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University of Texas at Arlington - Spring 2011

CSE 4360/5364

Autonomous Robots

1  - Course Overview
2  - Course Topics, Material and Goals
3  - Course Assignments, Exam and Policies
4  - Course/University Policies and Services

Class Schedule:
   Mon. & Wed., 1:00-2:20pm
Office Hours:
   Mon. & Wed., 2:20-4:00pm or by appointment
Course Website:
   http://ranger.uta.edu/ ~ gianluca/teaching/CSE4360-5364

   Dr. Gian Luca Mariottini
   Web: http://ranger.uta.edu/ ~ gianluca
   Email: gianluca@uta.edu
   Computer Science and Engineering Dept.
   University of Texas at Arlington
   Engineering Research Building 649, 416 Yates Street
   Arlington, TX 76019-0015
Downloads: [Flyer], [Syllabus]

1  - Course Overview

Human being always looked for substitutes that would mimic their behavior to perform repetitive and dangerous operations. In the past sixty years Robotics has witnessed an impressive and revolutionary technological growth and robots are now successfully employed in a wealth of industrial, social and aerospace applications.
In this course, students will be introduced to the basics of Robotics and will learn about robot kinematics, dynamics, and control, as well as motion planning, sensors, and probabilistic reasoning for robot estimation (such as localization and mapping). All of these tools and algorithms will allow the students to discover and truly understand what is behind such a rapid growth, and will give answers to questions like: how can a robot perceive its surroundings? How can a robot autonomously move in an environment while avoiding obstacles?
Throughout the course, students will work individually and in groups to learn core concepts of robotics, to analyze robotics problems and to design software solutions for the above problems. After successfully completing this course, students will be able to understand, analyze and master a variety of techniques and algorithms in robot navigation, sensing and control.
The interested students from EE, MAE, and Bioeng. Depts. are encouraged to contact the teacher.

Course Prerequisites:

Office Hours:

The instructor is generally available before or after class and by appointment, as well as at the office hours scheduled above.

2  - Course Topics, Material and Goals


  1. Intro to Robotics
        - 01/19/11:
            - Course Introduction: What is a robot?
  2. Robot kinematics
        - 01/24/11:
            - Introduction to Robot Structures
            - Robot Kinematics: Reference frames (see class notes and Ch.2 of [Siciliano09]);
        - 01/26/11:
            - Rotation Matrices and their composition.
        - 01/31/11:
            - Inverse of a Rotation Matrix;
            - Homogeneous Transformations.
        - 02/7/11:
            - Homogeneous Transformations and their composition.
            - MATLAB code on frames - see notes below on MATLAB code
        - 02/9/11:
            - Lego NXT at the Robotics Teaching Lab;
        - 02/14/11:
            - Manipulator kinematics;
            - Denavit-Hartenberg (DH) convention;
            - MATLAB code on DH - see notes below on MATLAB code
  3. Inverse kinematics
        - 2/16/11:
            - Inverse Kinematics and exercises;
        - 2/28/11:
            - Denavit-Hartenberg (DH) convention;
        - 03/2/11:
            - Denavit-Hartenberg (DH): exercises;
  4. Trajectory Generation and Tracking
        - 03/7/11:
            - Trajectory Tracking;
        - 03/9/11:
            - Robot Motion Planning;
            - Exact- and Approximate- Cell Decomposition;
            - Wavefront Propagation;
        - 03/14-16/11:
            - Spring Break;
  5. Sensors in Robotics
        - 03/21/11:
            - Sensors for Robotics: cameras and simplified pinhole model;
        - 03/23/11:
            - Sensors for Robotics: generalized pinhole model;
            - Stereo Cameras.
  6. Linear Control of Manipulators
  7. Mobile Robots
  8. Probabilistic Approaches to Robot Localization
  9. Kalman Filter (KF) and Extended-KF
  10. Robot Localization and Mapping
  11. Adaptation and Learning
(please note that these course topics are preliminary and might undergo slight changes)

Matlab code

In order to run some of the code examples available in the course material, you need to download the Robotics Toolbox, by Peter Corke. Once you have downloaded it, include the corresponding unzipped directory in your MATLAB path. At this point you should be ready to run the examples.

Course text

There is no required textbook for this course. However, selected parts of other textbooks (see list below) will be used as part of the course readings. Copies of these material will be put on reserve in the Science and Engineering Library.

