Special Issue on Mechatronics
Marcelo H. Ang Jr.
The challenge in mechatronics – the foundation of modern machines and systems – is how to synergistically integrate electro-mechanical systems best with computing hardware and software to optimize intelligence and maximize usefulness. This special issue covers the latest developments in mechatronics, together with their wide-ranging applications. Part 1 features four papers (issue number 5 – the previous issue). Part 2 features the five papers appearing in this issue (issue number 6). The increasing importance of precisely dispensing droplets is demonstrated by two papers in Part 1. Saeda’s paper focuses on 3D printing – a novel way for accurately dispensing droplets to form materials manufactured layer by layer. Zhao and Huang’s paper details how to compensate in a new way for errors in droplet distribution and thereby improve inkjet printing quality. An important application of mechatronics is the tracking of humanmovement. In Part 1, Akagi et al. discuss a novel, wearable sensor for detecting the movement of joints, which is very useful in rehabilitation and similar functions. In Part 2, Terabayashi et al. explain how multiple persons are tracked by 2 cameras, introducing clever image processing and shadow detection and demonstrating their proposal’s efficacy both indoors and outdoors. Two papers focusing on human-mechatronics systems with the human in the loop are presented in Part 2. Kawarazaki and Yoshidime cover interesting human-robot communication, important in enabling robotics operate in our daily lives – a field called social robotics. Their system uniquely combines voice recognition and image processing to detect gestures and human movement. The second paper, by Carlier and Murakami, deals with driver assistance based on smart road detection and tactile feedback as an interface with drivers of intelligent vehicles. Three more papers focus on problem in robotics and control. In Part 2, P. Y. Lam and T. K. Sin present a self-balancing bicycle robot based on a control-moment gyro. In Part 1, Yamashita et al. address motion planning problems for a biped robot. Yoshimura et al. describe 3D attitude control for underactuated satellites with thrusters. I hope this special issue will inspire you to contribute to the exciting field of mechatronics. I thank the authors and reviewers for their many efforts in making this special issue possible.