Module Leader

Dr Petar Kormushev

+44 (0)20 7594 9235

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
  • Program basic robot functions;
  • Simulate basic robot functions;
  • Control a range of actuators and compound motions;
  • Design and program a robot to undertake a range of basic functions.


Description of Content

Intermediate course in robotics, sensors, actuators, and control, building on the DE2-Giz module.

At the end of the course students will be familiar with the key concepts related to the building and programming of autonomous robots. They will understand the different kinds of locomotion and sensor systems that can be used, and the principles behind the programming of simple reactive behaviours. They will understand different ways in which reactive behaviours can be programmed and combined for controlling a robot in an unknown but fixed type of environment. They will have been introduced to advanced techniques in probabilistic filtering, simultaneous localisation and mapping, and motion planning.

This course will focus on the field of mobile robotics, at the exciting time when cutting-edge robots are beginning to leave the research laboratory to tackle real-world tasks --- in space, in the desert or in your living room. A robot is a physical device where sensing and actuation must be linked by efficient, robust and flexible on-board computing. We will emphasize both theoretical and practical aspects of the field.

We will start by looking at the basics of wheeled locomotion, and proprioceptive and outward-looking sensors, and examine how these can be coupled in direct servo loops to produce reactive behaviours. We will then look at how different behaviours can be combined to produce more complicated activity via architectures such as subsumption.

This is a course with an intensive practical element, and every week there will be practical sessions in the laboratory where students will work in groups with Lego Mindstorms NXT kits and the RobotC programming environment. Marking of the assessed coursework component is cumulative: every week there will be a task set to each group and marks will be given for successfully demonstrating results in the next practical session.