Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Robotics and Embedded Systems
Academic Year
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Dr Hong Wei (Associate Professor - University of Reading)
  • Dr John Hunt (Chief Operating Officer - Mallon Associates International)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 10 x 2 Hour Practicals
Lecture 28 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written Exam  50%
Semester Assessment Written Assignment  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed/non-submitted Exam component or one of equivalent value.  Resubmission of failed/non-submitted coursework component or one of equivalent value.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Supplementary Exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

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

Write effective control programs for robots and embedded systems.

Understand the theoretical aspects of robotics and the variety of control paradigms.

Identify and analyse key technical limitations of mobile, wearable and embedded computer systems in particular applications and environments.

Calculate battery sizes, processing requirements, energy budgets, heat dissipation requirements and other key characteristics of robots and embedded computer systems.

Brief description

The module covers issues pertinent to the uses, drawbacks, physical limitations and technological possibilities offered by robots, and mobile/embedded computer systems. This includes discussion of physical constraints, communication mechanisms, battery life, energy budgets and the use of low-power and interrupt driven processing. Robotics and embedded system programming are introduced through real world programming of such systems with an emphasis on programming in ways that deal with the constraints and errors that interaction with the real world introduces.


1. Introduction to Robotics and Embedded Systems – 2 lectures
Introduction to the nature of the robotics problem and embedded systems technologies, with current example systems.

2. Introduction to the practical work – 2 lectures.

3. Mobile and Arm robots – 2 lectures
Overview of mobile and assembly robots.

4. Sensors and Perception – 4 lectures
Current sensing technologies and the perception problem

5. Key properties of available technologies – 6 lectures
Microcontroller architectures and capabilities, energy Budgets, battery technologies, component selection and connection, communication technology characteristics

6. Control Architectures - 8 lectures Reactive, deliberative and hybrid architectures; concepts, benefits and example systems.

7. Robotics and Embedded Systems Programming - 10 practicals
Interfacing and integrating sensors and communication systems on a microcontroller platform including power management and calibration. Programming robots to perform sensing and actuation as part of a larger problem such as mapping, localization and data sharing.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Inherent in the topic.
Communication Written skills needed for assessment.
Improving own Learning and Performance Programming assignments require self-motivated study at 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 techniques for use in the programming assignments requires reading and finding papers and other materials.
Subject Specific Skills Robot programming.
Team work None.


This module is at CQFW Level 5