16-311 Introduction to Robotics
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16-311 Course Overview

The following course outline is tentative. Time allotted to some topics may be modified during the semester.

Red = mandatory attendance.

No student may record or tape any classroom activity without the express written consent of Howie Choset. If a student has a disability and needs to record or tape classroom activities, the student should contact the Office of Disability Resources to request an appropriate accommodation.


Week Day Topics Assignments
Week 1 Mon 1/15
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No Class
Tue 1/16
Course Overview, Logistics
Waitlist students talk to Dr. Choset
Class robot pictures Assign Teams
Rube Goldberg Overview
Homework 0 (C, MATLAB,
HTML, PDF) assigned
Lab 1 (Rube Goldberg Machine)
Wed 1/17
Computer Vision Part I Homework 1 (Vision) assigned
Week 2
Mon 1/22
Computer Vision Part II
Tue 1/23
Demo Lab 1
Location: REL

Homework 0 due at 10:30 AM
(note, this homework is due on Tuesday)

Lab 1 demo due
Wed 1/24
Recap Lab 1
Guest speaker: Kris Kitani on Wearable Sensors

Homework 1 due at beginning of class
Homework 2 (Vision) assigned
Lab 2 (Vision) assigned
Week 3 Mon 1/29
Controls Part I
Tue 1/30
Hand out Lego Kits(mandatory)
Bring Team Contract

Lab 2 due at 4:30 PM
Wed 1/31
RobotC & the NXT kits
ROBOTC Getting Started Guide
Homework 2 due at beginning of class
Homework 3 (Controls) assigned
Lab 3 (Dead Reckoning) assigned
Week 4 Mon 2/5
Controls Part II
Moore's Law
Tue 2/6
Demo Lab 3
Location: REL
Lab 3 demo due
Wed 2/7
Guest Speaker: George Kantor on Ag. Robotics Homework 3 due at beginning of class
Homework 4 (Planning) assigned
Lab 4 (Self-balancing Robot) assigned
Week 5 Mon 2/12
Motion Planning Part I
Tue 2/13
Demo Lab 4 Lab 4 demo due
Wed 2/14
Motion Planning Part II
Homework 4 due at beginning of class
Homework 5 (Planning) assigned
Lab 5 (Path Planning) assigned
Week 6 Mon 2/19
Graph Search Part I
Tue 2/20
Demo Lab 5 Lab 5 demo due
Wed 2/21
Graph Search Part II
Localization Part I
Homework 5 due at beginning of class
Homework 6(Localization) assigned
Lab 6 (Localization) assigned
Week 7 Mon 2/26
Localization Part II
Tue 2/27
Demo Lab 6 Lab 6 demo due
Wed 2/28
Exam Review
Old Exams
Homework 6 due at beginning of class Lab 7/Homework 7 Proposal Assigned
Week 8 Mon 3/5
Saturday Midterm Review Slides
Tue 3/6
Hand back midterm and review
Lab 7/Homework 7: USAR Proposals due at 4:30 PM
Wed 3/7
Evaluate Design Proposals (Groups)

Spring Break

Week 9 Mon 3/19
Guest Speaker Ralph Hollis Ballbot
Tues 3/20

Optional Arduino bootcamp (NSH 1305 4:30 PM)
Midterm regrade requests due in person to a TA
Wed 3/21
Human-Robot Interaction Part I
Guest lecturer: Jodi Forlizzi on HRI
Week 10 Mon 3/26
USAR Open Lab Hours (no class) --
Tue 3/27
USAR Checkpoint Lab 7/Homework 8: Checkpoint Demo Due
Wed 3/28
Feedback in Class and Final Contest Prep
Week 11 Mon 4/2
NO CLASS (USAR Preparation) --
Tue 4/3
USAR Demos (by appointment) Lab 7/Homework 9: USAR Contest Day 1 demo due
Wed 4/4
USAR Final Competition:
Location: REL (NSH 3206)
s Time: 10:30-12:00
Lab 7/Homework 9: USAR Contest Day 2 demo due
Week 12 Mon 4/9
USAR Wrapup
Kinematics 1
Coordinate Transformations Intro

Tue 4/10
Kinematics 2
Wed 4/11
Inverse Kinematics 1 Lab 8 (Wheel-Free) assigned
Homework 10 (Forward Kinematics) assigned
Week 13 Mon 4/16
Inverse Kinematics 2 Meet Final Contest Team
Tue 4/17
Demo Lab 8 Lab 8 demo due
Wed 4/18
Non-Holonomic Path Planning 1 Hsomework 11(Inverse Kinematics) assigned
Lab 9 (Inverse Kinematics) assigned
Homework 10 due at beginning of class
Week 14 Mon 4/23
Non-Holonomic Path Planning 2
Tue 4/24
Demo Lab 9 Lab 9 demo due
Wed 4/25
Guest Speaker: TBA Homework 12 (Non-Holonomic Constraints) assigned
Lab 10 (Student-Defined Lab) assigned
Homework 11 due at beginning of class
Week 15 Mon 4/30
Final Review
Tue 5/1
Demo Lab 10
Lab 10 Round 1
Wed 5/2
Demo Lab 10 (Final Contest) Lab 10 demo due
Homework 12 due at beginning of class
Week 16-17 Final Exam Date
Final Exam Time
Final Exam Location
Bring an 8 1/2 by 11 cheat sheet (both sides).

Last updated 1/29/2018 by Hannah Lyness
(c) 1999-2018: Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon