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.

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 and Agricultural Robots 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
Guest lecturer: Jodi Forlizzi on Human-Robot Interaction
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 Lab 7/Homework 9: USAR Contest Day 1 demo due
Wed 4/4
USAR Final Competition:
Location: REL (NSH 3206)
Time: 10:30-12:00
Lab 7/Homework 9: USAR Contest Day 2 demo due
Week 12 Mon 4/9
USAR Wrapup
Four Bar Mechanisms
Tue 4/10
Guest Spearker Hannah Lyness on Terramechanics
Wed 4/11
Lab 8 (Wheel-Free) assigned
Homework 10 (Forward Kinematics) assigned
Week 13 Mon 4/16
Inverse Kinematics Meet Final Contest Team
Tue 4/17
Demo Lab 8 Lab 8 demo due
Wed 4/18
Give out Lab 9
Lab 10 TAs meet (Mandatory for students that want to TA Lab 10)
Homework 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 1
Hannah's Non-Holonomic Slides
Tue 4/24
Demo Lab 9 Lab 9 demo due
Wed 4/25
Non-Holonomic Path Planning 2
Hannah's Non-Holonomic Slides
Homework 12 (Non-Holonomic Constraints) assigned
Lab 10 (Student-Defined Lab) assigned
Homework 11 due at beginning of class
Week 15 Mon 4/30
Finish discussing Non-holonomic Path Planning
Guest Spearker Arun Srivatsan on Pose Estimation for Medical Robots
Final Review
Tue 5/1
Demo Lab 10
Wed 5/3
Demo Lab 10 (Final Contest) Lab 10 demo due
Week 16-17 Final Exam Date: Friday, May 11th 2018
Final Exam Time: 10:00 AM
Final Exam Location
Bring an 8 1/2 by 11 cheat sheet (both sides).
Final Review Slides

Last updated 4/17/2018 by Hannah Lyness
(c) 1999-2018: Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon