ME 449 Robotic Manipulation

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(Detailed Syllabus (Under Construction))

Revision as of 02:38, 20 September 2017

Fall Quarter 2017


Course Summary

Mechanics of robotic manipulation, computer representations and algorithms for manipulation planning, and applications to industrial automation, parts feeding, grasping, fixturing, and assembly.

Course Text and Software

All of these resources are available at the homepage for the book.

Video Lectures

Video supplements to the reading can be found at If you prefer to watch the videos as playlists in the youtube environment, you can go here instead. These links are also available from the book's homepage.

In general, I recommend that you first watch the videos to get a quick understanding of the material of the chapter, then follow up by reading. The videos are short and dense, so don't expect to get by only watching the videos. You will need to read the book, then do the exercises, to gain mastery of the material.

Approximate Syllabus and Reading

  • Chapter 2, Configuration Space (weeks 1-2)
  • Chapter 3, Rigid-Body Motions (weeks 2-3)
  • Chapter 4, Forward Kinematics (week 4); section 4.2 is optional
  • Chapter 5, Velocity Kinematics and Statics (week 5)
  • Chapter 6, Inverse Kinematics (week 6); focus on section 6.2
  • Chapter 8, Dynamics of Open Chains (weeks 6-7); skip sections 8.4, 8.8, and 8.9
  • Chapter 9, Trajectory Generation (week 8); focus on sections 9.1 and 9.4
  • Chapter 11, Robot Control (week 9); focus on sections 11.1 through 11.4
  • Chapter 13, Wheeled Mobile Robots (week 10); skip section 13.3

Detailed Syllabus (Under Construction)

Homeworks are due at the beginning of class every Wednesday, unless otherwise noted. You will watch the videos and do the reading in advance of class using the material, as noted in the syllabus below. A typical weekly schedule will consist of:

M: Help with homework.
W: Homework solutions, student lecture, and in-class assignment OR homework solutions and quiz preparation.
F: Student lecture and in-class assignment OR quiz.

Class 1 (W 9/20)

Welcome to the course. Structure of the course (HW due Wed, student-generated lectures and learning materials, in-class assignments, feedback on student lectures, occasional Friday quizzes). Book, software, (lack of) D-H parameters, syllabus, V-REP simulator, office hours.

At home:

Videos: first 3 videos of Chapter 2, through Chapter 2.2
Reading: Chapters 2.1 and 2.2
Software: download github software with book, install V-REP and verify that you can use Scenes 1 and 2 (the UR5)
HW1, due before class W 9/27: Exercises 2.3, 2.9, 2.20, 2.29. Also, create your own example system with closed loops, something not in the book, and solve for the degrees of freedom using Grubler's formula. Make it something that exists or occurs in common experience, not necessarily a robot. Imagine using it to teach someone about Grubler's formula.

Class 2 (F 9/22)

Bring your laptop, demo V-REP UR5 scenes
Sample student lecture and in-class assignment on chapters 2.1 and 2.2

At home:

Videos: 2 videos on Chapter 2.3
Reading: Chapter 2.3

Class 3 (M 9/25)

Help with HW1

At home:

Videos: 2 videos, Chapter 2.4 and 2.5
Reading: Chapters 2.4 and 2.5
Turn in HW1

Class 4 (W 9/27)

Solutions to HW1; student examples of Grubler's formula


Assignments are graded based on correctness, how well you organize your homework (it should be easy to understand your thinking and easy to find your responses), and how well you follow the submission instructions below. You will lose points if you don't follow these instructions.

If you ever think a problem is stated incorrectly, not enough information is given, or it is impossible to solve, don't panic! Simply make a reasonable assumption that will allow you to solve the problem (but clearly state what this assumption is), or indicate why it is not possible to solve the problem.

Instructions for uploading assignments to Canvas:

0. Upload on time! Late submissions are not accepted. The cutoff time is at the beginning of class on the day the assignment is due.

1. Only upload one zip file or rar file for each assignment;

2. In your zip file or rar file, include all source codes in their original form, such as .cpp, .m, .py, .nb.

3. If there is a demo, combine the screen shots into one SEPARATE pdf file, OR, show the results in one SEPARATE .txt file (DON'T show them in your source code file format, e.g. .nb file), and include it in the zip file (or rar file).

4. Always include output of your code running on the exercises, particularly in case the grader has problems running your code. Also, always create a script (for example, titled ex6-9 or something) that the grader can easily invoke for each exercise. Don't expect the grader to search through your code to find sample code to cut-and-paste. Make it as easy as possible for the grader (you can include a "README" in your solutions, for example).

5. Please name the upload file in the following format:

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