CSC499/02-539/02: Introduction to Robotics Fall 2012

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Jackson State University
Department of Computer Science

CSC499/02-539/02: Introduction to Robotics
Fall 2012

Instructor: Dr. Xuejun Liang
My Office: NSB 307
Office Hours: MWF 12:00-3:30PM
Phone: (601) 979-1274, Email:

Class Information:
Class Room: ENB 104
Class Time: TR 6:00-7:20pm
Class Website:

Catalog Description:
CSC499/539 Introduction to Robotics. (3 Hours) Pre-requisites: CSC325 and CSC323. This course
provides an introduction to robotics and the key artificial intelligence issues involved in the
development of intelligent mobile robotics. We will examine a variety of algorithms for the control
of autonomous mobile robots and explore issues that include software control architectures,
localization, navigation, sensing, planning, and uncertainty. This course does not assume any prior
knowledge of artificial intelligence or robotics. Students will be provided with a variety of hands-
on robot programming and simulation projects. In addition, students will also conduct a meaningful
research on robotics with a list of given topics and related academic papers, news articles, as well
as websites.

Required Textbook:
Introduction to AI Robotics
, by Robin R. Murphy, The MIT Press, 2000

Reference Books:
The Robotics Primer
, by Maja J Mataric, The MIT Press, 2007
Behavior-Based Robotics
, by Ronald C. Arkin, The MIT Press, 1998

Project Reference Materials:
The iRobot Create Owner’s Guide

Tekkotsu Wiki

Course Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the course must be able to
1. Understand issues and challenges in autonomous robotics and biological foundations for robot
control and the reactive paradigm, utilize Subsumption and Potential Field in the robot control,
and design a reactive implementation
2. Understand the hierarchical paradigm, hybrid deliberative/reactive paradigm, and sensing
techniques for reactive robots, and utilize STRIPS in the robot control.
3. Understand and apply algorithms and methodologies in the robot path planning, localization,
and map making.
4. Write software programs to control or simulate mobile robots on selected platforms.
5. Perform meaningful research and document their findings.

Course Outline (Major Topics and Weekly Schedule)
Topics Covered
Week 1
8/21, 8/23
Class Introduction, Syllabus
Robotics Primer: Robot definition, Fields lead to Robotics,
Robot Components
Overview of Issues and Challenges in Autonomous Robotics
and Impact on Practical Implementation Details
Week 2
8/28, 8/30
Historical Precursors to Today’s Intelligent Robotics
Review of C++
Week 3
9/4, 9/6
Robot Programming with Tekkotsu: Introduction to Tekkotsu,
Behaviors, Events, and State machines.
The first project

Week 4
9/11, 9/13
Hierarchical Paradigm and STRIPS, representative
architectures, and evaluation of hierarchical architectures
Week 5
9/18, 9/20
Robot Programming with Tekkotsu: Parallelism and Multi-Way
Transitions and State Machine Signaling
The second project
Scientific research methods. Discuss the selected robotics
research materials.
Week 6
9/25, 9/27
Biological Foundations for robot control and the schema theory
Reactive Paradigm (emergent behavior, composing and
coordinating multiple behaviors, the reactive architectures:
Subsumption and Potential fields)
Students select their research topics and readings.
Week 7
10/2, 10/4
Designing Behaviors (design and program behaviors, develop a
complete behavioral system, develop a “behavioral table” for
behaviors, and sequence behaviors)
Robot Programming with Tekkotsu: AprilTags*
The third project

Week 8:
10/9, 10/11
Topological Path Planning (Landmarks and Gateways,
Relational Methods, Associative Methods)
Student initial research report due
Midterm examination
Week 9
10/16, 10/18
Metric Path Planning (Configuration Space, Cspace
Representation, Graph Base Planner, and Wavefront Based
Robot Programming with Tekkotsu: Pilots*
The fourth project
Week 10
10/23, 10/25
Sensing Techniques for Reactive Robots (Definitions, Sensor
Fusion, Designing a Sensor Suite, and Proprioceptive Sensors)
Feedback to students on their initial research report

Week 11
10/30, 11/1
Sensing Techniques for Reactive Robots (Proximity Sensors
and Computer Vision)
Week 12
11/6, 11/8
Robot Programming with Tekkotsu: Pilots*
The fifth project
Week 13
11/13, 11/15
Localization and Map Making (Sonar Sensor Model, Bayesian,
Continuous Localization and Mapping, Feature-Based
Localization, Exploration)
Student Presentation and final report due
Fall Break/Thanksgiving

Week 14
11/27, 11/28
Hybrid Deliberative/Reactive Systems
Review for the Final Exam
Week 15
12/3-7 Final Exam Week

*The content may change and you will be notified beforehand.

Grading Scale will be assigned on a standard scale as below

A: 90-100 B: 75-89 C: 60-74 D: 50-59 F: below 50%

Clustering of grades may cause the grading scale to be lowered (to your benefit), but it will not be
Evaluation will be based on homework, projects, and exams as follows:

For undergraduate students: For graduate students:
Homework 15% Homework
Projects: 40% Projects: 40%
Midterm Exam: 15% Midterm Exam: 15%
Final Exam: 30% Final Exam: 30%
Final Report
and Presentation

Note: Graduate students will be given more programming tasks in each project and more questions
in both Midterm exam and Final exam.
Class Policies
1. Class attendance will be taken. You are expected to keep up with all course material and
announcements covered in class.
2. The point of late homework and projects will deduct 20% per day.
3. There will be no makeup exams except in a verified emergency with immediate notification.
4. Penalty on cheating will be extremely severe. Standard academic honesty procedure will be

Special Needs Learners
Please notify the instructor if you a certificate of disability that will require accommodations. In
accordance with the Americans with Disability Act, students with bona fide disabilities will be
afforded reasonable accommodation. The Office of Support Services for Students and Employees
with Disabilities will certify a disability and advice faculty of reasonable accommodations. Please
contact the office at (601)979-3760, (601) 979-6919 (TTY) or visit the website at

The American Disability (ADA)
“It is the university policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis, reasonable
accommodations to students who have disabilities that may affect their ability to participate in
course activities or to meet course requirements. Students with disabilities are encouraged to
contact their instructors to discuss their individual needs for accommodations.”