Today’s world is full of innovations. A lot of seemingly impossible things in the past are coming true. For example, it seemed highly unlikely that people from the extreme ends of the world would be able to communicate, but now it was made possible because of the Internet. Electromechanical engineering, a field that has evolved and is continuing to grow in the present, brought about a lot of these innovations, and we are expecting it to contribute more changes in the future.
Definition Of Electromechanical Engineering
The field of electromechanical engineering, also known as electromechanics, deals with the relationship between electricity and mechanical objects. It is focused on how things can be mechanized through the use of electricity. One of the most popular products of this field are robots and robotic products. Metallic parts are brought to life with the use of electrical components to do specific tasks, such as assisting in factory assembly lines and serving as demonstration models during exhibits.
Given its connection with the general engineering field, electromechanical engineering requires a certain level of expertise. One should be able to manipulate both electrical components and mechanical parts to be called an expert on this topic. However, the amount of effort to be exerted in the study of electromechanics will be worth it in the end. One will have endless possibilities for innovation in this field.
History And Background
Electromechanics began when Michael Faraday invented the first-ever electric motor back in 1821. This brought about an increased interest in the possibility of moving mechanical parts through electricity. After ten years, Faraday again made waves in the field by inventing the electric generator. Up to now, this device is being used to power homes during blackouts and to operate different equipment, from welding guns to portable stadium sound systems.
Several years later, people started experimenting with ordinary objects and figuring out how they could utilize electricity to improve them, just like what Faraday did. For example, the ordinary typewriter was enhanced to be the first computers, with an electrically powered keyboard and monitor. Communication and entertainment were also improved with the addition of electromechanical devices such as the television and radio.
As the years passed, the number of innovative devices and products churned out by electromechanical engineering has increased and evolved. One of the best things produced through electromechanics is the hybrid vehicle, wherein a car can run while powered by an electric battery. It not only revolutionized the automobile industry, but it also provided a way to mobilize people while keeping the environment clean. Electromechanics has nowhere to go but forward.
Electromechanical Engineering Aspects
There are several vital aspects that are under the electromechanical engineering field. Some of these are the following:
- Biomechatronics – This is a category of EM Engineering wherein electromechanical devices are developed to improve or replicate biological functions. One example is the prosthetic limb that can be manipulated like a robotic arm to function normally. Another is the pacemaker, a device that serves to maintain the activity of an abnormally beating heart.
- Automation – This is an aspect of electromechanics that focuses on increasing efficiency by creating products that transform manual processes into automatic ones. The equipment seen in factories are the most common results of this category. Some examples of these are conveyor belts, robotic arms, and automatic hole drillers.
- Robotics – This aspect, from the name itself, focuses on the creation of robots and robotic structures. The ones that can be seen in robot battles arenas are products of this. They can be as simple as a child’s toy robot, to something as sophisticated as “androids” that are as tall as humans and can mimic human actions. Some robots have been built with “emotions,” which means that they can respond and interact with humans.
- Transportation – Automobiles and locomotives are part of this aspect of electromechanics. This category focuses on products that aim to transfer people and goods from one place to another. As mentioned earlier, the hybrid electric vehicle belongs here. Other notable examples are electric trains and e-bikes. Electric vehicles are becoming the ideals nowadays, given their environmental benefits and reduced costs to operate.
- Consumer electronics – Some electromechanical products are being sold to benefit customers in general. For example, the electric razor replaces the manual shaver, while the electric toothbrush acts as an enhancement of the ordinary brush, giving customers more efficiency in their day-to-day lives. This is an aspect that is amazing at innovations since companies aim to attract customers by showing them better ways to accomplish their mundane and manual tasks.
Real World Implications
With the various amounts of products under each category of electromechanics, one would be lead to ask: what else is possible? What other innovations can EM bring about in the future? It’s both fantastic and frightening to imagine, but a future without manual processes is not unlikely to happen. So many methods have been revolutionized by electromechanical engineering, to the point that a lot of people have been wondering how humanity had survived before these products were invented. However, there are some fears borne from EM that cannot be denied.
One of the most common anxieties brought about by electromechanics is the possibility that robots could render humans useless in terms of jobs. Robotic arms can now accomplish some processes that were once done by factory workers in a more efficient and less time-consuming manner. If robots can do those activities, why is there a need to hire human workers? After all, compared to robots, humans still need to be given benefits and are prone to non-ideal behaviors.
As amazing as they sound, though, there are still human-like qualities that cannot be replaced by electromechanical products. A human’s ability to innovate and think outside the box is not something that a robot can replicate. While robotics can assist in some processes, they still need the help of humans to function, especially when they break down. Humans are also more efficient in spotting irregularities compared to robots, who rely on sensors and patterns.
In terms of consumer electronics, the products mentioned above are just the beginning. Big brands are getting more and more creative and innovative to outdo each other and win the customers’ hearts. This is a win-win situation for buyers and sellers. Those who purchase EM products experience a more comfortable life, while companies continue to bring in profit for their development. It’s not unlikely that our society will be a more efficient one to live in.
Automobiles are also evolving. Some companies like Tesla have started to roll out vehicles that do not need too much manual input from the driver. They rely on sophisticated sensors and cameras to guide passengers through roads and bring them to their destinations. Some people feel anxious about this as well, but so far, vehicle owners have welcomed self-driving cars since they reduce some issues experienced by drivers in the past.
In the field of biomechatronics, products of EM are beginning to evolve as well. Artificial hearts that function as smoothly as the human heart may replace pacemakers in the near future. Prosthetic limbs are starting to become more robotic, giving amputees a second chance to live a normal life again, as if they never lost a limb in the first place. There are also robots that can perform medical procedures to assist doctors. Who knows, maybe a robot will operate on you after several years.
The field of electromechanical engineering is fascinating to study. There are so many possibilities and innovations that are just waiting to be discovered. It’s fun to imagine how else we can improve our lives, but it’s better to create products that increase efficiency and reduce efforts. It’s also amazing to witness the evolution of products from their humble beginnings, making us realize that anything is possible with the right ingeniousness.
As much as we love innovation, though, we still cannot deny the fact that some manual processes are here to stay. Life may be more comfortable, but we shouldn’t allow these products to replace our good qualities. Nothing beats the so-called “human touch” in terms of doing things. So it’s okay to appreciate the products, but we should not be too dependent on them. They can assist us, but it should stop there. After all, a world taken over by robots is not something we would want to live in.