COMP 790-099: Robotics
Time: Tuesdays, Thursdays 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Location: SN 115
Instructor: Prof. Ron Alterovitz
Office hours: Thursdays 3:15pm - 4:30pm or by appointment, 223 Sitterson Hall
Robotics technology is having a significant impact in medicine, transportation, defense, and entertainment, in addition to manufacturing and automation.
Creating robotic systems raises a unique combination of questions in algorithm design, computational geometry, control theory, and systems engineering. This introductory 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:
- Kinematics and inverse kinematics
- Motion planning algorithms
- Optimization algorithms
- Localization and mapping algorithms
- AI/Machine learning for robotics
- Computer vision/sensing for robotics
- Applications to medicine, entertainment, graphics, virtual worlds, games, structural biology, autonomous vehicles, and other areas
Who should attend: Students with interests in robotics, motion planning algorithms, graphics, and computational geometry, 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 report could serve as a basis for the MS Program Product requirement and/or the department technical writing requirement.
Credits: Students can register for either 1 or 3 credits. Students who register for 1 credit will be required to participate in class discussions and present one paper. Students who register for 3 credits will complete a project of their choice as well as the presentations and/or assignments as described below.
For 3 credits: 40% course project, 40% paper presentations/assignments, 20% participation.
Each student will select the topic of his/her course project.
Each student will also either (1) present two papers of his or her choice from the research literature, or (2) complete a pair of written/programming assignments and present one paper of his or her choice.
For 1 credit: 50% paper presentation, 50% participation.
Prerequisites: Knowledge of undergraduate level calculus, linear algebra, and programming (any language, such as Java, Matlab, C, C++, etc.). Both graduate and undergraduate students are welcome to enroll.
Textbook: There is no textbook for this course. Course notes, in-class handouts, and links to relevant papers will be provided.
||What is Robotics?
||Introduction to Configuration Space
||Deterministic Motion Planning
||C-Spaces, Introduction to Sampling-based Motion Planning
||Improving PRM's and Single-Query Sampling-based Motion Planning
||Motion Planning with Uncertainty
Robotics Algorithm paper selection due
||Introduction to Markov Decision Processes
||Assignment 1 posted
||Markov Decision Processes
||Project proposal due
||Stochastic Motion Roadmaps
||Deformable & Dynamic Environments
Gu Ye: Dynamic Environments
Hina Shah: Deformable objects
|Assignment 1 due
Presentation slides due 1 week before your talk
Jonathan Bidwell: Kalman filters
Dwight Springthorpe: Optimal Configuration Sampling
Jinghe Zhang: Probabilistic Cell Decomposition
||Guest lecture: Edgar Lobaton on Computer Vision and Image Processing
||Planning with Uncertainty
Jia Pan: Belief Roadmaps
Shih-ling Keng: Exploration/Exploitation
||Vision and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)
Andy Lim: Grasping using Vision
Kelli Bacon: Spatial Reasoning for HRI
|Robotics Application paper selection due
Project progress report #1 due
Dwight Springthorpe: Microparticle Manipulation
Kelli Bacon: Demonstrations of Home Tasks
|Presentation slides due 1 week before your talk
||Neural interfaces and Vision
Maggie Zhou: Robotic Neural Interface
Jonathan Bidwell: Visual Odometry
||Navigation and Medical Robotics
Ezra Stuetzel: Learning Car Navigation
Jia Pan: Continuum Robots
|Assignment 2 posted
Jinghe Zhang: Flapping Wing Aerial Vehicle
Jeff Pool: Navigation for Indoor Flying
|Project progress report #2 due,
Send ordered list of preferred project presentation dates
Jinghe Zhang and Gu Ye
|Assignment 2 due
Kelli Bacon, Hina Shah, Andy Lim
|Project progress report #3 due (2-4 pages, use IEEE template (not Magnetics))
Jonathan Bidwell, Ezra Stuetzel, Maggie Zhou
Jia Pan, Shih-ling Keng, and Dwight Springthorpe,
|Final project report due December 17 at noon (5-8 pages, use IEEE template (not Magnetics))
Below is a list of suggested papers to select for presentations. Please check back for updates.
Download links are provided for some papers.
Other papers can be downloaded from the UNC library.
