What are we doing this semester?

  • I'm Nat Tuck
  • This is "Robotic Science and Systems" CS5335 / CS4610
  • Video lectures: One take no edits
  • We're going to be exploring control programs for mobile robots.
  • What makes a mobile robot?
    • Sensors, Actuators, Control Program, Autonomous Behavior
    • Mobile robot: Some actuators move the robot
  • Primarily in simulation.
    • Simulation is a great idea in general.
    • But this semester it makes even more sense, since getting teams together to work with physical devices is harder.
  • What kind of mobile robots? Watch the three demo videos!
  • Self-driving car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITa1y5brYoI
  • Modern cars are definitely becoming robots. I'd love to play with OpenPilot, but crashing cars sounds expensive and they've already done most of the work that would be reachable in this course.
  • Teaching robot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFfYNPrc6c4
  • Traditionally classes like this use teaching robots. We'll be playing with robots a bit like that in simulation - we may even do a maze. You'll be able to get yourself a physical robot for the final project if you want, but it won't be required.
  • SpaceX launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANv5UfZsvZQ
  • Spacecraft are almost always robots, especially unmanned craft. You can't remotely pilot them - sometimes you lose signal for various reasons, and as they get further away the speed of light becomes an issue. e.g. Average 20m RTT to mars. And... it turns out we have access to a usable simulator for robots like this.

My Focus

I'm not a robotics researcher. Normally, this class would be taught by someone who's trying to find recruits for their lab. I don't have a lab.

First, building a robot control program and watching it work is fun.

Second, Robot control involves a bunch of software integration, which is a part of programming that college classes usually try as hard as possible to skip. In this class you'll frequently need to put in some effort to understand existing stuff that someone else wrote before you can effectively write your piece of the system.

Physical Robot

  • Show the MBot Ranger

  • Focusing on this was plan A

  • With COVID-19, this is now optional.

  • One of the later HW's may optionally use the Ranger, and it's one of the options for the final project.

  • You don't need to decide now. It's safe to wait at least until October.

  • Overall, I recommend getting one. It's a really nice toy-style robot kit that has a lot of promise

Robot Examples

  • Balancing Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzqSMy_xsZQ
  • Solid review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7GbxMPYhXQ (fast forward to the parts where the robot is moving)