UCSB “Introduction to Robotics: Planning and Kinematics”
ME/ECE 179P, Spring 2016
Instructor: Francesco Bullo
This is the website for the UCSB course ME / ECE 179P “Introduction to
Robotics: Planning and Kinematics”, Spring 2016. This information is
available at the URL http://motion.me.ucsb.edu/ME179P-Spring2016. A pdf version of this
documentation is available on the course website.
Motion planning and kinematics topics with an emphasis on geometric
reasoning, programming and matrix computations. Motion planning:
configuration spaces, sensor-based planning, decomposition and sampling
methods, and advanced planning algorithms. Kinematics: reference frames,
rotations and displacements, kinematic motion models.
Course Learning Outcomes
An ability to apply knowledge of geometry, graph algorithms and linear algebra to robotic systems
An ability to use a numerical computing environment, such as Matlab, to solve engineering problems
An ability to formulate and solve planning problems in robotics
An ability to formulate and solve kinematics problems in robotics
Eng 3 and either ME 17 or ECE 130C (concurrent enrollment is allowed).
Knowledge of basic concepts in matrix theory (matrix multiplication,
traces, determinants, eigenvalues), differential equations, and familiarity
with Matlab and/or Phyton programming.
Lecture Time and Place
Monday and Wednesday 11:00am-12:15pm, Engineering Building II, room 2243 (ME Classroom)
Units: 4, including 3 units of lecture, 1 unit of computer lab per week
Lectures on Robotic Planning and Kinematics,
Francesco Bullo and Stephen L. Smith
v0.91, Nov 2015.
PDF format and in
Slide PDF format. More information
Warning: the lecture notes may be updated during the course. I will
inform you when a new version of the notes is available.
Professor Francesco Bullo
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Place: Room 2325, Engineering Bldg II
Time: Wed 9:00am-10:45am
If you have any questions about the course, please send me email. I will
try to respond as quickly as possible. Additionally, I will share
questions that are particularly good (and their answers) with the rest of
the class by broadcasting my answer to the entire class.
If you plan to come to office hours for questions about homework, please be
prepared to show attempts at solving the problem that you prepared before
If you plan to come to office hours, please email me at least 1 hour
in advance. Nobody has come for the first three meetings and I can use
my time more efficiently if I can leave my office.
Teaching Assistant … UNFORTUNATELY NONE THIS YEAR!
Your grade will be assigned roughly according to the following percentages.
Homework and Projects = 15% and 15%
Partial credit might be given whenever the overall performance is low. If
answers are not accompanied by satisfactory explanations (e.g., all
intermediate steps, clearly readable handwriting), no credit will be
Exams and quizzes will be closed book and closed notes. You may prepare an
exam aid (cheat sheet) in your own handwriting, consisting of one,
one-sided sheet (letter size, 8.5x11in) for the midterm and one, two-sided
sheet for the final exam. No calculators/tablets/cellphones are allowed
during the exams (they would be useless anyway).
In exceptional cases, I reserve the right to give extra points for
excellent performance on the final. Please, do not count on it as a way to
avoid doing homework assignments.
Homework will is typically due on Wednesday afternoon. No late
homework will be accepted without prior approval. Approval is
automatic the first two times you ask: to announce late homework you
must send me email by midnight the day before. Late homework will
automatically lose 20% of the grade and no late homework will be
accepted after 5pm on the following Monday.
Computer Access & Matlab
I expect all of you to be familiar with the College of Engineering
computer laboratories. Some of the homework and all computer laboratory
assignments will require working knowledge of Matlab.
A matlab primer is available in the handout section of the course website.
Collaboration Policy for this course
& Academic Dishonesty @ Wikipedia
All course materials (class lectures and discussions, handouts,
examinations, web materials) and the intellectual content of the course
itself are protected by United States Federal Copyright Law, the California
Civil Code. The UC Policy 102.23 expressly prohibits students (and all
other persons) from recording lectures or discussions and from distributing
or selling lectures notes and all other course materials without the prior
written permission of the instructor (See
Policy on Student Conduct
and Discipline). Students are permitted to make notes solely for their own
private educational use. Exceptions to accommodate students with
disabilities may be granted with appropriate documentation. To be clear, in
this class students are forbidden from completing study guides and selling
them to any person or organization.