Syllabus for Mechatronics at NCIAE

Summer 2019

Course description

This is a special short-course for NCIAE, an introduction to the dynamic system modeling. It is part of a larger NCIAE course on mechatronics. (Adapted from the SMU course catalog.)

General information

SMU Instructor
Rico AR Picone, PhD
NCIAE Instructor
Wang Kun, PhD



Derek Rowell and David N. Wormley. System Dynamics: An Introduction. Prentice Hall, 1997. (Recommended, not required.)

Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill. The Art of Electronics. Third Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2015. (Recommended, not required.)

Agarwal, A. and Lang, J. Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits. Elsevier Science, 2005. (Recommended, not required.)

Homebrew texts and notes

A partial text (with fill-ins) I’m writing will be posted on the Dynamic Systems: an introduction page.

Have the first four chapters of this text printed before the beginning of the course. I recommend binding them such that pages can be replaced (e.g. three-ring bindable) in case there are major revisions to a section during the term. You are required to have a binder (or equivalent) ready to show by our second class to avoid a 10% deduction of your grade. (Or you can show me those lectures on your note-taking tablet, if that’s your preferred method.)

Throughout the course, you should be ready to show these (current) in any class, with threat of 10% grade deductions.

Video lectures

Most lectures will be available online at:
Use extraction code g4a1.


The WeChat group for the course is called Mechatronics & Robotics and has the following QR code.

Differential Equations Primer

I highly recommend reviewing the solution of linear ordinary differential equations. I have developed a text Differential Equations Primer For SISO Linear Systems and a companion lecture series to help prepare students to enter this course.


The following schedule is tentative.

day topics introduced work
introduction, the systems approach, state-determined systems, energy, power, lumping
mechanical translational and rotational elements
electronic elements, generalized through- and across-variables, generalized one-port elements
linear graphs, sign convention, element interconnection laws
systematic linear graph modeling, state-variable system representation
state- and output equations, normal trees
linear graphs to state-space
example: mechanical translational system state-space model
example: mechanical rotational system state-space model
ideal transducers, modeling with transducers
dc motors
final exam

Homework, quiz, & exam policies

Exam policies

The final exam will be in-class. If you require any specific accommodations, please contact me.

Calculators will be allowed and their use encouraged through the course and on the exam. Only ones own notes and the notes provided by the instructor will be allowed during the exam. No communication-devices will be allowed.

The final exam will be cumulative.

Academic integrity policy

Cheating or plagiarism of any kind is not tolerated and will result in a failing grade (“F”) in the course (at least this portion). I take this very seriously. Engineering is an academic and professional discipline that requires integrity. I expect students to consider their integrity of conduct to be their highest consideration with regard to the course material.

English/Chinese technical terminology equivalents

Below is a list of some useful terminological equivalents. Thank you Benjamin, Dr. Xu Jingman, and Dr. Shawn Duan.