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GTx: The Mechatronics Revolution: Fundamentals and Core Concepts

In this course, students will learn to harness the power of microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators to build useful and interesting robotic devices.

16 weeks
6–8 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived

About this course

Skip About this course

The Mechatronics Revolution is upon us. Never before has it been easier to build robotic devices and computer-controlled machines. The confluence of low-cost embedded computers, sensors, and actuators has made experimentation and prototyping easier than ever. Course modules will explore the mechatronics design process, fundamentals of microcontrollers, embedded systems programming, actuator control, and sensor interfacing. Through several hands-on labs, students will solidify their knowledge of core mechatronics concepts and gain real-world experience building their own mechatronic systems. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be equipped with the fundamental knowledge they need to harness the Mechatronics Revolution.

To complete the lab assignments in the course, students must purchase the mechatronics lab kit, TI-RSLK-Mechkit (available on for $119). Purchase of the kit or its components is required for all students on the Verified track. The kit provides all the materials needed to complete the lab assignments and build a small robot. Currently Mouser does not deliver to a few specific regions and countries such as Nigeria. Students who cannot purchase the kit from Mouser can purchase the parts included in the kit separately from other vendors as described here.

Audit students who do not wish to complete the labs but want to follow the lectures may optionally purchase the TI MSP432 Launchpad development board for $19.99. This will allow students to practice microcontroller programming skills as demonstrated in the course videos.

At a glance

  • Institution: GTx
  • Subject: Engineering
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:
    • Familiarity with basic circuits and circuit components
    • Familiarity with Programming in one of either C, MATLAB, or Python
    • The mechatronics lab kit, TI-RSLK-Mechkit (available for purchase through for $162 at this link)
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills:Embedded Systems, Atlassian Confluence, Mechatronics, Actuators, Prototyping

What you'll learn

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  • Recognize and describe the elements of a microcontroller as well as the operating principles of motors, sensors, and circuits commonly used in mechatronic devices
  • Create basic programs for microcontrollers using interrupt-driven programming
  • Design and implement microcontroller programs that read from sensors and achieve appropriate actuator commands
  • Implement a mechatronic device using actuators, sensors, and a microcontroller command processor

Module 1: Overview of Microcontrollers

  • Topic 1: What is Mechatronics?
  • Topic 2: Introduction to Microcontroller Technology

Module 2: Circuits and Electrical Components

  • Topic 1: Basic Circuit Concepts
  • Topic 2: Semiconductor Circuit Elements
  • Topic 3: Example Circuits for Mechatronic Devices

Module 3: Microcontroller Fundamentals

  • Topic 1: Integer Math
  • Topic 2: C Programming for Microcontrollers
  • Topic 3: General-Purpose Input Output
  • Topic 4: Interrupt-Driven Programming
  • Topic 5: Clocks and Timers

Module 4: Motors and Servos

  • Topic 1: Actuators for Mechatronic Systems
  • Topic 2: Brushed DC Motors
  • Topic 3: Pulse Width Modulation and Servo Control

Module 5: Sensors and Microcontroller Interfacing

  • Topic 1: Sensors for Mechatronic Systems
  • Topic 2: Analog-to-Digital Conversion
  • Topic 3: Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter (UART)
  • Topic 4: I2C and Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)
  • Topic 5: Examples of Sensor-Microcontroller Integration

Module 6: Building Mechatronic Systems

  • Topic 1: Building a Hexapod Robot
  • Topic 2: Building a Line Following Robot

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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