BMET5790: Introduction to Biomechatronics (2021 - Semester 2)

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Unit: BMET5790: Introduction to Biomechatronics (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Biomedical Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Brooker, Graham
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: (MECH3921 OR BMET3921) OR MTRX3700 OR MTRX3760 OR (AMME5921 OR BMET5921 OR BMET9921).
Prohibitions: AMME4790 OR AMME5790.
Brief Handbook Description: Biomechatronics is the application of mechatronic engineering to human biology, and as such it forms an important subset of the overall biomedical engineering discipline. This course focusses on a number of areas of interest including auditory and optical prostheses, artificial hearts and active and passive prosthetic limbs and examines the biomechatronic systems (hardware and signal processing) that underpin their operation.
Assumed Knowledge: Knowledge in mechanical and electronic engineering; adequate maths and applied maths skills; background knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology; Some programming capability: MATLAB, C, C++, software tools used by engineers including CAD and EDA packages.
Lecturer/s: Dr Brooker, Graham
Timetable: BMET5790 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Tutorial 1.00 1 12
2 Independent Study 3.00 1 13
3 Lecture 2.00 2 12
4 Project Work - own time 4.00 1 11
5 Laboratory 3.00 1 8
T&L Activities: Independent Study: Approximately three hours of private study per week outside formal contact hours will be expected in order to successfully consolidate the work covered in class

Lecture: Formal face-to-face lectures will be conducted. These will generally be followed by interactive sessions that incorporate student activity and discussion of the material covered formally

Project Work - own time: A design project will be undertaken by the students. This will take the form of a log-book which will be assessed by the lecturer at regular intervals

Laboratory - Students will work in groups in the kirby Mtrx Lab to develop hardware and software based biomechatronic systems

Presentation: A group presentation will be endertaken during which the results of the project are presented to the class

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Practise in design idea development through a systematic process of reflection and refinement. This is best achieved using an ongoing journal type method (design assignment) Design (Level 4)
Introduction to the basic concepts and principles of biomechatronics, and practise in applying these in the analysis of device performance (tutorials, quizzes and exam) Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
Practise in analysis of bioelectric and biomechanical systems, developing MATLAB code for signal processing work (Tutorials and exam) Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
The design assignment pushes students to test and extend the limits of their general and specialist engineering skills in researching the requirements and design options for a challenging biomedical engineering problem Information Seeking (Level 3)
Practise in report writing, analytical discussion and live presentation as developed during the tutorials, assignment and presentation) Communication (Level 3)
Practise in making professional engineering decisions and considering that as an engineer, you are accountable for their wider human and commercial implications Professional Conduct (Level 2)
An ability to work as part of a team to put together a presentation based on the assignment results. Project and Team Skills (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 4)
1. A conceptual grasp of the intricate relationship between mind and body which will allow students to evaluate different forms of biofeedback that are used for diagnostics and rehabilitation.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3)
2. The ability to apply specialised engineering skills (mechanical and electrical) to analyze the performance of an active prosthetic device (eg prosthetic limb, hearing implant or artificial heart).
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
3. The knowledge to describe the operational principles of a number of implanted and attachable biomechatronic sensors used to monitor and/or stimulate physiological processes including those associated with hearing, seeing, thinking and movement amongst others.
4. An appreciation of the basics of the signal processing required to interpret bioelectrical signals and the ability to develop MATLAB code to perform this analysis.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Matlab Tutorials No 20.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4,
2 In class quizzes Yes 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4,
3 Lab Activities Yes 25.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4,
4 Assignment No 10.00 Week 8 1, 2, 3, 4,
5 Final Exam No 35.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4,
Assessment Description: Matlab Tutorial: A number of hands-on tutorials will be undertaken in which the students are expected to apply and investigate what they have learned by developing models and software. Tutors will grade the individual submissions from students.

In class quizzes: Quizzes will be held at the end of sections to ensure that students have understood the work covered so far

Lab Activities: Weekly small-group activities will be held in the new Kirby Mtrx lab in which students will be required to assemble sensing, processing and actuation hardware that illustrates some biomechatronic concepts. Students will submit a completed worksheet at the end of each lab which will be marked by the lecturer

The culmination of this process will be an informal competition during which the students must develop an EMG controlled robot arm to perform a simple function.

Assignment: The design assignment will take the form of a group assignment based on journals in which the students develop ideas for a biomechatronic device in stages throughout the first half of the semester as their knowledge and understanding of the subject develops. These journals will be used to produce a formal group assignment document which will be graded by the lecturer to determine how well the students have satisfied the requirements specified in the problem statement. This open ended approach to an assignment allows students more scope to be creative, and throughout the course, creativity and an innovative approach will be encouraged.

Final Exam: Open-book examination. Final assessment will include a number of short-answer questions to assess the student’s knowledge of the basic concepts and an analysis section to test their ability to apply these concepts to solve problems. Note that students will be required to pass the exam, to pass the course.

Note that all tutorials, labs and the assignment must be completed by individual students or student groups. Students who fail to submit will receive a mark of 0 for the missed submission. Students who provide accepted special consideration forms will have the weighting of the exam increased commensurate to the value of the missed submission.
Assessment Feedback: Lecturers and tutors will provide feedback to students individually or in groups based on their submissions
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Introduction to Biomechatronics

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to Biomechatronics, Hearing
Week 2 Hearing Prostheses
Week 3 Hearing Prostheses & Cochlear Implants
Week 4 Visual Prostheses & Sensory Substitution
Week 5 Visual Prostheses Implants & Electrodes
Week 6 Electrocardiography
Week 7 Artificial Hearts
Week 8 Artificial Hearts
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 9 Respiration
Week 10 Respiration
Week 11 Active Limb Prostheses
Week 12 Active Limb Prostheses
Week 13 Buffer
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Biomedical Mid-Year 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical/ Project Management 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Arts 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Commerce 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Medical Science 2017
Biomedical / Music Studies 2017
Biomedical / Project Management 2017, 2018
Biomedical /Science 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Biomedical / Law 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Mechanical (Space) 2021, 2022
Mechanical (Space) Mid-Year 2021, 2022
Mechatronic Mid-Year 2021, 2022
Mechatronic/ Project Management 2021, 2022
Mechatronic 2021, 2022
Mechatronic / Arts 2021, 2022
Mechatronic / Commerce 2021, 2022
Mechatronic / Science 2021, 2022
Mechatronic/Science (Health) 2021, 2022
Mechatronic / Law 2021, 2022
Mechatronic (Space) 2021, 2022
Mechatronic (Space) / Commerce 2021, 2022
Mechatronic (Space) / Science 2021, 2022
Mechatronic(Space)/Science(Health) 2021, 2022
Mechatronic (Space) Mid-Year 2021, 2022
Biomedical/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Master of Engineering 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Biomedical) 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Mechatronic/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2021, 2022
Mechatronic(Space)/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2021, 2022
Mechatronic (Space) / Arts 2021, 2022

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 4) Yes 21.25%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 28.75%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 50%
Communication (Level 3) Yes 0%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 0%
Professional Conduct (Level 2) Yes 0%
Project and Team Skills (Level 3) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.