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Teaching » CS 545 Introduction to Robotics


Time and Place:

M&W 14:00-15:20 in SLH 100

M&W 15:30-16:50 in SLH 100


  • All important methods of controlling a robot will be introduced.
  • Case studies with simulations using Matlab/Simulink.
  • Introduction to real-time operating system Xenomai
  • Labs or simulations with actual robots (see picture)

Course Description:

This course introduces fundamental concepts in Robotics. In the first half of the course, basic concepts will be discussed, including coordinate transformation, kinematics, dynamics, Laplace transforms, equations of motion, feedback and feedforward control, and trajectory planning. These topics will be exemplified with Matlab/Simulink simulation studies. The second half of the course will focus on applying the knowledge from the initial lectures to various motor systems, including manipulators, artificial eye systems, locomotory systems, and mobile robotics. Some lectures will be replaced/supplemented with labs in which the course participant will learn to program a 10 degree-of-freedom robot arm (see picture above) with the real-time operating system Xenomai.

Class Format:

Initially, the course has a lecture format. Later during the course, labs will be added by splitting the course participants into small groups. There is a midterm and a final exam.


2010 Grade Distribution:

  • 4 Homework assignments: each 15%
  • Project: 10%
  • NO Midterm
  • Final: 30% (Closed book, 90% of the questions will be taken from a list of questions handed to the students by early April)


Basic knowledge in linear algebra (matrices and vectors), calculus, programming in C or any other language, or permission by instructor.


Primary textbook:

  • Siciliano B, Sciavicco L, Villani L, Oriolo G (2009) Robotics : modelling, planning and control. Springer, London.

Additional recommended books:

  • J. J. Craig, Introduction to robotics (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1986).
  • P. McKerrow, Introduction to robotics, Electronic systems engineering series (Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Sydney ; Reading, Mass., 1991).
  • G. Strang, Linear algebra and its applications, 3rd Edition, (Harcourt Brace & Company, Orlando, FA, 1988).


Dr. Stefan Schaal
University of Southern California
Ronald Tutor Hall RTH-401
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2905
phone: (213) 740 9418
email: cgi-bin/mimetex.cgi -d '\textrm{}' >pub/cache/5d427ff336f2e07d5db3ef717f14568a.gif


Zhe Su
email: cgi-bin/mimetex.cgi -d '\textrm{ }' >pub/cache/d7d88238df6e5a3a2e3f3c4985057a32.gif

Yuki Hidaka
email: cgi-bin/mimetex.cgi -d '\textrm{ }' >pub/cache/ee8e83afccceef5535b9b36c09ab5425.gif

TA Office Hours:

Wednesday, 12:30-2pm, in RTH 422

Academic Integrity:

All students are required to abide by the USC code of Academic Integrity. Violation of that Code will be dealt with as described in SCAMPUS. If you have any questions about the responsibilities of either students, faculty, or graders under this policy, contact the instructor or the Office of Student Conduct.

Disabilities and Academic Accomodations:

Students requesting academic accomodations based on a disability are required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accomodations can be obtained from DSP when adequate documentaion is filed. Please be sure the letter is delivered to the instructor (or TA) as early in the semester as possible. DSP is open Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00. The office is in Student Union 301 and their phone number is (213) 740-0776.

Designed by: Nerses Ohanyan & Jan Peters
Page last modified on February 03, 2011, at 06:19 AM