Animal Locomotion and Bioinspired Robots (PG)

Module aims

This is a project-based module designed to provide practical training in bio-inspired robotics locomotion. The course revolves around selected topics in animal locomotion and corresponding robotics projects. Students are expected to participate in all hands-on activities and the assessment will be based on the performance of the implemented devices as well as the accompanying coursework. This module is designed to reinforce the engineering skills for implementing mechatronics systems, thus merely understanding the theory is not sufficient to pass the course.


Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Understand the process and challenges in bio-inspired robotics. 

Intellectual Skills

Identify and analyse the biological principles underlying different robotic applications.

Evaluate the performances of bioinspired robots and draw additional inspirations from nature.

Practical Skills

Design a new version of a bioinspired robot and propose concrete implementations.  

Assemble and condition the robot to accomplish the assigned tasks using the biological principles.

Transferable Skills

Perform live engineered device demonstrations in a team environment

Module syllabus

Dynamics of legged locomotion

Viusual tracking and sensorimotor control

Guidance with simple sensory rules


Mechanics, Biomechanics, Math, Project experience. Algebra, trigonometry, basic understanding of numerical solutions of differential equations Programming in Matlab Programming in Python Basic CAD skills

Teaching methods

Lectures: 6 hours
Workshop: 18 hours


●  Written report: Passive Dynamic Walker Dynamics; 7% weighting; Lab report
●  Written report: Passive Dynamic Walker design coursework; 7% weighting; Robot design coursework
●  Written report: Passive Dynamic Walker Kinematics; 7% weighting; Lab report
●  Written report: Two-wheel robot tuning; 7% weighting; Lab report
●  Written report: Visual tracking characterisation; 7% weighting; Lab report
●  Written report: Visual guidance simulation; 7% weighting; Robot behaviour planning

Feedback : Since the majority of the assessments are performed in class, we will provide feedback to the student's work immediately via comments and suggestions. Written coursework feedback is either provided on Blackboard or discussed in class.

Reading list