Papers on Robotics Algorithms
- Samuel Prentice and Nicholas Roy, "The Belief Roadmap: Efficient Planning in Belief Space by Factoring the Covariance," The International Journal of Robotics Research, July 2009. (pdf)
- Thrun, S. and Burgard, W. and Fox, D., "A Real-Time Algorithm for Mobile Robot Mapping With Applications to Multi-Robot and 3D Mapping," Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2000. (pdf)
- Jan Rosell and Pedro Iniguez, "Path planning using Harmonic Functions and Probabilistic Cell Decomposition," Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2005. (pdf)
- Pieter Abbeel, Dmitri Dolgov, Andrew Y. Ng and Sebastian Thrun, "Apprenticeship Learning for Motion Planning with Application to Parking Lot Navigation," Proceedings of the International Conference on Intellegent RObots and Systems (IROS), 2008. (pdf)
- J. J. Abbott and A. M. Okamura, "Stable forbidden-region virtual fixtures for bilateral telemanipulation," ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, vol. 128, pp. 53-64, 2006. (pdf)
- Markus Rickert, Oliver Brock, and Alois Knoll, "Balancing Exploration and Exploitation in Motion Planning," Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 2008, pp. 2812-2817. (pdf)
- B. Burns and O. Brock, "Toward optimal configuration space sampling," in Proc. Robotics: Science and Systems, (Cambridge, MA), June 2005. (pdf)
- K. Hauser and J.-C. Latombe, "Multi-modal planning for non-expansive configuration spaces," in Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, 2008. (pdf)
- M. Zucker, J. Kuffner, and M. Branicky, "Multipartite RRTs for Rapid Replanning in Dynamic Environments," in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, 2007, pp. 1603-1609.(pdf)
- M. Moll and L. E. Kavraki, "Path Planning for Deformable Linear Objects," vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 625-636, Aug. 2006.
- Andrew M. Ladd and Lydia E. Kavraki, "Motion Planning in the Presence of Drift, Underactuation and Discrete System Changes," Robotics: Science and Systems I, MIT Press, Boston, MA, p. 233-241, 2005. (pdf)
- Samuel Rodriguez, Jyh-Ming Lien, N. M. Amato, "Planning Motion in Completely Deformable Environments," in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Robot. Autom. (ICRA), pp. 2466-2471, May 2006. (pdf)
- B. Tovar, A. Yershova, J. M. O'Kane, and S. M. LaValle, "Information spaces for mobile robots," In Proceedings International Workshop on Robot Motion and Control (RoMoCo 2005), 2005. (pdf)
Papers on Robotics Applications
- Grzonka, Slawomir and Grisetti, Giorgio and Burgard, Wolfram, "Towards a Navigation System for Autonomous Indoor Flying", Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2009. (pdf)
- R. J. Webster III, J. M. Romano, and N. J. Cowan, "Mechanics of Precurved-Tube Continuum Robots," IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 25(1), 67-78, 2009. (pdf)
- R. A. Andersen, S. Musallam, J. W. Burdick, and J. G. Cham, "Cognitive Based Neural Prosthetics," Proceedings of the 2005 Intl. Conf. Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2005.
- R.J. Wood, "Design, fabrication, and analysis, of a 3DOF, 3cm flapping-wing MAV," IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), San Diego, CA, October, 2007.
- Ouajdi Felfoul, Eric Aboussouan, Arnaud Chanu, and Sylvain Martel, "Real-time Positioning and Tracking Technique for Endovascular Untethered Microrobots Propelled by MRI Gradients," Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2009.
- J. Zico Kolter, Pieter Abbeel and Andrew Y. Ng, "Hierarchical Apprenticeship Learning with Application to Quadruped Locomotion," in NIPS 20, 2008. (pdf)
- Zhang, J., Wei, W., Roland, J., Manolidis, S., Simaan, N., "Path Planning and Workspace Determination for Robot-Assisted Insertion of Steerable Electrode Arrays for Cochlear Implant Surgery," MICCAI'2008, the 11th International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention, pp. 692-700, 2008. (pdf)
- Xu, K., Goldman, R., Ding, J., Allen, P., Fowler, D., Simaan, N., "System Design of an Insertable Robotic Effector Platform for Single Port Access (SPA) Surgery," in 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Oct. 2009. (contact me for full pdf)
- Kroemer, Oliver; Detry, Renaud; Piater, Justus; Peters, Jan, "Active Learning Using Mean Shift Optimization for Robot Grasping", in 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Oct. 2009. (contact me for full pdf)
- H. Mayer, I. Nagy, A. Knoll, E. Braun, R. Bauernschmitt. "Adaptive control for human-robot skill transfer: trajectory planning based on fluid dynamics," Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, 2007. (pdf)
- Floyd, Steven; Pawashe, Chytra; Sitti, Metin, "Microparticle Manipulation Using Multiple Untethered Magnetic Micro-Robots on an Electrostatic Surface", in 2009 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Oct. 2009. (contact me for full pdf)
There is no textbook for this course. Below are standard textbooks in the field that you may find useful or interesting.
- H. Choset, K. M. Lynch, S. Hutchinson, G. Kantor, W. Burgard, L. E. Kavraki, and S. Thrun, Principles of Robot Motion: Theory, Algorithms, and Implementations. MIT Press, 2005.
- S. M. LaValle, Planning Algorithms. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2006. (Available online for free)
- Richard M. Murray, Zexiang Li, and S. Shankar Sastry, A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation, 1994. (Available online for free)
- Dimitri P. Bertsekas, Dynamic Programming and Optimal Control, Athena Scientific, 2007.
Advice on Presentations
Giving an Academic Talk by Jonathan Shewchuk