COMP 781: Robotics

Spring 2014

Time: Tuesday, Thursday 11:00am - 12:15pm

Location: FB 007

Instructor: Prof. Ron Alterovitz

Office hours: Time TBA, 223 Sitterson Hall


Robots are having a significant impact on our daily lives, from medicine to transportation to personal home assistance. Creating robotic systems raises a unique combination of questions in algorithm design, computational geometry, control theory, and systems engineering. This course will provide an overview of robotics with an emphasis on the computational and algorithmic aspects.

The course will begin by introducing the fundamentals of robotics systems and algorithms and then lead to discussions on current research and applications. The topics to be covered, which may be modified based on the interests of enrolled students, include:

Who should enroll: Students with interests in robotics, motion planning algorithms, graphics, computational geometry, and machine learning as well as application areas such as those listed above. Students from Computer Science as well as other departments are welcome. For students in Computer Science, the course project software and report could serve as a basis for the MS Program Product requirement and/or the department technical writing requirement.

Credits: 3.

Course Requirements: Each student will select the topic of his/her course project, orally present background material on the project topic, and write a final report. Each student will also complete written/programming assignments and present a recent robotics research paper of his or her choice.

Prerequisites: Undergraduate level calculus, linear algebra, data structures, algorithms, and proficiency in programming (Java, Matlab, C, C++, python, or another language with permission of the instructor). Prior coursework in robotics, motion planning, or graphics is not required. Undergraduates and students from outside Computer Science who are unsure if they meet the prerequisites should contact the instructor.

Textbook: There is no required textbook for this course. Course notes, in-class handouts, and links to relevant papers will be provided.