Robot Automation: Intelligence through Feedback Control


Classroom Unit 1, T TH 08:00AM-09:45AM

Homework Deadlines:

Homework #1 (section 2.6 at page 21 in the Class Reader) - Thursday October 16 (in class)

Homework #2 (section 3.7 at page 39 in the Class Reader) - Thursday October 30 (in class)

Homework #3 (section 5.5 at page 63 in the Class Reader) - Thursday November 20 (in class)

Homework #4 (section 6.5 at page 72 in the Class Reader) - Thursday December 11 - Upload it on the ecommons website 




Quiz #1: October 28

Quiz #2: November 20

Quiz #3:  The take home quiz (''4.4 Homework'' at page 51 in the Reader) is due by 9:45am Tuesday November 25. Please upload your take home quiz on the e-Commons website.


November 6

Instructor Office hours (E2/237B):

Tuesday: 11AM - 12 PM

Thursday: 2PM - 3PM  



Doug Zorn (E2/584): H2; Q1; Q3; Q4


Office hours: 12/10 (3:30-5) || 12/17 (11:30-5)

Petter Cottrell (E2/309): H1; H3; Q2; H4


Office hours: 12/10 (5-6); 12/11 (2-5pm)






TA Office hours (E2/584):

Nicholas Cramer:

Exta Office Hours Monday December 15 from 2:00pm-4:00pm

Wednesday - 11AM-1PM

Thursday - 2PM-4PM


Sebastian Hening:

Tuesday Dec 2nd Office Hours moved to Thursday 4th same time

Monday - 2PM-3PM  

Tuesday - 12PM-1PM





Tutoring Sessions (tentatively Jack's Lounge):

Sierra Catelani (

Monday 2:15 - 3:15

Tuesday 12:00-1:00

Wednesday 12:30 - 1:30


Course Description

Introduction to dynamical systems, feedback control, and robotics. Fundamental concepts in dynamical systems, modeling, stability analysis, robustness to uncertainty, feedback as it occurs naturally, and the design of feedback-control laws to engineer desirable static and dynamic response. Course includes an introduction to Matlab and programming in Matlab. Students will also learn about a robotic platform, its sensors, and eventually how to design and implement a feedback controller to make the robot autonomously follow a curved path.


Enrollment is restricted to first and second year students. NOTE: This course is aimed at first-year undergrads.


Homework: 10%, Labs: 20% (5% attendance and 15% reports), Quizes: 40%, Midterm: 15%, Final: 15%.
Teams of 2 or 3 students will be responsible for group assignments (part of each homework set), and all members of the group will receive a common grade. You will form groups in your respective lab section, and will work with in the group on your lab assignments also. At the end of the quarter, your group members will grade your team performance, and this assessment will be considered when I am determining your final grade.

Homework Policy

Generally due every other Thursday - due dates posted on the web page. Collaborations are encouraged and feel free to consult anyone, particularly me (via office hours) and those in your team. However, all solutions handed in for credit must reflect your own understanding of the material. If you do collaborate or receive help from anyone, you must credit them by placing their name(s) at the top of your paper!!


All course material will be made freely available on the course web site in the form of PDF documents and Matlab m-files.


Buy the student version of Matlab ($99 for latest version): version/


In-class quizzes, a midterm and a final exam will be given.

Labs (Room E1/109)

The sections introduce you to a robot platform, and how to interface and program the robot. The sections cover separate material that is related to the course. The lab work is also part of your overall course grade.


Course Outline (tentative)

Week Topic

  1. 1  Introduction to course

  2. 2  Introduction to Matlab

  3. 3  Discrete-time dynamics

  4. 4  Introduction to modeling and simulation

  5. 5  Introduction to modeling and simulation, cont’d

  6. 6  Introduction to feedback control

  7. 7  Robot: simulation and experiments

  8. 8  Robot: line following and robot following control logic

  9. 9  Autonomous freeway vehicle control

Instructors and Assistants