Robot Lab (Spring 2007)

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Course Logistics

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
Class Time: Wednesday 18:00 -> 20:30
Class Location: TBD
Office Hours: TBD
Course Instructors: P. Jay Modi, Ph.D.; William C. Regli, Ph.D.
Instructor Contact: Email regli (at) drexel (DOT) edu (not that this will help keep the spammers away); Phone 215.895.6827; Office: UC 143


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. You must arrange a time with the TA for this class, Megan Thurber, during the week the assignment is due and she will grade your assignment at that time. As there are limited slots per TA session, it is best to schedule a time slot with Megan sooner rather than later. You also will have the opportunity to have your work graded after the lecture during the due week. Email Megan at .

Megan's TA schedule

Week by Week Breakdown of Lectures

Date Assignment Topic Summary Notes Links and References
April 4

Intro to Robot Lab


April 11 Introduction to Robotics Media:Introduction_to_Robotics.ppt
April 18 Assignment 0.5 due Simulation Media:Simulation_of_Robotic_Systems.ppt
April 25 Assignment 1 due No Class Robotics Videos
May 2 SLAM Media:SLAM.ppt
May 9 Robotics Videos Quiz Playtime with Roombas
May 16 Robot Coordination: flooded out
May 23 Assignment 2 due Grading Assignment 2
May 30 Path Planning Media:Robot-Lab-Path-Planning.ppt
June 6 Assignment 3 due No Class
June 13 Finals Week


There is no formal text for this class. Course lectures will be augmented with reading materials, technical papers and web materials.

Interested students may wish to examine the following textbooks:

  • J.J. Craig. Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control. Prentice Hall; 3rd edition, 2003.
  • Kiyoshi Toko. Biomimetic Sensor Technology. Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Karl Williams. Amphibionics: Build Your Own Biologically Inspired Reptilian Robot. McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics, 2003.
  • David Cook. Robot Building for Beginners. Apress, 2002.


Students will gain experience with a variety of computational tools, including MATLAB, SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, ACIS, MAPLE, etc. Several research prototype tools may also be introduced for physics-based modeling, kinematics, etc.

Course Objectives and Outcomes

The goal of this class is to build comprehensive engineering models of biologically-inspired robotic systems. Students successfully completing this class will

  1. be able to identify problems resulting from the interdisciplinary interactions in bio-inspired robots;
  2. perform system engineering to design, test and build bio-bots;
  3. be able to apply informatics principles to bio-bot design and testing;
  4. gain experience using a variety of pedagogically appropriate hardware (i.e. Lego Mindstorms, Roombas, etc) and software tools (see above) for robot design/analysis.

Miscellaneous Resources

Wiki page for Winter 2007 Roomba Lab: [1]