Done, your profile is created.Finish your profile by filling in the following fields
Forgot Password Earn Money,Free Notes
Password sent to your Email Id, Please Check your Mail
Updating Cart........ Please Wait........
Introduction to Robotics
Introduction to Robotics 27
Lecture 1: Introduction to Robotics
See course website
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/ ajd/Robotics/ for up to
Department of Computing
Imperial College LondonLecture Plan
Most weeks will consist of a 1 hour lecture (Monday 2pm, 308) and a
compulsory 3 hour practical session (Monday 3–4pm, and
Wednesday 9–11am, 219). There may some variations from week to
week which will be fully detailed on the course website and announced in
This week there will be a two hour lecture today, and a two hour
practical on Wednesday. Next week, there will be a two hour
lecture/tutorial on Monday and no practical on Wednesday (due to
1. Introduction to Robotics and Robot Motion
2. Mobile Robotics
4. Probabilistic Robotics
5. Monte Carlo Localisation
6. Place Recognition and Occupancy Mapping
7. Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping
8. Review and CompetitionRobotics: An Inter-Disciplinary Field
Robotics integrates science and engineering, and overlaps with many
• Artiﬁcial Intelligence
• Computer Vision / Perception
• Machine Learning / Estimation / Inference
• Electronic / Mechanical Engineering
In fact the diﬀerentiation between these ﬁelds is sometimes artiﬁcial. I
recently heard someone (Greg Dudek) wonder whether robotics is the
new physics? An umbrella science of the synthetic and interactive...
In this course the emphasis will be largely pragmatic.What is a Robot?
A physically-embodied, artiﬁcially intelligent device with sensing and
It can sense. It can act.
It must think, or process information, to connect sensing and action.
Pixels to torques...What is a Robot?
Is a washing machine a robot? Most people wouldn’t say so, but it
does have sensing, actuation and processing.
A possible distinction between appliance and robot (David Bisset):
whether the workspace is physically inside or outside the device.
• The cognitive ability required of a robot is much higher: the outside
world is complex, and harder to understand and control.
• What about a modern car? Or smartphone? Are they becoming
robots?The Classical Robot Industry: Robot Arms
The most widely-used robots today are industrial robot ‘arms’,
mounted on ﬁxed bases and used for instance in manufacturing.
The task of a robot arm is to position an end-eﬀector through which
it interacts with its environment.
Most operate in highly controlled environments.Robots for the Wider World
• They need perception which gives them a suitable level of
understanding of their complex and changing surroundings.A Fully Autonomous Robot for the Home?
There is a new wave of advanced mobile robots now aiming at much
more ﬂexible robots which can interact with the world in human-like
ways. Over recent years this has again become the current goal of
signiﬁcant research teams; e.g. Willow Garage in the USA.
See the video at http://personalrobotics.stanford.edu/ from
Stanford’s Personal Robotics Program.Advanced ‘Real-World’ Manipulation
• Laundry-folding robot from UC Berkeley / Willow Garage
Learning from Large-Scale Interaction / Google
deep-learning-for-robots-learning-from.htmlOur Focus: Mobile Robots
• A mobile robot needs actuation for locomotion and sensors for
• Ideally untethered and self-contained: power source, sensing,
processing on-board (return to charging station? oﬀ-board
computing? outside-in sensing?)
Required competences include:
As well as whatever specialised task the robot is actually trying to
achieveMobile Robotics Applications
• Exploration (planetary, undersea, polar).
• Search and rescue (earthquake rescue; demining).
• Mining and heavy transport; container handling.
• Military (unmanned aircraft, land-based pack-bots, insect robots).
Domestic (Vacuum cleaning, lawnmowing, laundry, more general
clearing and cleaning...?).
Medical (surgical robots, remote doctor, hospital delivery, helping
Transport (Autonomous cars, parcel delivery).
