics, control engineering, and computer science, all integrated through the design process. The MIML laboratory supports education and research in this field, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, by providing both software and hardware to model and analyze elements in the core areas of mechatronics, namely,
- modeling mechanical and electrical systems
- dynamics and control theory
- sensors, actuators, and instrumentation technology
- microprocessor programming and applications and
- design and implementation of embedded control systems.
The emphasis of the laboratory is to provide a learning environment that promotes hands-on, interdisciplinary, team-work experience among students. The laboratory equipment that supports these activities is arranged as a collection of 10 workstations. Each workstation includes digital power supply, oscilloscope, function generator, microcontroller evaluation and development system and other tools necessary to design, analyze, fabricate and test embedded control systems. The microcontroller programming and simulation environment is provided with a popular commercial development code. The Motorola family of microcontrollers is most commonly used in the MIML lab. Support for other microcontrollers is available. Finally, the laboratory provides a wide selection of typical commercial sensors and actuators to be used in labs, design projects and experimentation.