Instructor: Dr. Henry Hexmoor

Spring 2012
Instructor office hours: M/W 9:00AM-3:00PM

Lecture times: MW 4:00-5:15PM
Teaching Assistant: Sandeep Reddy Narani
Faner 2127 (Lab) and Faner 2206 (Lecture)

For course content and sharing work-in-progress please visit the CS server account as instructed in class.

Last Updated: January 25, 2012

Course Description:

This course is a comprehensive introduction to modern robotics with an emphasis on autonomous mobile robotics. Fundamentals of sensors and actuators as well as algorithms for top level control are discussed. Multi-robotics and human-robot interaction issues are explored. A term project is an integral part of this course. Class lectures will closely track outline of the course textbook. Lectures and exams are theoretical. Class project is hands on, pragmatic and research oriented.

For a more in depth orientation read my orientation. Teaching this broad in one course is challenging and requires compromises along countless spectrums and constraints, read about them in Tradeoff.

Projects: All options will be fully discussed in class. 40% of grade

A- Hands on track: A human-robot interaction project is discussed in class. Students will use a physical robot kit to replicate a recently published work.

B- Theoretical track: Explore and develop novel human-robot interaction concepts discussed in class. Browse recent HRI conferences.


CS 330 with a grade of C or better or graduate standing. Seek permission of instructor if you need clarifications. Please Be aware that this is a programming intensive and a hands on course, requiring nontrivial programming skills.

Graduate and undergraduate students are welcome.


You are expected to know or learn programming language on your own.

Grading: Class project at 40%, a traditional in-class exam worth 20%, and a take home report worth 20%.

Take home Report (20 points): This report is a commentary/rebuttal on manuscript written by me. Details will be discussed in class.

Special Activity: Opportunities for earning extra points (e.g., writing a user's manual for microcontroller) will also be discssed in class.

Class participation and attendance will help determine borderline grades.


Important Dates (Dates will be determined in class and this page is periodically updated)
Week 1
Introduction, Syllabus, Orientation
Week 2
Locomotion, architecture, Potential Fields
Week 3
Motion Planning, Navigation, Bug AlgorithmsRoadmaps...
Week 4
Motion Planning, Navigation, Bug Algorithms,
week 5  
Week 6


Week 7
Exam I on 3-2-11
Week 8
Probabilistic-robotics, Filters, Fuzzy logic Navigation
Week 9
Spring break
Week 10
Week ?

Recommended textbook:
Howard Choset, et. al. 2005. Principles of Robot Motion: Theory, Algorithms, and Implementations, The MIT Press, ISBN-10: 0262033275.

Supplemental Reading:
The following links and papers are limited to education purposes by our local students. All rights remain with original sources. This list is updated as needed.

I - Good Old Fashioned Robotics

1. Principles of Robot Locomotion
2. Rodney A. Brooks' original subsumption paper
3. The Subsumption Architecture

4. Henry Hexmoor's High Level Control Loop

5. Potential Fields Tutorial

6. Howard Choset's textbook Chapter 2 slides (Bug Algorithms)

7. Howard Choset's textbook Chapter 5 slides
8. Roadmap slides

II- State of the Art in Robotics

9. Probabilistic-robotics
10. Bayesian Filters for Location Estimation
11. The Scalar Kalman Filter

12. A Fuzzy logic based Navigation System for a Mobile Robot

13. Hexmoor's Fuzzy logic

14. Affect based Computing
15. Robin Murphy's Emotion-based Control
16. Brick and Mortar

17. Markov Decision Processes

19. Jong and Stone paper: RL and MDP
20. Hagit Shatkay on HMMs
21. Andrew Moore's HMM Tutorial Slides

III- New Frontiers

22. Coverage and Search
23. Multirobotics

24. Diana Spears' Swarms paper
25. Alife

Reference Sources:

1. S. Thrun, W. Burgard, D. Fox, 2005. Probabilistic Robotics, MIT press

2. S. LaValle, 2006. Planning Algorithms, Cambridge University Press.

3. R. Arkin, 1998. Behavior-Based Robotics, MIT press

4. G. Bekey, 2005. Autonomous Robots, MIT press

5. G. Dudek, 2005. Computational Principles of Mobile Robotics, Cambridge university press

6. Jones, Flynn, 1998. Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation, AK Peters.

Last updated: January February 18, 2010