MAS - Mechatronic Actuator Systems

Module Description

This class provides the students with a basic understanding of actuator technologies commonly adopted in mechatronic systems and drives, namely electrostatic, electromagnetic, as well as hydraulic and pneumatic. A generalized modeling framework will be initially presented to describe engineering systems across different physical domains (e.g., mechanical, electrical, magnetic, fluidic). To this end, a port-based modeling perspective will be introduced, which exploits the concept of energy to model the physical interconnection among various sub-systems in a universal and coherent way. Based on the derived framework, basic mathematical models of different types of electrostatic, electromagnetic, and fluidic actuator systems will be derived. In parallel to model development, technological aspects of each class of actuators will be discussed, and the most common physical components and applications will be presented. The theoretical lectures are accompanied by tutorial sessions, in which the students are taught how to implement and simulate the studied models in Matlab/Simulink. At the end of the class, the students will be able to understand the operating principles of the most common types of actuator technologies, to choose the most appropriate one among them for a given application, and to simulate complex mechatronic systems consisting of the interconnection of several components.


  • Introduction to mechatronic systems and actuators
  • Energy-based modeling framework for interconnected multi-physical systems
  • Engineering multi-ports in different physical domains
  • Representation and simulation of port-based models for multi-physical systems
  • Electrostatic actuators: components and modeling
  • Electromagnetic actuators: components and modeling
  • Hydraulic actuators: components and modeling
  • Pneumatic actuators: components and modeling

Additional Info

Responsible Instructor: Jun.-Prof. Gianluca Rizzello​

Assign to Departments: Systems Engineering

Semester: Summer Semester

Admission requirements: no formal requirements

Type of Course: Lecture / Exercise/problem-solving class

Examination: Oral Examination and Project Presentation

Weekly Hours: 3 h/w, of which 2 h/w Lectures and 1 h/w Tutorials

Credit Points: 4