A new mechatronics laboratory for technology integration
While teams and projects tend to be multi-domain, the infrastructure required to integrate and build prototypes lags behind to allow an efficient interaction and to offer multi-disciplinary facilities. Hence this paper presents an infrastructure approach developed in a Latin American academic context, where the concept of an Engineering Building is explained in order to support the demands of a 3rd Generation University. A deeper emphasis of this article is placed upon the development of a Technology Integration Laboratory in terms of functionality, capacity, adjacencies, furnishing and, physiologic and psicologic support. The layout design is based on the concepts of Mechatronics and Technical Systems while enhancing a teaching–learning-building process. After 5 years of operation the results obtained in terms of prototyping, filed patents and projects with the triad government-industry-academy are discussed. Our experience shows that such hands-on engineering facilities are worth having, especially within a virtual education growing trend, and that openness has influenced an increment of the Intellectual Property results. © 2015, Springer-Verlag France.