Introduction to Robotics, ECE 4753/6753

Prof. Bryan A. Jones
Simrall 231, 325-3149, bjones AT
Optional textbooks: Robot Modeling and Control, by Spong, Hutchinson, and Vidyasagar;
Prerequisites: Microprocessors (ECE 3724).
Students are expected to have a good understanding of linear algebra (MA 3113) and differential equations (MA 3253) and be comfortable programming in MATLAB.
Discussion groups: Intro to Robotics for class-specific questions
Office hours policy: Make an appointment or come by at any time on MWF

Course summary

Syllabus - Labs - Homework - Videos - Software


Robotics has always fascinated us, from a plethora of science-fiction movies and novels to modern-day products. This class will teach you how to join in the excitement by designing and building your own robot as a part of a team. We'll cover topics necessary for hobbyist eager to build their own robot, covers various types of motors and sensors required to build a robot. However, a robot composed of a set of sensors and actuators is limited to simple teleoperation, typically via radio control. This course's rigorous mathematical treatment of forward and inverse kinematics and in dynamics will enable you to describe the motion of a robotic manipulator. Coupling the two allows us to create an complex, computer-controller robot, capable of autonomously performing tasks.

Robotics is both a theoretical and practical discipline. Therefore, a significant portion of the learning in this class must occur outside the class. Homework assignments will refine the skills you need to control your robot, while hands-on experimentation in the laboratory gives you the ability to design and build a working robot. As a student, become involved in the class! Rather than passively attending lectures, involve yourself in the learning process of struggling with homework, designing and building a robot. The rewards of seeing your own creation move about are incredible!



  • The robotics miniFAQ is excellent.
  • NASA sponsors a robotics summer camp and invites freshmen up to graduate students to participate.
  • Various e-books give detail design and construction of some robots.
  • Stanford has an entire Intro to Robotics course (along with several others) on-line!