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CMPS 447/591, Fall 2008 Syllabus

Contact Information

    Dr. Patrick McDowell


    Office: 220 Fayard Hall


Course Information

    The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the subject of robotics. Topics to be discussed include a history of robotics touching on early history, expectations, and current progress. The class will presented using a both a mix of theory and hands-on exercises. Exercises will include problems, simulation, and hands on work using VEX robotics systems in the Lab. This class will require that the students have skill in math, logic, and programming. 


Course Objectives

This course will present an introduction to the various topics of robotics. Students will learn about the history of robotics, and various branches of robotics. They will learn to create basic simulators in order to develop examples of the algorithms being presented in the course. They will study open and closed loop control. Sections on various robot platforms will be presented as well as sensors and the control major paradigms, including Sense/Plan/Act, Reactive and Hybrid. Lastly, issues such as mapping, learning, and navigations will be addressed.


Evaluated by tests, assignments, class activities, and quizzes. 


Program Learning Outcomes and Evaluation:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline
      • Evaluated by tests, assignments, class activities, and quizzes. 
  • An ability to analyze a problem, and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution
      • Measured by: assignments throughout semester
  • An ability to design, implement and evaluate a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet desired needs
      • Measured by: assignments throughout semester


    AI Robotics, Robin Cook

    Behavior Robotics, Jeff Jones

Course Outline/Schedule (Subject to change)

  • Overview of Robotics
      • What is robot
      • Brief history.
      • Branches of robotics
          • Industrial
          • Mobile
          • Intelligent
  • Background and Basics
      • First mobile robots
          • Braitenburg Machines
          • Feedback
      • Kinematics and manipulator control
      • Elementary Control Strategies
          • Open loop control
          • Closed loop control
              • Proportional differential
              • Issues
                  • Gain
                  • Latency
                  • Stability
                  • Oscillation
  • Research/Study methods
      • Simple simulations
      • Vex platforms
  • Robotic Platforms
      • Wheeled
      • Legged
      • Underwater
      • Flying
  • Sensors
      • Touch
      • Light
      • Ultrasonic
      • Laser
      • Video
  • Robotic Control Paradigms
      • Sense – Plan – Act
      • Behavior / Reactive
      • Hybrid
  • Issues
      • Navigation
      • Mapping
      • Team work
      • Learning

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