This paper outlines an alternative modeling scheme for mechatronic systems, as a basis for their concurrent design. The approach divides a mechatronic system into three generic subsystems, namely generalized executive, sensory and control, and links them together utilizing a combination of bond graphs and block diagrams. It considers the underlying principles of a multidisciplinary system, and studies the flow of energy and information throughout its different constituents. The first and second laws of thermodynamics are reformulated for mechatronic systems, and as a result three holistic design criteria, namely energy, entropy and agility, are defined. These criteria are formulated using the bond graph representation of a mechatronic system. As a case study, the three criteria are employed separately for concurrent design of a five degree-of-freedom industrial robot manipulator.

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Chhabra, R, & Reza Emami, M. (M.). (2011). Holistic system modeling in mechatronics. Mechatronics, 21(1), 166–175. doi:10.1016/j.mechatronics.2010.10.003