The Department of Mechatronics has expertise in Mechatronics, Automation and Robotics.

Research and Industry Projects

Robotic Intelligent Assembly with Indoor GPS technology

The objective is to develop an adaptive robotic control based on infrared indoor GPS (IR-GPS) in order to improve flexibility and accuracy of robotic manufacturing systems, and to reduce on-line setup time.

Reconfigurable Fixturing with Integrated Distributed Sensing

This is a joint project with the University of Florida funded by the National Research Foundation.

The objective is to develop an adaptable mechanical fixturing approach for the mitigation of manufacturing errors for improved quality in a high precision manufacturing system. The proposed approach will be the introduction of dynamic, reconfigurable fixturing as critical actuation components that will be integrated with distributed, in-process sensing of critical product and fixture parameters. These sensor-enabled reconfigurable fixtures will be used to enable manufacturing systems to autonomously minimize the transfer and accumulation of manufacturing errors as the manufacturing process progresses.

Reconfigurable Machine Tool

This is a joint project with the University of Pretoria and North-West University under the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy funded by the Department of Science and Technology.

The objective is to develop a reconfigurable machine tool, which will enhance the competitiveness of the South African manufacturing sector.

Wireless Control of a Mobile Robot

This is a joint project with Reutlingen University funded by the National Research Foundation.

The objective is to develop a mobile robot for office assistance eg has the ability to drive up/down stairs and perform simple tasks like to open doors. System characteristics include: Intelligent and controlled via a Smartphone in combination with a microcontroller, pan-able radar systems with Ultrasonic and IR-distance sensors to build up a map of the environment, RFID-Reader to read tags which act as artificial landmarks, 8-IR obstacle avoiding sensors and additional all-direction wheels, which can be driven out to improve the odometry.

Mechatronic Automation Strategies for Optimal Production

This is a joint project with the chair in automotive engineering and funded by VWSA. The overall objective is to develop optimized mechatronic technologies for improved productivity, material flow and manufacturing processes. Currently the project specifically focuses on possible automation/de- automation strategies for automotive production stations and compares them regarding cost/quality/quantity.

Contact Information
Khaled Abou El-Hossein
Professor Khaled Abou El-Hossein
Position: Head of Department
Department: Mechatronics
Location: North Campus
Phone: (041) 504 3368
Qualifications: Pr Eng, PhD, MEng
Expertise: Ultra-high precision manufacturing
My site:

Igor Gorlach
Professor Igor Gorlach
Position: Chair
Department: Mechatronics
Location: North Campus
Phone: 27 41 504 3289
Fax: 27 41 504 9937
My site:

Farouk Smith
Professor Farouk Smith
Position: Director: School of Engineering
Department: Mechatronics
Location: North Campus
Phone: 27 41 504 3567
Fax: 27 41 504 9567
Qualifications: BSc (Physics) ; BSc (Elec Eng), MSc (Elec Eng) UCT; PhD (Electronic Eng) Stell.
My site:

Professor Theo van Niekerk
Professor Theo van Niekerk
Position: Professor
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Location: North Campus
Phone: 27 41 504 3103
Fax: 27 41 504 1930
Qualifications: DTech Electrical Engineering; BSc Electrical Engineering