Entertainment (Sony AIBO, Lego Mindstorms, Robocup
competition, Parrot AR Drone, many others).Autonomy and Processing for Mobile Robotics
Level of autonomy:
1. Teleoperation (Remotely-Operated Vehicle ROV, e.g. Robot Wars,
2. Semi-autonomous (e.g. Mars rovers, humanoids).
3. Fully autonomous (Roomba, Grand Challenge vehicles).
• Embedded processing: specialised or general PC architecture? GPU,
• Computer vision in particular can be very computationally expensive.Robotics: Requirements
1. Essential geometry (vectors, rotations, trigonometry).
2. Essential probability theory.
3. Programming: you will write a lot of code in Python.
4. Willingness to work with robot kit hardware, which is not always.
reliable.Robotics: Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course you should understand:
1. The deﬁning properties of a robot: sensing and action, linked by
2. An overview of the practical issues of modern-day mobile robotics.
3. Robot locomotion methods, particularly wheel conﬁgurations and
uncertainty in motion.
4. Tuning a basic motor controller; 2D path planning.
5. The use of simple sensors in reactive, behavioural programming.
6. The key concepts of advanced outward looking sensors such as sonar
7. The essentials of probabilistic techniques in robotics; probabilistic
localisation and SLAM.
8. Techniques for robot programming in Python.Robotics: A Practical Course
In the ﬁrst practical, in groups you will be given a robotics kit which you
will keep throughout term to work on practical exercises every week. We
will use these kits to build mobile robots and implement techniques such
Wheeled conﬁgurations and uncertainty in movement.
Using simple sensors to implement reactive behaviours.
Investigating the characteristics of advanced sensors like sonar.
Implementing a probabilistic localisation ﬁlter and precise waypoint
• Place recognition and free space mapping.Raspberry Pi Robotics
As we started in 2014, this year we will base the practical work around
the Raspberry Pi single board computer, using ‘BrickPi’ boards to
interface with Lego motors and sensors (rather than using the Lego NXT
Brick). This has many advantages; including:
• Flexible programming in Python/Linux and all sorts of open source
tools are available.
• Decent processing power and much more ﬂexibility in programming.
• Wi-Fi connection to a PC.
• And new for 2015: better motor and sensor control via our new
custom controller, and rechargeable battery packs.Robotics: Coursework and Assessment
The coursework component is based on cumulative assessment of
achievement in the practical sessions and there will be no submission of
written reports. You will be set a practical task each week, most of which
(and each practical sheet will very clearly say which) will be ASSESSED.
We will ask you all to organise yourself into practical groups of 4–5
members depending on ﬁnal numbers; we need people to commit to
the course at this point.
• Each assessed practical exercise will have a number of well-deﬁned
objectives with a speciﬁed number of marks for each. Most of these
objectives involve practical demonstration of your robots or oral
explanation of results.
• We will mark these exercises by visiting all groups at the start of the
next week’s practical session, where each group must demonstrate
their robot and discuss with me or a lab assistant.
• We will check attendance in each group at the assessments and will
ask questions to make sure each group member has been involved.Robotics: Coursework and Assessment
The total marks from the assessed practicals will form your overall
coursework mark for Robotics.
No extra written coursework will be set.
All members of a group will receive the same mark by default
(unless we have a strong reason to believe that certain members are
not doing their share of work).
• Coursework marks in Robotics are worth the same as in most
courses — i.e. only around 15% of the total marks available for the
whole course. And...it is a lot of work. But this is for a good
reason. The exam will be designed to tie in closely with the
coursework, and those members of groups that have made a good
eﬀort during the term have historically done very well on the exam.
• Previous years’ exam papers are a good starting point for seeing
what the style of questions will be, but every year the exam will
change to reﬂect the current lecture and practical content of the
On the ﬁnal day of the course (30th November), we will have a
competition between the groups, testing the performance of the robots
developed for the ﬁnal practical exercise. See the course website for
pictures and videos from previous years’ competitions ...but this year’s
challenge will be diﬀerent again
See videos at
• Robotics course web page (will carry course timetable, notes,
practical sheets, extra handouts and other information):
• You should not need to buy any books, but if you want some more
background we can recommend the following:
• ‘Probabilistic Robotics’, Sebastian Thrun, Wolfram Burgard and
• Also see relevant free online courses, e.g. from Udacity.