Name: Aaron Hoover
Office: AC 308
Hours:Come by or by appointment
Phone: 781-292-2534

Name: Brad Minch
Office: MH 354
Hours: Come by or by appointment
Phone: 781-292-2566


M 3:20pm - 5:00pm, R 3:20pm - 6pm (AC306)


Mechatronics involves the synergistic integration of mechanical engineering with electronics and intelligent computer control in the design of products. In this course, we will develop topics critical to the engineering of modern mechatronic systems including electromechanical actuators (e.g., DC motors, stepper motors, and solenoids), practical electronics design including interfacing sensors and actuators to embedded processors, and embedded software design in the C programming language. During the first part of the course, students will work in small groups on a series of miniprojects to gain experience with course concepts and develop core engineering competencies.

During the second part of the course, students will work in teams to engineer a mechatronic system that fits with the theme of a mechanical penny arcade.

Course Structure and Policies


40% miniprojects, 60% project


During the first third of the semester, you will be working in groups of two or three on two miniprojects in which you will gain experience working with our hardware platform, our software development environment, and various basic mechatronic system design concepts. Each miniproject will be two weeks long and each lab group will submit a joint miniproject report. These reports will generally be due in the next class period after a given miniproject is completed.


During the last two thirds of the semester, you will be working in a group of four or five students in the class on a design project related to the theme, “Mechanical Penny Arcade”. At the start of the project phase of the course, each group will be required to submit a brief project preproposal sketching your project idea. The project will proceed in a series of 4 two-week-long sprints. Each sprint will end with a sprint review in which teams must present an increment of the project that demonstrates an integrated system. Finally, at the end of the semester, each group will need to submit a final report documenting the entire project in the form of a publicly acessible website. During the final assessment period, each group will be required to provide a demo of their prototype for all of the other students in the class and any potential outside visitors.

Late Policy

Miniproject reports and project milestones will be due in class on the announced dates. Late reports/milestones will be penalized at a rate of up to 5% per day or fraction thereof.

Project Budgets

Each project group will have a total project budget TBD to cover the cost of materials, supplies, fabrication, and shipping. You are certainly welcome to spend more than allotted budget on your projects, but you will be responsible for the additional costs.

Ordering Project Supplies

Electronic components should generally be ordered through the ECE Stockroom. To purchase other types of supplies you might need, there are two options. One option is to fill out the "Request to Process Order Form," which is an Excel spreadsheet located in the "Student Projects" folder on the public drive. You can fill it out and e-mail it to the course instructors and we will forward it on to one of the administrative assistants for processing. Another option is to purchase them yourself and get reimbursed. To do so, you will need to provide original receipts, fill out a copy of the "Student Reimbursement Form," which is also an Excel spreadsheet located on the public drive in the "Student Projects" folder, have one of the course instructors sign it, and turn it in to Holly Bennett (MH 360), Marcella Fornagiel (MH 317), or Paul Coveney (MH 250). Please note that Olin will not reimburse you for purchases made from another student in the class. In such cases, the student who made the original purchase and has the original receipt should seek reimbursement from the College. Please also note that you must have direct deposit set up with the College to be reimbursed. The College also discourages the use of expedited shipping, and will not generally reimburse for overnight shipping. Please plan your orders accordingly.


  • Work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary project team.
  • Develop design concepts, create technical specifications and testing methodologies that address defined objectives.
  • Balance trade-offs and make defensible choices among design alternatives.
  • Assess and select appropriate electronic, mechanical, and electromechanical components for mechatronic systems.
  • Use modern tools to engineer mechatronic systems.
  • Use written, oral, and graphical communication to convey design ideas and solutions, mechatronic system analyses, and experimental results.


  • Handout 1.1 – January 23, 2020 – Installing Build Tools
  • Handout 1.2 – January 23, 2020 – Getting Started with Git
  • Handout 1.3 – January 23, 2020 – Miniproject 0
  • Handout 1.4 – January 23, 2020 – Elecanisms Board Notes
  • Handout 1.5 – January 23, 2020 – Elecanisms Software Library Notes
  • Handout 1.6 – January 23, 2020 – Coin acceptor datasheet
  • Handout 2.1 – January 30, 2020 – Miniproject 1
  • Handout 2.2 – January 30, 2020 – DC motor driver shield notes
  • Handout 2.3 – January 30, 2020 – Motor driver datasheet
  • Handout 2.4 – January 30, 2020 – Magnetic encoder board
  • Handout 2.5 – January 30, 2020 – Magnetic encoder datasheet
  • Handout 2.6 – January 30, 2020 – Maxon DC Max motor
  • Handout 3.1 – February 13, 2020 – Miniproject 2


Week Date Due In-class
One 1/23 None Setting up your build environment
Two 1/27 Work on miniproject 0
1/30 Miniproject 0 Miniproject 1 assigned
Three 2/03
Four 2/10
2/13 Miniproject 1 Miniproject 2 assigned
Six 2/24
2/27 Miniproject 2 Final Project Kickoff
Seven 3/02
Eight 3/09
3/12 Sprint 1 Review Sprint 2 Kickoff
Ten 3/23
Eleven 3/30
4/02 Sprint 2 Review Sprint 3 Kickoff
Twelve 4/06
Thirteen 4/13
4/16 Sprint 3 Review Sprint 4 Kickoff
Fifteen 4/27 Last day of instruction
4/30 DEMO DAY!