My name is Arthur and I’m a 20-Year-old student from Germany when I began my study abroad adventure in Sydney, I was all set to share the typical travel stories from study abroad business students - stunning sights, travels with friends, and meeting new people from all over the world. But as fate would have it, my academic journey into mechatronics at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) took me on an entirely different route where I actually spent most of my time in the Labs in university working on projects and Assignments.
This blog isn't about iconic Sydney landmarks, cuddly wildlife, or sunny beaches (though they were truly awesome). Instead, I want to take you on a ride where I share some insights about studying robotics at UTS. With its impressive collection of robots, it has become the hub of my study abroad adventure, offering students the opportunity to work with cutting-edge machines while diving headfirst into the world of mechatronics with MATLAB, ROS or Python.
So, set your backpack aside for a moment, and join me on a journey to discover why UTS's mechatronics program is for robotics enthusiasts and budding engineers.
During my time in Sydney, I did a full-time study load, which meant enrolling in four courses. Back in Germany, I was studying mechanical engineering, and I already had some experience with robots and mechatronic systems. What's interesting is that the most engaging courses I took were also the most challenging ones in the entire degree according to the domestic students: "Industrial Robotics (41013)" and "Design in Mechanical and Mechatronic Systems (43019)".
In the "Industrial Robotics" course, we learned the nitty-gritty of controlling robots using things like DH parameters and q values for each joint. The subject matter was complex, but it piqued my interest, and I loved gaining a deeper understanding of how to control robots more effectively.
On the flip side, "Design in Mechanical and Mechatronic Systems" (DMMS) took a different approach. It was a project-based course, and I absolutely loved it. At the beginning of the semester, we got to choose one project out of 24 options, and that project became our main focus for the entire term. Each project had a budget, and we were challenged to come up with innovative solutions over the course of the semester. I was lucky to work on a project involving a cobot (collaborative robot) designed to sort beer bottles. Our task was to create an end effector, a device at the robot's end, that could efficiently pick up bottles and sort them by brand. The open-ended nature of the project allowed us to explore different solutions and work on improving the system throughout the semester.
These courses not only expanded my understanding of robotics and mechatronics but also made my study abroad experience in Sydney more interesting. They reinforced the value of taking on challenging engineering subjects and embracing hands-on, project-based learning, which not only fosters personal growth but also deepens one's appreciation for the complexities of engineering.
As my time at UTS wraps up, I wholeheartedly recommend this university to anyone interested in robotics and mechatronics or just in general engineering.
Before I leave in 3 months, I'm excited about exploring more of Australia, and I've even joined the UTS Rover team, working on building a Mars rover during the break. UTS has given me incredible opportunities, and I encourage others to consider this university for their own study abroad adventure. It's a world of engineering excellence waiting to be explored.
Arthur Baron von Wilcke
Spring 2023 exchange student from TH Wildau – Technische Hochschule Wildau, Germany