The overarching learning goal of this class is to create an appreciation for the tight interplay between mechanism, sensor, and control in the design of intelligent systems. This includes (1) formally describing the forward and inverse kinematics of a mechanism, (2) understanding the sources of uncertainty in sensing and actuation as well as to describe them mathematically, (3) how to discretize the robot’s state and reason about it algorithmically, and (4) experiencing 1-3 on a real robotic platform.

After using a variety of platforms, this iteration of the class will use the “Sparki“, a simple differential wheel platform from ArcBotics, allowing students to implement simple odometry, Markov localization and simple planning for object retrieval tasks.