Mechatronics/Microcontroller Education for Mechanical Engineering Students at the University of South Carolina

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Engineering, Mechanical Engineering


A project to enhance the mechatronics/microcontroller education of mechanical engineering students at the University of South Carolina is presented. First, the state of the art in Mechatronics education is presented and discussed. Then, focus is shifted to the Mechatronics education in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina. Subsequently, the paper examines the hardware and software used for mechatronics/microcontroller education. Examples are given of the MC68HC11 microcontroller and the different evaluation boards used for (a) code development; (b) embedded applications. Then, attention is given to the software used in the mechatronics/microcontroller education. The THRSim11 comprehensive simulation and interfacing software is described. Finally, the paper discusses the interfacing between the microcontroller and the various electro-mechanical sensing and actuation components used in a mechatronics project. The use of functional modules for teaching interfacing skills to mechanical engineering students is described. The paper finishes with conclusions and further work