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Mechatronics disciplines

The Mechatronics is concerned interdisciplinary with the cooperation of the disciplines mechanics / mechanical engineering , electronics / electrical engineering and computer science / information technology . But it is also closely related to other disciplines such as adaptronics , electromechanics , precision engineering , microsystem technology , optoelectronics and optomechanics .

Definition of the VDI

In its guideline 2206, the Association of German Engineers defines mechatronics as the synergetic interaction of the disciplines of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and information technology in the design and manufacture of industrial products and in process design.

Word origin

The word mechatronics is a made-up word that was formed by merging the words mechanics and electronics ( suitcase word ). It was first coined by the engineer Tetsuro Mori in the Japanese company Yaskawa Electric Corporation , one of the world's largest manufacturers of industrial robots, as the English word mechatronics from the words mechanics and electronics . It has its origins in precision mechanics , was used from around 1969 and was protected as a trademark from 1971 under the registration number "46-32714" . However, the company released the right to publicly use its word creation in 1982, so that it was subsequently distributed worldwide; meanwhile it is established in many industrial sectors and has acquired a fundamental importance. In Germany, the word became more widespread with the first mechatronics course in 1991 and the recognition of the training profession mechatronics technician in 1998.

The mechatronic system

Mechatronic system

The mechatronics should merge mechanics , electronics / electrical engineering , control technology and IT and describe an overall mechatronic system instead of several models. Mechatronic systems have the task of converting, transporting and / or storing energy , material and / or information with sensors , processors , actuators and elements of mechanics, electronics and IT (as well as other functionally required technologies) .

Mechatronic systems can thus be subdivided into functional groups, which mostly form control loops and consist of modules with mechanical-electrical-magnetic-thermal-optical components, sensors for recording measured variables of the system state, actuators for regulation and control, and processors and IT for information processing .

Examples: Automated transmissions • Fluidtronic spring-damper modules • Handling / robot systems • Machine tool modules • Digital camerasElectronic scalesBlu-ray players • Computer hard drivesAnti-lock braking systems • Electronic vehicle stability programs • Wind turbines

Mechatronics in macro / micro / nano technology

The field of mechatronics in technology today concerns technical systems whose dimensions are more than 10 orders of magnitude. Mechatronics in macro, micro and nano technology can be identified as follows:

  • Macro technology with cm / m dimensions is the technology of the devices, apparatus, machines and technical systems. Mechatronics is characterized by the expansion of classic electromechanics with electronic circuits and data processing modules as well as the replacement of mechanical energy and information flows with electrics, electronics, magnetics, optics, e.g. B. Brake-by-wire braking systems, “fly-by-wire” aircraft technology, sensor-actuator control technology, programmable logic control technology.
  • Microtechnology with mm / µm component dimensions is the field of precision engineering and microsystem technology. A microsystem combines functionalities from micromechanics, microfluidics, microoptics, micromagnetics, and microelectronics with micro production technology and miniaturized assembly and connection technology.
  • Nanotechnology uses nanoscale effects from physics, chemistry and biology. The nanoscience was 1960 Richard Feynman ( Nobel Laureate in Physics founded 1965). Examples of nano-mechatronic device technology are the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope . Using mechatronic piezo actuator modules, they enable the representation of material surfaces on an atomic scale and the determination of nanoscale forces, for example to optimize magnetic data storage devices and electronic microchips.

Biological mechatronics (also biomechatronics ) is an intermediate area, which has arisen through the efforts of some Far Eastern (especially Japanese) developers of humanoid construction robots, the linking of materials that can grow and biologically modifiable at least to a limited extent as well as (currently mainly) to research and promote artificially created “one-dimensional” liquids or solids.


Vocational training

Since 1998 there has been the recognized training occupation of mechatronics technician in Germany with a standard training duration of 42 months. The profession can be learned in both craft and industry .

The apprenticeship mechatronics technician has existed in Austria since 1999. The trade regulations name four trades in the field of mechatronics (§ 94 Zif. 49 GewO): mechatronics technician for machine and production technology, for electronics, office and IT system technology, for electrical engineering and automation and for medical device technology. On June 1, 2015, the new modular apprenticeship mechatronics was introduced. The training in the modular apprenticeship mechatronics includes a mandatory two-year training in the basic module mechatronics and a year and a half training in one of the following main modules:

  • Automation technology
  • Electrical machine technology
  • manufacturing engineering
  • Office and IT system technology
  • Alternative drive technology
  • Medical device technology

In addition, one of the following special modules can be chosen in a further six months of training:

  • robotics
  • PLC technology

Duration of the apprenticeship:

  • 3.5 years: basic module + one main module
  • 4 years: basic module + a special module

Combination options: The main modules cannot be combined with one another. The main module "Office and EDP system technology" cannot be combined with any special module. All other main modules can be combined with both special modules. The basic module "Mechatronics" in connection with the main module "Automation technology" can also be combined with the following special modules of the modular apprenticeship in electrical engineering:

  • Railway electrical engineering
  • Railway safety technology
  • Railway vehicle technology
  • Rail transport technology
  • Railway vehicle maintenance technology
  • Railway operating technology

Higher technical schools

In Austria it is possible to acquire the engineering degree (5 years) or the technician (4 years) at many higher technical institutes (HTL).

Technical College

The Technische Gymnasium Telfs in Tyrol offers vocational training in the apprenticeship mechatronics and in the apprenticeship mechanical engineering with the special module automation technology as part of the AHS Matura.

State technical college

In Germany there is the upgrading training at tertiary level , with the existence of a state exam including project work and colloquium to the protected professional title, Certified Technician (ger .: State certified engineer ), specializing in mechatronics, gravity machine and plant engineering leads.


In a typical mechatronics course, mathematics , technical mechanics , mechanical engineering , thermodynamics , fluid mechanics , electrical circuits , system theory , electronics , communication technology , control engineering , programming , digital signal processing and robotics are taught.

In Austria, the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien , the Johannes Kepler University Linz and the Leopold Franzens University Innsbruck together with UMIT in Hall in Tirol offer the opportunity to study mechatronics. The first university chair for mechatronics in Germany was founded in 1991 at the University of Duisburg (today University of Duisburg-Essen ). From 1994 the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg , the Bochum University of Applied Sciences (today Bochum University of Applied Sciences ) and the Kiel University of Applied Sciences were added. More than 25 German universities currently offer a degree in engineering or a bachelor's / master's degree in mechatronics. There is also mechatronics as an interdisciplinary specialization. The standard period of study for the diploma at universities is ten semesters, at universities of applied sciences eight, for Bachelor / Master courses six or seven semesters (Bachelor) or two to four additional semesters for the Master. At vocational academies, you can obtain a Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechatronics within six semesters. It can be studied in many other places.

There is also a 5-year training course called "Automation and Mechatronics" at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden .

See also


  • Rüdiger G. Ballas, Günther Pfeiffer, Roland Werthschützky: Electromechanical systems in microtechnology and mechatronics . 2nd Edition. Springer, 2009, ISBN 978-3-540-89317-2 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Mechatronik  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Mechatronics  - collection of images, videos and audio files


Individual evidence

  1. University of Stuttgart: What is mechatronics?
  2. Horst Czichos : Mechatronics. Basics and applications of technical systems . Vieweg , Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 978-3-8348-0171-5 .
  3. Diploma also after 2010
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