UCSB “Introduction to Robotics: Planning and Kinematics”
ME/ECE 179P, Spring 2018
Instructor: Francesco Bullo

This is the syllabus for the UCSB course ME / ECE 179P “Introduction to Robotics: Planning and Kinematics”, Spring 2018 (lecture times during period: Tue.03apr2018 through Th.7jun2018).

This information is always available and updated at the URL http://motion.me.ucsb.edu/ME179P-Winter2013/syllabus.html.


As main source we will be using an unpublished book:

Lectures on Robotic Planning and Kinematics,
Francesco Bullo and Stephen L. Smith
v0.91, Apr 2016.

Available in PDF format and in Slide PDF format. More information here.

The plan is to cover each chapter of the book in about one week (two lectures).

When and how to turn in homework and Programming assignments

Homework is typically due on Wednesday 5pm of the week following the corresponding lectures (e.g., Homework for Week 1 is due on Wednesday of Week 2). Warning: The week-by-week schedule below may be modified during the quarter to include a few exceptions.

Handwritten or typed answers are to be placed in the homework box for ME179P near room 2243, Engr Bldg II. (exact number of homework box to be decided)

Regarding programming assignments, please remember to always include name, date and summary description for each program you turn in.

Electronic answer are to be emailed to introtorobotics-at-gmail.com with subject “MATLAB Assignment #XYZ” or “MATLAB Project #XYZ”, where XYZ is the number of the assignment or project. Typically, M-files are to be emailed as attachments. For your information, we will run your M-files and MATLAB scripts through a test routine to check they work properly.

How to learn MATLAB

  • MATLAB video tutorials by MathWorks: (html) and demos (html)

  • MATLAB Primer (version 3, by Kermit Sigmon): (pdf)

Week 1: Apr 3 and 5
Sensor-Based Motion Planning (Bug Algorithms)

  • Reading Assignment: Textbook Chapter #1

  • Homework Assignment #1 (due on Wed Week 2): Exercises E1.1, E1.3, E1.5

  • Programming Assignment #1 (due on Wed Week 2): Exercise E1.6

Week 2: April 10 and 12
Motion Planning via Decomposition and Search

Week 3: April 17 and 19
Configuration Spaces

Week 4: April 24 and 26
Motion Planning via Sampling and Collision Detection

Francesco unfortunately out of town on May 1 and 3, due to an administrative meeting of the IEEE professional society.

Week 5: May 1 and 3
Motion Planning via Sampling. Lectures by TA soon-to-be-Dr. Mishel George

Week 6: May 8 and 10
Review and Midterm

  • MIDTERM: Thursday May 10th

Week 7: May 15 and 17
Introduction to kinematics and rotation matrices

  • Reading Assignment: Textbook Chapter #6

  • Homework Assignment #6: Exercises E6.1, E6.3, E6.4

Week 8: May 22 and 24
Rotation matrices (composition, parametrization)

  • Reading Assignment: Textbook Chapter #7

  • Homework Assignment #7: Exercises E7.1, E7.2, E7.3, E7.6

  • Programming Assignment #7: Exercises 7.10

Week 9: May 29 and 31
Displacement matrices (as models for rigid motion and transformations)

  • Reading Assignment: Textbook Chapter #8

  • Additional reading: Motoman HP20 Brochure

  • Homework Assignment #8: Exercises E8.1, E8.2, E8.3

Week 10: Jun 5 and 7
Motion models

  • Reading Assignment: Textbook Chapter #9

Finals Week

  • Time: Monday, June 11, 12pm-3pm

  • Place: Engineering Building II, room 2243