Welcome to 16-311 Spring 2007!

This course presents an overview of robotics in practice and research with topics including vision, motion planning, mobile mechanisms, kinematics, inverse kinematics, and sensors.

In course projects, students construct robots which are driven by a microcontroller, with each project reinforcing the basic principles developed in lectures. Students usually work in teams of three: an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer, and a computer scientist.

This course will also expose students to some of the contemporary happenings in robotics, including current robot lab research, applications, robot contests and robot web surfing.

Who should take
this class:
Juniors, seniors, and advanced sophomores interested in robotics.

Familiarity with programming and basic calculus is required.

Students should also know or plan to learn the following.

Locations and times:
    Monday & Wednesday
    NSH 1305
    MM A14
    TA lab hours:




    Prof. Howie Choset:

    NSH 3211, 268-2495

    Office Hours: TBA

    Peggy Martin:
    (Howie's secretary)

    NSH 3218

    Nick Armstrong:
    (Head TA)

    Smith 208, 268-3506

    Office Hours:
    Tuesday 2pm-3pm

    Jason Geist:

    Kate Killfoile
    Lab TAs:

       William McHenry
       Nick Heckman
       Igor Avramovic
       Somchaya Liemhetcharat
       Si Yang Ng
       Michael Edelson
       Karim Shaban
       Ally Naaktgeboren
       Donni Cober
       Alex Styler
       Felix Duvallet
       Dewey Yang
       Joey Gannon
       Seunghwan Hong
       Jason Winters
       Suresh Nidhiry


Robot drawings from the first class can be found here.
Team pictures are here!

Introduction to Robotics, P. J. McKerrow, ISBN: 0201182408

One copy of the text (in loose leaf form) will be provided to each group.
Note that the text is not required.

If you want your own copy, you can try ordering from:

Related Texts:
Introduction to Robotics, John J. Craig, Addison-Wesley Publishing, Inc., 1989.

Machine Vision, D.H. Ballard and C.M. Brown, Prentice-Hall, 1982.

Robot Motion Planning, J.C. Latombe, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991.

Assignments will be distributed via the web. Hard copies will not be distributed in class.

Assignments are due at the specified dates and times. Late assignments will not be accepted for grading under any condition.

All group members must be present for demos. A student not present for the demo will receive a zero, unconditionally.

If all assignments have been handed in by the end of the semester (on-time or late), the lowest grade will be dropped. (Homeworks 1 and 2 will not be dropped.)


Self-paced collaborative lab projects will compliment the weekly lectures of Introduction to Robotics. Whereas the lectures emphasize the underlying math and algorithms of each sub-discipline of robotics, the projects will emphasize the pragmatic facets of implementing robotic and mechatronic devices. The labs give students an education that go well beyond robotics into fields like control, embedded systems, programming, signal processing, interfacing, and electronics.

Lab details.

60% Homeworks
15% Midterm
25% Final

Grades are posted on the CMU Blackboard

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

Last updated 1/15/07 by Nick Armstrong
(c) 1999-2007: Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon