The functionality of a mechatronic product fundamentally depends on its information processing capabilities—popularly referred to as the “
”—in the form of
. This refers to the ability to suitably control hardware-based system elements such that user commands, formulated at a highly abstract level, are carried out using the best possible (i.e. most robust and exact) motions. In the extreme case, using the same hardware configuration, differing software variants can even be used to solve completely different product tasks (“intelligent mechanics”). From a systems theory point of view, the control and regulation algorithms implemented in operating software close the control loop and determine the system dynamics, creating the “product intelligence”.