List of all ROB courses

4 Credits
Spring term

COE Pro-School or graduate standing,
or instructor approval


Jonathan Hurst
313 Graf Hall

Course Description

Multidisciplinary teams of students design, build, and demonstrate a robotic system, including all sensing, computation, and actuation. The specific task, such as checkers-playing robots, changes each year, and is designed to be challenging for ambitious students. Robots will compete in a friendly competition at the end of the term.
** Please note: ROB 421 was previously taught as ENGR 421


  • Use and implementation of sensors, including computer vision, optical encoders for position and velocity, potentiometers, and others
  • Use and implementation of actuators and transmissions, such as brushed or brushless servo motors, pneumatics or stepper motors, paired with timing belts, gears, chains or ball screws
  • Use and implementation of electronics, such as power electronics for actuators, microcontrollers for sensor and actuator interface and simple sensor interface electronics
  • Software control and artificial intelligence for robot games
  • Team-based System integration of mechanical, electronic, and software systems into a working robot

Learning Outcomes

  1. Create a robotic system which can sense its environment, reason about it and act on it
  2. Design and build the mechanical subsystem with appropriate actuators and sensors for computer control
  3. Implement basic electronic circuits and data acquisition techniques to interface a computer to the mechanical subsystem
  4. Design, write and debug computer programs that control the mechanical system
  5. Graduate Students Only (pick one of the three choices):
    a.) Dynamic model of robot, comparison to final device
    b.) Simulation of A1 for robot
    c.) Power analysis of electrical system, comparison to final device