Mechatronics is the synergistic fusion of mechanical design, electrical engineering, embedded programming, and systems integration. The melding together of these complex disciplines has made possible the vast majority of the technology that pervades our lives, from modern automobiles to smartphones and surgical robots.
The majority of the students who approach the MEAM 410/510 "Design of Mechatronic Systems" course at Penn have a strong background in one (or maybe two) of the subdomains, but as each student comes at it differently, we treat each topic from the foundation and build up very quickly. To get the students to the point that they can independently design, build, and program the robots that you see in the Robockey tournament within a single semester is a truly daunting task for all involved! To get an idea of the work required, take a look at our public course wiki page which includes materials for all lectures, assignments, and preliminary projects.