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Unit of study_

BMET5790: Introduction to Biomechatronics

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

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 unit 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.

Unit details and rules

Unit code BMET5790
Academic unit Biomedical Engineering
Credit points 6
AMME4790 or AMME5790
(MECH3921 or BMET3921) or MTRX3700 or MTRX3760 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

Coordinator Graham Brooker,
Tutor(s) Jett van der Wallen,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final Exam
Type C
30% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial quiz MATLAB Tutorials
MATLAB based signal processing development
20% Multiple weeks Variable-length
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz group assignment Online or Live Labs
Analysis of data generated by lab experiments
20% Multiple weeks Weekly 3 hours + writeup time
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Assignment
research and Design
15% Week 09 About 20 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Small test Weekly Quizzes
Consolidation of lecture content. Short answers or brief analysis
15% Weekly Variable-length
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

Assessment summary

Matlab Tutorial: Five 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 online or live group-based activities (for live students) will be held in which students will be required to analyse data from sensing, processing and actuation hardware that illustrates some biomechatronic concepts. For those labs that are live, groups of students will conduct physiological measurements that will be logged, or used to control a robot arm. 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 a group assignment (minimum group size of one) 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. The exam will be structured such that academic integrity is maintained. 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

Result Name Mark Range Description
Matlab tutorial 0-100 grade proportional to correct answers
Weekly Quiz 0-100 grade proportional to correct answers
Lab Activities 0-100 grade proportional to correct answers
Assignment 0-100 grade proportional to how well the criteria were addressed


For more information see guide to grades.

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:

A minimum penalty of 5% per day will be applied. With the application of heavier penalties at the discretion of the lecturer

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity 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 integrity breaches seriously.  

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

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to the Biomechatronics course, and Introduction to hearing Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Introduction to online/live labs Practical (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Hearing implants Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Cochlear implant processing Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Measure Foundry - Graphs, Filtering and the FFT Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 03 Cochlear implants and processing Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Cochlear implant processing Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Sound propagation online laboratory Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 04 Sight and sensory substitution for the blind Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Sensory substitution vision to sound Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Analysis of microphone performance Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 05 Retinal and cortical implants Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Sensory substitution vision to sound Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Analysis of microphone performance Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Introduction to cardiology and pacing Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
ECG analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Analysis of microphone measurements Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
ECG analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
ECG stress test and analysis - live students ECG and cardiac acoustic analysis - online students Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 08 Sphygmomanometer data analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
DICOM file processing Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 09 Total Artificial Hearts (TAHs) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Sphygmomanometer data analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
Sphygmo measurement and analysis - live students EEG evoked response analysis - online students Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 10 Introduction to Respiration Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Fleisch pneumotachograph data analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
MF based control of a PTU using serial Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 11 Respiratory hardware, negative and positive ventilation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Fleisch pneumotachograph data analysis Computer laboratory (1 hr) LO4
EMG data acquisition and processing - live students EMG data processing and analysis - online students Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 12 Introduction to limb prosthetics Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
MF based EMG control of a robot arm for live students Acoustic control of an orthotic for online students Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 13 Control of active and passive prosthetics Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3
MF based EMG control of a robot arm Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance at the labs (online or live) is required.

Attendance at lectures and tutes (online) is recommended.

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.

Required readings

Brooker, G., Introduction to Biomechatronics, Scitech Publishing, Rayleigh NC. 2012

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 section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This course is the rebadged AMME5790. Only minor changes have been made in transcribing the information.

Work, health and safety

Students will need to complete on online tutorial relating to safety in the Biomed Lab.  Competency will be assessed before access is granted

Details can be found in canvas


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