Course Goals

CSE 4360/5364 is designed to:

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, each student will be able to:

3  - Course Assignments, Exam and Policies

Class attendance and participation

In CSE 4360/5364, the students will be presented with the state-of-the-art of robotics. I strongly encourage the students to attend each class and to actively contribute with in-class discussion, when necessary. Students must arrive on time at class.
During the whole semester, I like to interact with the participants and ask them to actively participate to complete informal small in-class exercises. These informal activities will not be graded but will be used as a feedback or plan activities.

Homeworks and Course Project

Students will be graded based on 3 homework assignments and 2 projects. The assignments will consist of written parts as well as programming exercises in MATLAB. Dates for the homeworks will be announced in class. Regarding homeworks policies, please refer also to the Course Policy section.
For the projects, groups of 2-3 students will be formed; each project will involve designing and implementing a particular algorithm on a real robot system. At the end of each project, the programmed robot system has to be presented, together with a project report (5-8 pages) describing its analysis and design. For the 2nd project, additional projects related to the course topics and proposed by students can be added to the list. The selection of the 2nd-project will require approval by the instructor, based upon the content of a project abstract submitted by each group (mandatory submission before a deadline, to be announced in class). In evaluating the projects design, particular attention will be given to the projects that excel in creativity and effectiveness of their result.
(More details will follow)

4  - Course/University Policies and Services

Tentatively, course grades will based on the following:
Assignments % of final grade
Homework Assignments (total) 50 %
Group Project 1 20 %
Group Project 2 30 %
Percent Grade Letter
90 %-100 % A
80 %-89.9 % B
70 %-79.9 % C
60 %-69.9 % D
<60 % F

Final Project/Homework Late Submission Policy:

Late submissions for the final project will be penalized according to:

Attendance and Participation

As stated above, attendance is strongly suggested at the first day and each class session. Students are encouraged to arrive on time and attend the full class period.
Participants who need to miss class for religious observance or for a pressing personal or family matter, should contact the instructor prior to missing class or as soon as possible. Participants should plan on getting the information about the missed class from a peer.
I strongly encourage in-class collegial behaviour as well as between the project group members. NON collegial behavior includes working on other tasks during class time (text messaging, e-mailing, Web surfing, doing crosswords/Sudoku, having private conversations, etc.). Another example of non collegial behavior could be the creation of unconstructive conflicts inside a group.
Finally, I positively value the students' active participation to in-class discussions. This is extremely important because gives the instructor (and the students too!) a feedback on the audience understanding.

Academic Honesty

All students are expected to pursue their academic careers with honesty and integrity. "Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts" (Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22.).
Students found guilty of dishonesty in their academic pursuits are subject to penalties that may include suspension from the university. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty will receive a -100% for that work (homeworks, project, etc.) as well as having the course grade lowered one full letter grade - in addition to any other penalties assessed (suspension, expulsion, probation). These and other applying UTA rules, will be strictly enforced. Any case of academic dishonesty will be treated in accordance with the UTA Handbook of Operating Procedures or the Judicial Affairs website at http://www2.uta.edu/discipline. If you do not understand this policy, it is your responsibility to obtain clarification or any additional information you may require.
Students are allowed to discuss homework with classmates, but are not allowed to copy the solutions of others or share solutions with others. All work turned in for grading must be the student's own work.

Accommodations for Students With Disabilities

I will do my best to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable accommodations to students who have documented disability conditions (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, or systemic) that may affect their ability to participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. If you require any accommodation based on disability, please meet with the Instructor (with your supporting papers) in the privacy of his office the first week of the semester to be sure you are appropriately accommodated.

Grievance Procedure

Anyone feeling that a dispute exists after the grading of any assignment or exam may submit a written grievance. This grievance should identify the item in dispute and arguments supporting the student's position. Grievances must be submitted in writing within two class periods following the return of the assignment.
The instructor agrees to return a written response to the student's grievance within two class periods from receipt of the grievance. If the error is due to wrongful calculation of points, then no grievance needs to be submitted. If a written grievance is received, the instructor reserves the right to re-grade the entire exam (not just the specific point in question).

Student Support Services Available

The University of Texas at Arlington supports a variety of student success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve academic success. These programs include learning assistance, developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and transition, and federally funded programs. Students requiring assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for more information and appropriate referrals.

Electronic Communication Policy

The University of Texas at Arlington has adopted the University "MavMail" address as the sole official means of communication with students. MavMail is used to remind students of important deadlines, advertise events and activities, and permit the University to conduct official transactions exclusively by electronic means. For example, important information concerning registration, financial aid, payment of bills, and graduation are now sent to students through the MavMail system. All students are assigned a MavMail account. Students are responsible for checking their MavMail regularly. Information about activating and using MavMail is available at http://www.uta.edu/oit/email/ .

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.85.
On 24 Mar 2011, 22:33.