Biomechatronics is an interdisciplinary field of science that incorporates mechanical elements, electronics and biological organisms. It includes the features of mechanics, biology and electronics. If we just talk about Mechatronics, it has split engineering into distinct disciplines. It is basically a pragmatic combination of mechanical engineering, molecular engineering (is any means of manufacturing molecules. It may be used to create, on an extremely small scale, most typically one at a time, new molecules which may not exist in nature), optical engineering (is the field of study that focuses on applications of optics), electronic engineering, control engineering or control systems engineering (is the engineering discipline that applies control theory to design systems with predictable behaviors), system design engineering and computer engineering that aims to design, create and manufacture useful products.
Biomechatronics also comprehends some other fields such as robotics (is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots) and neuroscience (is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as psychology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, philosophy, and medicine).
Hugh Herr a professor at M.I.T studied about Biomechatronics. In his studies, he has caused a robotic fish to swim. He studied the muscles of frog legs and excised the muscles to attach to a robotic fish by pounding electrical current through the muscle fibers. The main purpose of this experiment is to design the devices that interrelate with human skeleton, muscle and nervous system. These devices will help in the cases when motor control of human was lost or impaired by disease, trauma or birth defects. Researchers have started working on Biomechatronics to make the devices that will overcome human diseases.
How Biomechatronics works?
The design of Biomechatronics devices actually based on the working of human body. In other words, the devices have to be based on human bodies working.
There is an example of Biomechatronics device having four different steps. These steps must occur to lift the foot to walk. These four steps are as follows;
1. First of all, impulses (is the electrical discharge that travels along a nerve fibre) are directed to the leg muscle and foot from the motor center of the brain.
2. Secondly, the nerve cells (is cell that is specialized to conduct nerve impulses) of the feet drive information to the brain. This information will tell to adjust the muscle required to walk through the ground. This required different amounts of force to walk across the ground depending on the type of surface.
3. In the third step, the muscle spindle nerve cell of leg then sense and refer the position of the surface back up to the brain.
4. Finally, signals are conducted to muscles in the foot and leg, when the foot is upstretched to step.
Biosensor: located inside or outside the Biomechatronics
The use of biosensor in Biomechatronics is to control nervous system or muscle system. Biosensors can be located inside or outside the device. It has various forms and it can be wires (which detect needle electrodes, electrical activity imbedded in muscles).
Mechanical sensor: measure the information about Biomechatronics
As we know that all living organisms are comprised of biological sensors and their function is similar to those of mechanical devices. To measure the information about Biomechatronics device mechanical sensors are used which then transmit that information to the biosensor.
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