ELEC 7970 Advanced Mobile Robotics – Spring 2013



Dr. Thaddeus Roppel

Office Information:

Broun 214, Tel. 844-1814,

Web Site:

Office Hours:

To be announced, and by appt.

Class meets:

12:00 – 12:50 MWF in Broun 107

Required Text:

Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots, 2nd Edition

Roland Siegwart, Illah R. Nourbakhsh, and Davide Scaramuzza

MIT Press, April 2011    ISBN:     978-0-262-01535-6

Related website:

Suggested References:

(1) Principles of Robot Motion by Howie Choset et al., MIT Press, 2005.

ISBN-13:  978-0-262-03327-5

Related website:

(2) Computational Principles of Mobile Robotics 2nd Edition by Gregory Dudek and Michael Jenkin, Cambridge University Press 2010, ISBN 978-0-521-87157-0


Pr., ELEC 2120, and ELEC 3040 or ELEC 3050.


Course Content:

The course addresses the mechanisms that allow a mobile robot to move through a real world environment to perform its tasks -- including locomotion, sensing, localization, and motion planning. Topics include hardware design, wheel design, kinematics analysis, sensors and perception, localization, mapping, and robot control architectures.


Course Objectives:

1. Understand the current state of the art in mobile robotics

2. Become familiar with hardware and software used in mobile robotics


Prerequisites by topic:

1. Introductory physics

2. Introductory computer programming




The required text, suggested references, and the related websites will be used extensively, and supplemented with other resources from the literature.


Other books I have found useful: 

Robot Building for Beginners by David Cook  ISBN-10: 1893115445

Intermediate Robot Building by David Cook  ISBN-10: 1590593731


Computer Resources:

Homework assignments and in-class examples will make use of various computer tools, primarily for simulation and report presentation.  All required classwork can be done on the College of Engineering Workstations (e.g., BR 123), but students do not have permissions to install software on these machines, so the use of a personal computer will be required if you want to use optional software, or develop and debug code for a hardware robot project. 






Homework and in-class work


Attendance and Participation





Grading scale:

The table shows how your letter grade will be assigned at the end of the course based on your cumulative score, C,  in the course. Scores are calculated using Microsoft Excel. The Excel function round(C, 0) is used to round off the cumulative score to an integer CR.


CR equal to

or greater than

but less than

letter grade




79 %

87 %


69 %

77 %


59 %

67 %



57 %



Grades for borderline scores (88, 78, 68,  58) will be determined by the instructor’s evaluation of the student’s overall performance as a “citizen of the class.” Factors considered will be consistency, class participation, diligence, and professionalism.


Homework Policy:

Homework problems will be assigned to supplement the in-class instruction and examples. Homework will be evaluated with regard to both technical merit and professional presentation.  


In-class Work Policy:

In-class work will be assigned routinely and may be collected for grading. No make-up will be available for missed in-class work.


Project Requirements are detailed separately.  Three types of projects are acceptable: Traditional literature review, Simulation, or Hardware demonstration.


Reading Policy:

Students are expected to be familiar with the textbook sections, handouts and papers that are discussed in class.



Attendance is expected, and will count as a substantial part of the course grade.



It is the policy of Auburn University to provide accessibility to its programs and activities, and reasonable accommodation for persons defined as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Students who need special accommodations should make an appointment to see the instructor as soon as possible or contact the Students with Disabilities Office at (334) 844-5943 (Voice/TT).