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1.3 Amplifiers and Isolation

The development of electronic amplification techniques has opened the door to mechatronics. Operational amplifier (op-amp) based circuits, such as those shown in figures 1-3 and 1-4, can provide isolation and generation of linear and nonlinear, static and dynamic computing functions.

Figure 1-3Figure 1-3. Inverting operational amplifier

Figure 1-4Figure 1-4. Non-inverting amplifier

Developments in power electronics have provided the same kind of flexibility and isolation on the actuation side that op-amps provide on the signal side, and give a means for translating commands computed in electronic form into action.

Digital electronics has added enormously to the range of computational functions that can be realized. Digital electronics also form the basic technology for implementing computers, but with the use of computers it is software rather than electronics that represents the medium of expression. Although mechatronics based on electronic computing elements opened a new world of mechanical system control, software has extended that world in previously unimaginable ways.

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