Abstract

Mechatronics and control education is supported by laboratory intensive assignments that allow students acquire software and hardware skills to solve real world problems. However, COVID-19 force many schools to switch into remote learning complicating the instruction of practical assignments. This paper presents a novel proposal for interactive remote teaching of the laboratory component of the course ME-142: Mechatronics at the University of California, Merced using Digital Twins (DT) and the flipped classroom methodology. Each lab experience is composed by a set of on-demand supporting materials with the foundations of mechatronics simulation using MATLAB/Simulink to enhance and adapt the learning experience of the students. Once the students acquire advanced simulation skills, a set of Digital Twin models are provided to the students in order to begin their interaction with virtual representations of real systems for identification, analysis, controller design and validation, which are available online for remote access. By the end of the course, students were able not only to gain valuable experience with mechatronic systems but also interact and build advanced modelling techniques as Digital Twin, contributing to compensate the lack of remote hardware interaction.

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