Robot Lab(Spring 2009)

From GICL Wiki
Revision as of 03:16, 24 March 2009 by Ccannon (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search



  • Class will meet weekly, starting April 1, 2009.

Course Logistics

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
Class Time: W 18:00->21:50
Class Location: TBD
Office Hours: By appointment only
Course Instructor: William C. Regli, Ph.D.
Teaching Assistants: Marc Winners <>, Chris Cannon <>,
Instructor Contact: Email regli (at) drexel (DOT) edu (not that this will help keep the spammers away)
Phone 215.895.6827; Office: UC 143

Course Objectives and Outcomes

The goal of this class is to learn how to create software to interact with devices embodied in the physical world. Students successfully completing this class will:

  1. understand the basic concepts of robotics (from a computer-science point of view), including kinematics, dynamics, actuators, controllers, etc;
  2. perform software development to control mobile robots (specifically iRobot Roombas);
  3. design experiments for robotic platforms;
  4. measure the effectiveness of a robotic system on a given problem;
  5. gain experience with biologically-inspired robotics techniques (swarming, biologically inspired design, etc)
  6. employ cyber-infrastructure (wikis, web, etc) and engineering informatics tools (CAD, simulation, MATLAB, Maple, Pro/E, SolidWorks, ACIS, etc) to better understand the relationship between virtual models and the real world


Date Assignment Topic Summary Notes Links and References
September 24

Intro to Robot Lab



Introduction to Robotics Media:Introduction_to_Robotics.ppt
September 26 Simulation Media:Simulation_of_Robotic_Systems.ppt
September 26 Simulation Media:Simulation_of_Robotic_Systems.ppt
Week of October 8th Assignment 1 due Robotics Videos
Week of October 15th SLAM Media:SLAM.ppt
October 22 Assignment 2 due Grading Assignment 2
October 29 Path Planning Media:Robot-Lab-Path-Planning.ppt
November 12 Assignment 3 due
November 19 Thanksgiving holiday, no class Wed 11/21 or Friday 11/23
November 26 BioInspiredRobotDesignAssignment4 is due 11/30 by 5pm


Relevant texts and readings:

  1. Intelligence without Representation, Rodney Brooks.
  2. Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (Paperback) by Rodney Brooks, Publisher: Vintage (February 4, 2003); ISBN-10: 037572527X.
  3. Introduction to the Kalman Filter from UNC.
  4. SLAM for Dummies
  5. J.J. Craig. Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control. Prentice Hall; 3rd edition, 2003.
  6. Kiyoshi Toko. Biomimetic Sensor Technology. Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  7. Karl Williams. Amphibionics: Build Your Own Biologically Inspired Reptilian Robot. McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics, 2003.
  8. David Cook. Robot Building for Beginners. Apress, 2002.


The due dates are listed on the week by week breakdown of the course below. When an assignment is due on a particular date, that means the assignment is really due that week.


This class will be nearly entirely executed in simulation using Play/Stage/Gazebo. Students not comfortable with software development, hacking and programming will find this course difficult, if not impossible. We will not be providing remedial programming or operating systems tutorials in this course. All information needed to execute the assignments is available (or will be made available) on the web, either at the course wiki page or using services like

Miscellaneous Resources

Wiki page for Winter 2007 Roomba Lab: [1]

Page from Spring 2007 Robotics Lab: [2]

iRobot Create Forums: [3]

Robotics Primer Workbook based around the Create [4]