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We are aiming for an incremental return to campus in accordance with guidelines provided by NSW Health and the Australian Government. Until this time, learning activities and assessments will be planned and scheduled for online delivery where possible, and unit-specific details about face-to-face teaching will be provided on Canvas as the opportunities for face-to-face learning become clear.

Unit of study_

AMME5790: Introduction to Biomechatronics

Biomechatronics is the application of mechatronic engineering to human biology, and as such it forms an important subset of the overall biomedical engineering discipline. This course focusses on a number of areas of interest including auditory and optical prostheses, artificial hearts and active and passive prosthetic limbs and examines the biomechatronic systems (hardware and signal processing) that underpin their operation.


Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Unit code AMME5790
Unit name Introduction to Biomechatronics
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

(MECH3921 OR BMET3921) OR MTRX3700 OR (AMME5921 OR BMET5921 OR BMET9921)
Assumed knowledge

Knowledge in mechanical and electronic engineering; adequate maths and applied maths skills; background knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology; Some programming capability: MATLAB, C, C++, software tools used by engineers including CAD and EDA packages.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Graham Brooker,
Lecturer(s) Graham Brooker ,
Tutor(s) Weirong Ge ,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam hurdle task Final exam
Type C
25% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial quiz Matlab tutorials
MATLAB based signal processing development
20% Multiple weeks 2 hrs face-to-face + 3 hrs independent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Small test Quizzes
Consolidation of lecture content. Short answers or brief analysis
20% Multiple weeks 30 to 60 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Lab activities
Analysis of data generated by lab experiments
15% Multiple weeks 3 hrs face-to-face + 3 hrs independent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment Assignment
Research and Design
20% Week 09 About 20 hours over most of the semester
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO1 LO2 LO3
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?
  • Matlab Tutorial: A number of hands-on tutorials will be undertaken in which the students are expected to apply and investigate what they have learned by developing models and software. Tutors will grade the individual submissions from students.
  • Quizzes: Quizzes will be held at the end of sections to ensure that students have understood the work covered so far
  • Lab Activities: Weekly individual on-line activities will be held in which students will be required to analyse data from sensing, processing and actuation hardware that illustrates some biomechatronic concepts. Students will submit a completed worksheet at the end of each lab which will be marked by the lecturer and/or tutor
  • Assignment: The design assignment will take the form of an individual assignment based on student research to develop ideas for a biomechatronic device in stages throughout the first half of the semester as their knowledge and understanding of the subject develops. An individual assignment document will be generated and will be graded by the lecturer to determine how well the students have satisfied the requirements specified in the problem statement. This open ended approach to an assignment allows students more scope to be creative, and throughout the course, creativity and an innovative approach will be encouraged.
  • Final Exam: Open-book examination. Final assessment will include a number of short-answer questions to assess the student’s knowledge of the basic concepts and an analysis section to test their ability to apply these concepts to solve problems. Note that students will be required to pass the exam, to pass the course.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

25% per day or part thereof to minimise student collusion

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to biomechatronics, hearing Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Introduction to Labs Practical (3 hr) LO2
Week 02 Hearing prostheses Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Measure Foundry - Graphs, Filtering & FFT Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 03 Hearing prostheses and cochlear implants Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Cochlear Processing Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Sound Propagation & Mic Analysis Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Visual prostheses and sensory substitution Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Cochlear Processing Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Measure Foundry - Mic Measurements Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 05 Visual prostheses implants and electrodes Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Sensory Substitution Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Image from Sound Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 06 Introduction to the heart, Electrocardiography Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Sensory Substitution Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Image from Sound Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 07 Artificial hearts Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
ECG Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Measure Foundry - ECG and Acoustic Processing Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 08 Artificial hearts Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
ECG Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Measure Foundry - ECG and Acoustic Processing Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 09 Limb prosthetics Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Sphygmo Analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
DICOM procesing Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 10 Limb prosthetics Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Sphygmo Analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
DICOM Processing Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 11 Respiration Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Fleisch Analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Measure Foundry - EMG Processing Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 12 Respiration Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Fleisch Analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Acoustic Orthotic Practical (3 hr) LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

Study commitment: 1) Independent Study –  Approximately three hours of private study per week outside formal contact hours will be expected in order to successfully consolidate the work covered in class. 2) Lecture – Formal face-to-face lectures will be conducted. These will generally be followed by interactive sessions that incorporate student activity and discussion of the material covered formally. 3) Project Work - own time: A design project will be undertaken by the students. This will take the form of ongoing research by the students followed by a report. 4) Laboratory - Students will work individually online to develop andanalyse  software based biomechatronic systems.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Prescribed readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Graham Brooker, Introduction to Biomechatronics (1). Raleigh, NC, Scitech Publishers, 2012. 978-1-891121-27-2.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. develop a conceptual grasp of the intricate relationship between mind and body which will allow you to evaluate different forms of biofeedback that are used for diagnostics and rehabilitation
  • LO2. apply specialised engineering skills (mechanical and electrical) to analyse the performance of an active prosthetic device (e.g. prosthetic limb, hearing implant or artificial heart)
  • LO3. describe the operational principles of a number of implanted and attachable biomechatronic sensors used to monitor and/or stimulate physiological processes including those associated with hearing, seeing, thinking and movement amongst others
  • LO4. demonstrate an appreciation of the basics of the signal processing required to interpret bioelectrical signals and the ability to develop MATLAB code to perform this analysis.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
This course is mature, so the only changes have been those to accommodate on-line teaching and labs due to the COVID restrictions


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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