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 1/13
Course Overview, Logistics (mandatory)
Rube Goldberg Overview
Homework 0 (C, MATLAB,
HTML, PDF) assigned

Lab 1 (Rube Goldberg Machine)

Tue 1/14
Computer Vision Part I
Divide into teams for Lab 1 (mandatory)
Homework 1 (Vision) assigned
Wed 1/15
Computer Vision Part II
Week 2
Mon 1/20
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No Class
Tue 1/21
Demo Lab 1
Location: NSH Atrium

Homework 0 due at 9:00 PM
(note, this homework is due on Tuesday)

Lab 1 demo due
Return to Atrium for final exhibit
Wed 1/22
Recap Lab 1
Neural Networks
Convolutional Neural Networks

Homework 1 due at 9:00 PM
Homework 2 (Vision) assigned
Lab 2 (Vision) assigned
Week 3 Mon 1/27
Controls Part I
Moore's Law
Controls Part II
Tue 1/28
BrickPi for Intro to Robotics Presentation
BrickPi for Intro to Robotics Word Document
BrickPi API Reference
Hand out Root Kits (mandatory), bring Team Contract
Lab 2 due at 4:30 PM
Wed 1/29
Guest Spearker: David Held on Learning from Control Homework 2 due at 9:00 PM
Homework 3 (Controls) assigned
Lab 3 (Dead Reckoning) assigned
Week 4 Mon 2/3
Reinforcement Learning
Tue 2/4
Demo Lab 3
Location: REL
Lab 3 demo due
Wed 2/5
Guest Speaker: Prof Dimi Apostolopoulos Homework 3 due at 9:00 PM
Homework 4 (Planning) assigned
Lab 4 (Self-balancing Robot) assigned
Week 5 Mon 2/10
Motion Planning Part I
Tue 2/11
Demo Lab 4 Lab 4 demo due
Wed 2/12
Motion Planning Part II
Homework 4 due at 9:00 PM
Homework 5 (Planning) assigned
Lab 5 (Path Planning) assigned
Week 6 Mon 2/17
Graph Search Part I
Tue 2/18
Demo Lab 5 Lab 5 demo due
Wed 2/19
Graph Search Part II
Localization Part I
Homework 5 due at 9:00 PM
Homework 6 (Localization) assigned
Lab 6 (Localization) assigned
Week 7 Mon 2/24
Localization Part II
Tue 2/25
Demo Lab 6 Lab 6 demo due
Wed 2/26
Exam Review
Old Exams
Homework 6 due at 9:00 PM
Lab 7 (USAR Proposal) assigned
Week 8 Mon 3/2
Saturday Midterm Review Slides
Tue 3/3
Hand back midterm and review
Lab 7: USAR Proposals due at 4:30 PM
Wed 3/4
Evaluate Design Proposals (Groups)

Spring Break

Week 9 Mon 3/16
Guest Speaker: TBD
Tues 3/17

No class Midterm regrade requests due in person to a TA
Wed 3/18
Guest Speaker: Prof Aaron Steinfeld
Week 10 Mon 3/23
USAR Open Lab Hours (no class)
Tue 3/24
USAR Checkpoint Lab 7: Checkpoint demo due
Wed 3/25
Feedback in Class and Final Contest Prep
Week 11 Mon 3/30
NO CLASS (USAR Preparation)
Tue 3/31
USAR Demos Lab 7: USAR Contest Day 1 demo due
Wed 4/1
USAR Final Competition:
Location: REL (NSH 3206)
Time: 10:30-12:00
Lab 7: USAR Contest Day 2 demo due
Week 12 Mon 4/6
USAR Wrapup
Tue 4/7
No class
Wed 4/8
Forward Kinematics
Lab 8 (Wheel-Free) assigned
Homework 10 (Forward Kinematics) assigned
Week 13 Mon 4/13
Inverse Kinematics Meet Final Contest Team
Tue 4/14
Demo Lab 8 Lab 8 demo due
Wed 4/15
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 9:00 PM
Week 14 Mon 4/20
Non-Holonomic Path Planning 1
Hannah's Non-Holonomic Slides
Tue 4/21
Demo Lab 9 Lab 9 demo due
Wed 4/22
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 9:00 PM
Week 15 Mon 4/23
Finish discussing Non-holonomic Path Planning
Final Review
Tue 4/28
Demo Lab 10
Wed 4/29
Demo Lab 10 (Final Contest) Lab 10 demo due
Homework 12 due at 9:00 PM
Week 16-17 Final Exam Date: TBD
Final Exam Time: TBD
Final Exam Location: TBD
Bring an 8 1/2 by 11 cheat sheet (both sides).
Old Exams

Last updated 1/14/2020 by Hannah Lyness
(c) 1999-2020: Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon