Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introduction to Robotics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 1hr Lectures
Practical 5 x 2hr Practicals


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Programming assignment in simulator  ( approximately 10 hours of student effort - assessed using department guidelines for development)  20%
Semester Assessment Programming assignment in simulator and on robot  (approximately 15 hours of student effort - assessed using department guidelines for development)  30%
Semester Assessment Programming assignment on robot  (approximately 25 hours of student effort - assessed using department guidelines for development)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed/non-submitted coursework components or ones of equivalent value.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the factors involved in the selection of basic robotic equipment for specific applications.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the problems inherent in programming robots and dealing with real world interaction.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the problems and limitations inherent in simulation of robots.

4. Write effective control programs for real physical robots.

5. Use A.I. techniques in robotics.


This module will give you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and experience of robot programming and will provide you with a foundation in the use of robot simulation and physical robots.

Brief description

This module introduces the basics of robotics through simulated and real world programming of mobile robots. The emphasis is on programming from a robotics perspective and dealing with the contstraints and errors that interaction with the real world introduces. The particular challenges of this area are presented along with the techniques currently available to tackle them, including the application of basic control systems and some artificial intelligence techniques.


1. Introduction to Robotics - 2 Lectures
Introduction to the nature of the robotics problem, with current example systems.

2. Sensors and Perception - 2 Lectures
Current sensing technologies and the perception problem.

3. Mobile and Assembly Robots - 3 Lectures
Overview of mobile robots; methods of locomotion and control. Simulation and programming techniques for a particular robot (Pioneer). Overview of assembly robots. Introduction to assignment scenario.

4. Mobile Robot Programming Assignments - 5 x 2 hour Practicals and 3 Lectures
Three programming assignments: one in simulation, one in simulation and on the real robots and one purely on the real robots using some simple AI. The assignments build on each other to generate a complete control system.

6. Control Architectures - 6 Lectures
Reactive, deliberative and hybrid architectures; concepts, benefits and example systems.

Supporting practicals throughout the semester.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Inherent in the topic.
Improving own Learning and Performance Programming assignments require self-motivated study and work.
Information Technology Inherent in the topic.
Personal Development and Career planning Will feed into students' future career plans.
Problem solving Programming Assignments promote and assess this.
Research skills Assessing AI techniques for use in the programming assignments requires reading and finding papers and other materials.
Subject Specific Skills Robot programming.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 5