Nowadays most of the systems are computer controlled among them we quote mechatronic systems where the intelligence is implemented in microcontrollers. The discipline that deals with such systems is mechatronics that we define as the synergistic combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, and software engineering. The purpose of this interdisciplinary engineering field is to control complex systems by providing hardware and software solutions. The engineers working in this field must master concepts in electronics, control and programming.
Examples of such systems can be found in different industrial areas ranging from aerospace to automobile industries.
In the mechanical part, the engineer must follow a rigorous procedure to design the mechatronic system. He must build the mechanical part of the system and choose the appropriate sensors and actuators that have to be used in the functioning of the mechatronic system. At this phase we must think about the place where the electronic circuit will be integrated.
In the electronics part, the engineer must design the electronic circuit around microcontrollers that will assure the functioning of the mechatronics systems. It covers the integration of the required electronics components such as resistors, capacitors, integrated circuits, sensors and the chosen microcontrollers. The required regulated voltage for the different components is also part of this step.
In the control part, the engineer must analyze the system under study and design
the appropriate controller to get the desired performances. In the analysis part, we
should start by establishing an acceptable model that gives the relationship between
the inputs and the outputs. Once the dynamics is mastered a sampling period is
chosen and the model is converted to a discrete-time form and an appropriate controller can be chosen among the classical proportional integral and derivative (PID) controller or the state feedback controller or any other controller that can give the desired performances.
The rest of this book is organized in seven parts and divided in eleven chapters and one appendix. In the introduction, a general overview of the mechatronics fields is given and the main concepts are recalled to make the book self-contained.
In Chapter 2, the structure of mechatronic systems are detailed and some examples are given. Chapter 3 which is a part of the modeling part, deals with the modeling problem of the class of linear continuous-time systems. Both the physical laws and identification approaches are covered. The concepts of transfer function and state space representations are presented. Chapter 4 treats the Z -transform and its properties and how the transfer function is obtained from a model that is given in a set of differential equations. Other techniques for analysis of such systems are also covered. In Chapter 5, some design approaches based on transfer function are developed. Chapter 6 deals with the state space approach for analyzing linear discrete-time systems. The concepts of stability, controllability and observability are covered. In Chapter 7, the state feedback, static output and dynamic output stabilization techniques are tackled. Chapter 8 deals with the implementation problem of the control algorithm we may develop for controlling a given continuous-time system. The focus will be made on all the steps. Mainly the hardware and software parts are covered in detail to help the reader to develop his own expertise. Chapter 9 presents some ideas on robust control. Stability and stabilization problems for systems with uncertainties and external disturbances are tackled. Chapter 10 covers
the guaranteed cost control problem. Different types of controllers are used for this purpose. In Chapter 11 some selected systems are considered and all the concepts we developed in this book are applied to give the whole picture for the reader. An appendix that contains some relevant tools is also provided to try to make the book self-contained.
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