ACS340 Biomechatronics

Module Description (subject to change)

There are a wide range of important healthcare challenges in the 21st Century, such as the aging population, stroke, paralysis and the loss of limbs, which can be treated using biomechatronic devices such as exoskeletons, active prosthetic limbs and brain computer interfaces.

‘Biomechatronics’ describes the integration of the human body with engineered devices composed of electronic, mechanical and control components (mechatronics) for the purposes of
(i) emulating and replacing natural human function lost through disease or accident and/or
(ii) augmenting natural human function to generate superhuman abilities.

The biomechatronics module will cover the subject of biomechatronics in theory and practical application, and span the main core topics of: neural control, biomedical signals, sensors and actuators.

Credits: 10 (Spring semester)

Module Leader

Ivan R Minev
Professor Ivan Minev
Amy Johnson Building

If you have any questions about the module please talk to me during the lectures or the labs in the first instance. It is likely that other students will learn from any questions you ask as well, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Outside of lectures please contact me via email, or drop in to see me.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain and summarise the motivation, ethical issues and future challenges in biomechatronics. [SM1p, SM6m, ET1m, EP4m]
  2. Analyse, evaluate and compare the design and construction of biomechatronic technologies. [EA1p]
  3. Select and apply appropriate dynamic models and computational tools to simulate and analyse biomechatronic systems. [SM2p, EA3m]
  4. Design and construct simple biomechatronic systems using appropriate hardware and instrumentation. [D3m, EP2p]
  5. Produce a technical report incorporating details of biomechatronic design, methods and experimental results to a standard that a suitably qualified person could follow and use to obtain similar findings. [D6m]

This module satisfies the AHEP3 (Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes, Third Edition) Learning Outcomes that are listed in brackets after each learning outcome above. For further details on AHEP3 Learning Outcomes, see the downloads section of our accreditation webpage.



  • Week 1: Introduction to Biomechatronics: motivation, highlights of technology, ethical issues and course outline.
  • Week 2: Neural control: the human body from a systems engineering perspective (control, signalling, sensors and actuators).
  • Week 3: Biomedical signals and signal processing: introduction to electromyography (EMG) and electroencephalography (EEG), their use in biomechatronics, as well as basic signal processing and filter design.
  • Week 4: Machine learning: introduction to machine learning for estimation of user intention from observed biosignals.
  • Week 5: Sensors, power sources and control: covering a range of sensors, power sources and control strategies used in biomechatronics.
  • Week 6: Actuators: covering a range of actuation topics, including motors, gearing and advanced actuation technologies such as artificial muscle (shape memory alloys, electroactive polymers, twisted nylon).
  • Week 7: Systems engineering for biomechatronic design: the systems engineering process, e.g. the V model, applied to biomechatronic design, explained through a case study.
  • Week 8: Project work, including drop-in sessions and writing of a technical report that will form the basis for assessing the project.
  • Week 9: Project work, including drop-in sessions and writing of a technical report that will form the basis for assessing the project.
  • Week 10: Project work, including drop-in sessions and writing of a technical report that will form the basis for assessing the project.
  • Week 11: Exam preparation.
  • Week 12: Exam preparation.
Teaching Methods

Learning and Teaching Methods

NOTE: This summary of teaching methods is representative of a normal Semester. Owing to the ongoing disruption from Covid-19, the exact method of delivery will be different in 2020/21.

Lectures and problem classes (8 hours). Lectures will be used to introduce concepts in biomechatronics and give guidance on practical work and assignments (Module learning outcomes 1-5).

Laboratory sessions and lab drop-in sessions (14 hours). The practical implementation of computational methods for simulation and analysis of biomechatronic systems, as well as the construction of simple biomechatronic systems. (Module learning outcomes 3, 4).

Independent study (76.5 hours). Students are expected to spend time on independent study including directed reading, completing assignments and revision. (Module learning outcomes 1-5).

Teaching Materials

Learning and Teaching Materials

Teaching material will be made available in an electronic format only, including:

On Blackboard (MOLE)

  • Electronic copies of lecture powerpoint slides.
  • Laboratory briefings.
  • Assignment briefings.
  • An example exam paper.

The recommended module textbook (Introduction to Biomechatronics) is provided by the library in a complete, electronic format as a PDF file from the IET ebooks catalogue.



Online Quiz (10%)

Written Exam (50%)

Group Design Project (40%)

No resit examination is available for this module.



Feedback will be given in the following forms:

  • Interactively during lab sessions.
  • Interactively during problem classes.
  • Written, individual feedback on assignments.
  • A brief oral summary to the group on assignment 1 during the relevant lecture.
  • A brief group summary on assignment 2 by email at the end of semester.
Student Evaluation

Student Evaluation

Students are encouraged to provide feedback during the module direct to the lecturer. Students will also have the opportunity to provide formal feedback via the Faculty of Engineering Student Evaluation Survey at the end of the module.

You can view the latest Department response to the survey feedback here.

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

  • G. M. Brooker (2012). Introduction to Biomechatronics. Scitech Publishing: Raleigh, NC.

Full text available electronically as a PDF file via the Library StarPlus tool, from the IET Digital Library Ebooks collection.

Hardcopy available at the Information Commons, 610.285 (B).