I have been designing and teaching introductory and advanced robotics courses for more than four years. I spend 50% of my time designing and teaching robotics at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Carnegie Mellon, and at the middle school and high school levels as well.

My core philosophy behind educational robotics is that robotics can serve as a far richer introduction to computer science than traditional computer programming because of its real-world interaction. The second part of my philosophy is that team skills are highly undervalued in the educational environment, and robotics is a subject that naturally emphasizes team skills.

16362/16862 Introduction to Mobile Robot Programming

For pictures from the 2001 contest, click here.

Flash! For a website by the TA's devoted to the final contest in 1999, click here!

This new course was taught for the first time at CMU in autumn 1997. The course covers all aspects of mobile robotics, starting at low-level PID control and behavioral control and graduating all the way to robot team communication and interleaving planning and execution.

The class presents a strong formal approach and will apply those formalisms to real robots that you program in teams. We will use eight Nomad Scout robots that have been augmented with the CMUcam vision system. This course is for any undergraduate or graduate who has working knowledge of at least one programming language and has general intellectual enthusiasm. This class, which is limited enrollment, will challenge you.

Want to see a really nice rendering of what your robot will be doing? Check out this animation!

To read an article on the First Annual Contest, 1997, click here.

761: Introduction to Mobile Robots
Introduction to Mobile Robots is a qualifier class for the Robotics PhD program. I started teaching the course in the Spring of 1998. It presents a broad survey of mobile robotics and relevant issues. We use my textbook-in-progress and read papers. On the side, you will also build some simple robots, as long as the appropriate funding is available.

CS 224 at Stanford University
CS 224: Introduction to Mobile Robot Programming Laboratory is the original introductory robotics course that I designed along with Professor Michael Genesereth at Stanford University in 1993. This class founded the Annual Robot Contest at Stanford, in which graduates of CS 224 competed in a two-on-two robot team contest. The robots searched a partially specified mazeworld in search of gold balloons that they collected and returned to the Mother Ship. The picture below shows Team Loki engaging one of their team robots. The robots are Nomad 150 robots from Nomadic Technologies, Inc., with Powerbook 170's acting as the controllers. The class used Macintosh Common Lisp as the development environment.

[ The Robotics Institute | Carnegie Mellon University ]

Last modified March 7, 1998
Illah R. Nourbakhsh (