Since the introduction of the term "Mechatronics" before 30 years ago, it has been developed into a discipline of engineering sciences and also been well established both in science and industry. It deals with the interaction of mechanical, electronic and information technology components. The Chair of Mechatronics at UDE was founded in 1991 and hence it’s one of the oldest university-based Chairs for Mechatronics in Germany. A team of about 20 scientists, headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Dieter Schramm, is mainly working with applications in the mobility sector.
A main focus in both research and teaching is Vehicle Technology. More Emphasis is given on energy-efficient vehicle systems and electro-mobility, the development and use of driving simulators as well as the modeling and simulation of vehicle dynamics. Based on this, modern assistance systems are being developed and evaluated in tests on driver acceptance. Immediate practical applications are found in the automotive and component supply industry, in particular in systems for active and passive vehicle safety and for vehicle on-board networks.
The extensive research work in the area of driver assistance systems is being concentrated on the one hand, in cooperation with the Chairs in the teaching unit Komedia on the Human-Machine interface and, on the other hand, on the use of the "Machine Learning" method in a variety of applications in the areas of driver assistance and driving dynamics.
Scientific studies on electromobility have been pursued at the Chair for approximately 8 years. In the course of the accompanying research, the chair has been involving with several employees both in the fleet projects ColognEmobil and PREMIUM as well as in the CAR Sharing project RuhrAuto E. Within the scope of the projects, several hundred vehicles are equipped with data loggers and the results are scientifically evaluated.
In addition to the experimental recording of flotation data, the staff of the chair is involved in the representation of traffic situations in driving simulators as well as in the simulation of traffic flows. The goal is to study the impact of electric motor drives and driver assistance systems on real traffic situations with up to 20,000 vehicles in real time. In driving simulators there has already been an intensive cooperation with the Hochschule Westfalen for several years. In the simulation of large vehicle groups, the Chair cooperates with the Chair of Distributed Systems (Prof. Weis).
In the field of robotics, a focus is on the research of rope robots. The Field of application for this area is, for example in the industrial assembly of large components, where rope robots make it possible to realize enormously large manipulators cost-effectively. Other fields of application are bearing technology. Here, a demonstrator is developed in the LEAN project, in cooperation with the Department of Transport and Logistics as well as a consortium of industrial partners, which is tested in practice-oriented use.
Rope robots also have great potential for the automated erection of buildings in the area of building construction. Here, a cooperation exists with the UDE Institute for Building Construction. Due to its highly interdisciplinary character, however, the topic of research is also being explored across the entire university with Chairs of the University of the Ruhr like the Chair for Computer Science in Construction.
With this activities, the chair is working in co-operation with other departments of the faculty in the areas of the focus Human-centered cyber-physical systems, Smart Engineering and Resource Engineering.
The Chair for Mechatronics is also part of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).