Module Identifier CS36410  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark B Ratcliffe  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr David Barnes, Dr Mark J Neal  
Pre-Requisite CS16010 or CS26210, CS21120  
Course delivery Lecture   22 lectures  
  Practical   6 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours A2  80%
Semester Assessment A1 Course Work: One piece  20%
Supplementary Exam Will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy   
Further details  

Learning outcomes

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

Brief description

This course introduces the important elements of robotics through automated flexible assembly and mobile robots. The emphasis of the material is to provide an understanding of the software aspects of robotic systems and other computer-based automation. The particular challenges of this area are presented along with the techniques currently available to tackle them, including the application of several Artificial Intelligence techniques.


This module is intended for students with no prior robotics experience, but with some knowledge of Artificial Intelligence. Students are introduced to the important elements of robotic hardware and software through mobile robots and manipulator arms.

The emphasis of the material is to provide an undestanding of the software component of robotic systems along with an appreciation of the hardware aspects, and the interaction of the two. Current programming control architectures are introduced and examined.

The supervised practical sessions are designed to investigate the transferral of robot programs from a simulated environment to a real robot. This gives the students an important appreciation of the inherent problems of programming in the real world. The practical also allows the application and critical evaluation of A.I. techniques in a physical environment.


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

2. Mobile Robots - 2 Lectures
Overview of mobile robots; methods of locomotion and control.

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

4. The Khepera Robot - 1 Lecture
Intorduction to the Khepara robot; components, control, programming and simulator.

5. Manipulator Arms - 2 Lectures
Overview of manipulator arms; arm components, control, end effectors and wrists.

6. Control Architectures -7 Lectures
Reactive, deliberative and hybrid architectures; concepts, benefits and example systems.

7. Case study - 1 Lecture
Study of robots in real world applications.

8. Explicit Robot programming - 5 Lectures
Level of task description. Joint manipulator, object and task level programming. Descriptions and example systems.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
R. R. Murray (2000) Introduction to A.I. Robotics MIT Press ISBN 0-262-13383-0
** Consult For Futher Information
Ronald C. Arkin (1998) Behavior-Based Robotics MIT Press ISBN 0-262-01165-4
P.J. McKerrow Introduction to Robotics 1991. Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-201-18240-8


This module is at CQFW Level 6