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Undergraduate Minor in Robotics - Required Courses

 Required Courses

The robotics minor will have a prerequisite: knowledge of C language, basic programming skills, and familiarity with basic algorithms.

A central course for the minor is Introduction to Robotics (16-311). This course gives students the big picture of what is going on in robotics through topics such as kinematics, mechanisms, motion planning, sensor based planning, mobile robotics, sensors and vision. The minor also has two other required courses: (1) a controls class and (2) a manipulation class. These courses provide students with the necessary intuition and technical background to move on to more advanced robotics courses.

 Course Descriptions

The following courses must be taken in this minor:


16-311: Introduction to Robotics
Units: 12
Semester: Spring
This course presents an overview of robotics in practice and research with topics including vision, motion planning, mobile mechanisms, kinematics, inverse kinematics, and sensors. In course projects, students construct robots which are driven by a microcontroller, with each project reinforcing the basic principles developed in lectures. Students nominally work in teams of three: an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer, and a computer scientist. This course will also expose students to some of the contemporary happenings in robotics, which includes current robot lab research, applications, robot contests and robot web surfing.

Optional Textbook: Introduction to Robotics by McKerrow

Prerequisites: Differential Calculus (21-115), Integral Calculus (21-116), Integration and Differential Equations (21-117), Integration, Differential Equations, and Approximation (21-122).


Note: The course 24-352, Dynamic Systems and Control, does not count for the minor.

Chose any one of the following courses:

18-370: Fundamentals of Control
Units: 12
Semester: Fall
An introduction to the fundamental principles and methodologies of classical feedback control and its application. Emphasis is on problem formulation and the analysis and synthesis of servomechanisms using frequency and time domain techniques. Topics include analytical, graphical and computer-aided (MATLAB) techniques for analyzing and designing automatic control systems; analysis of performance, stability criteria, realizability and speed of response; compensation methods in the frequency domain, root-locus and frequency response design and pole-zero synthesis techniques; robust controller design; systems with delay and computer control systems; transfer function and state space modeling of linear dynamic systems; nonlinearities in control systems; and control engineering software (MATLAB). 3 hrs. lec., 1.5 hrs. rec., 3 hrs. MATLAB lab.

Prerequisite: 18-396

24-451: Feedback Control Systems
Units: 12
Semester: Fall
Fundamentals of feedback control with emphasis on classical techniques and an introduction to state space methods. Topics include the following: frequency domain modeling and state space modeling of dynamical systems; feedback control system concepts and components; control system performance specifications such as stability, transient response, and steady state error; analytical and graphical methods for analysis and design - root locus, Bode plot, Nyquist criterion; design and implementation of proportional, proportional-derivative, proportional-integral-derivative, lead, lag, and lead-lag controllers. Laboratory work will include implementation and evaluation of various controllers on real systems for comparison with analytical models. Extensive use of computer aided analysis and design software. 3 hrs. lec., 3 hrs. lab.

Prerequisites: 15-127, 24-352

16-299 Introduction to Feedback Control Systems
Units: 9
Semester: Spring
ME and ECE students are not permitted to take this course to satisfy Minors requirement.
This course is designed as a first course in feedback control and systems. Course topics will include systems, dynamic response, feedback control, time and frequency domain analysis, Laplace transforms, state-space design, digital control, and robotic control. Laboratory work will include implementation of controllers for force feedback robotic devices.

Expose CS majors to systems, control, and laboratories with mechanical systems. Priorities given to those with robotics minor. This course satisfies the control requirement for robotics minor.

Prerequisite: 15-211, 21-122


Chose any one of the following courses:

15-384: Robotic Manipulation
Units: 9
Semester: Fall
Foundations and principles of robotic manipulation. Topics include computational models of objects and motion, the mechanics of robotic manipulators, the structure of manipulator control systems, planning and programming of robot actions.

Note: Students may take 16-741 Mechanics of Manipulation, the graduate advanced manipulation class, in place of 15-384, with permission of both the director of the minor and the instructor, but this option is seriously discouraged. Also, 16-741 cannot satisfy one of the free electives in the minor.

24-355: Kinematics and Dynamics of Mechanisms
Units: 9
Semester: Spring (not offered for the foreseeable future, so don't plan your schedule around this course)
This design-oriented course addresses the kinematics and dynamics of mechanisms with applications to linkage systems, reciprocating engines, and industrial machinery. Conventional as well as innovative rigid-body dynamic systems are studied. Problems of kinematics and dynamics are framed in a form suited for computer analysis. The course bridges analysis and design by emphasizing the synthesis of mechanisms. To stimulate a creative approach, homework and project work draw upon actual engineering design problems. 3 hrs. rec.

 Common Graduate Courses Undergrads Take

16-899D: Principles of Human Robot Interaction

Last Update 26 Jun 2007
Last Major Revision 5 Jun 2007

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The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.
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