• Course Code:  ENG05

  • Term:  July 2016

  • Start Date:  Jul 18 2016

  • End Date:  Nov 25 2016

  • Duration:  19 weeks

  • Course Author(s)
    Professor Peter Corke

This course has ended

Coursecard introductiontorobotics 2014 12 15

Introduction to Robotics

July 2016

  • Petercorke portrait
    Professor Peter Corke
  • Qut circle rgb 500px
    Online Learning


The aim of the course is to develop students' skills and knowledge of the fundamental mathematics and algorithms that underpin robotics, including representation of pose and motion, kinematics, dynamics and control. 


Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:


  1. Describe and explain what robots are and what they can do.

  2. Describe mathematically the position and orientation of objects and how they move.

  3. Describe the mathematical relationship between robot joint coordinates and robot tool pose.

  4. Reflect on the future role and development of robots in human society. 

  5. Compute the rigid-body forces in a robot and design a robot joint control system (optional advanced material).

  6. Apply the mathematical, algorithmic and control principles of robot arm manipulators to implement a working robot through physical construction and software development (applies to optional project).


Schedule of learning

Getting started

The pre-course activities will be available in the week prior to Week 1. These activities will help prepare you for the course, including:

  • completing a short survey
  • downloading and installing free software
  • posting to the discussion forum


Week 1

  • Introduction to robotics
  • Where things are in 2D

Week 2

  • Where things are in 3D
  • Time varying coordinate frames

Week 3 

  • Measuring the motion of things
  • Robot arms and forward kinematics

Week 4

  • Inverse kinematics and robot motion
  • Robot velocity in 2D

Week 5

  • Robot velocity in 3D
  • Robot joint control

Week 6

  • Rigid body dynamics
  • Robotics and the future

Final week — Submissions and project peer assessment

  • All quiz and MATLAB assessments must be submitted.
  • Participants who have undertaken the Build a robot arm project must submit their video for peer assessment, and participate as a peer assessor.


Assumed knowledge

It would be beneficial to have knowledge of basic programming, (either of MATLAB or of an object-oriented programming language) and some of the following areas of maths: vectors and spaces, matrices, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors. You can review these topics by visiting the Khan Academy using the links below.  We recommend that you view these before Week 1 begins, but you might prefer to watch them on an 'as needed' basis throughout the course. 


Statement of attainment

Participants who successfully complete the assessable aspects of the course will be eligible to receive a Statement of attainment. The statement does not represent or confer credit points towards a QUT qualification. The overall assessment is worth a total of 240 points, comprised of 120 points for assessable quizzes and 120 points for MATLAB programming tasks. To qualify, you must achieve an overall score of 50% or above, which is 120 points or more. The quizzes and programming tasks are weighted equally, so it does not matter how you make up your 120 points.

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Introduction to Robotics


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