Syllabus for Introduction Robotics

Instructor: Dr. John F. Santore
Phone: 508-531-2226
Office: Science Center 333

Instructor Web Page:
Course Web Page:

Office Hours:

Mon 10-11am
Tues 7:30-8:30pm (after my evening class)
Wed 2-3pm
Fri 10-11am
or by appointment

I also will take appointments if you cannot make my other office hours, however, I generally have meetings and work prepared for a day or two ahead so plan on about 48 hours from the time I get your request to us being able to meet.

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the theory of the motion of robot manipulators. The mathematics, programming and control of manipulators will be emphasized. Issues of sensing and planning will also be examined.

Out Comes:

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • obtain data from the world through sensors
    • interpret that data, accounting for the errors that creep in through sensing the real world
  • manipulate the world through the use of effectors
  • integrate sensor data and effector actions
  • understand and implement basic control theory in robotics.
  • Appreciate the place of social and emotional robots in society
  • understand behaviors and behavior selection
  • implement robot localization mapping
  • implement robot navigation
  • argue effectively about the ethical issues involved in the field of robotics
  • apply math appropriate for basic autonomous robotics


Introduction to Autonomous Robots

Author Nikolaus Correll

Robot Programming: A Guide to Controlling Autonomous Robots

Author: Cameron Hughes and Tracey Hughes

The midterm exam is scheduled on Thursday Oct 20th


Class Requirements and grading:

Robot Projects: 45%
Exams: 45%
Everything else (quizzes, participation, homeworks etc): 10%

Project work:

In robotics, you must work with actual robots in order to completely understand the concepts you are learning. There will be about 4 projects in this course involving the actual robots. These projects will be group projects and must be done in the robot lab itself. You will be responsible for designing and building the robots as well as programming them. Each project will have an in class demo (with the possible exception of the last project which may have a public demo instead). Each project will also be accompanied by a project report wherein you will describe your successes, failures and lessons learned from that project. The project reports will be worth about 1/3 of the total credit for the project and so should be well written. 


There will be two exams, a midterm and a final exam. The midterm be worth 20% of your final grade. The final will be work 25% of your final grade. Exams will be given on at their assigned times. If you have a legitimate reason for missing an exam, see your instructor before the scheduled exam time to arrange for reasonable accommodation. If you miss the exam without prior approval, you will forfeit the exam. (emergency room visits and the like excepted of course)

The midterm exam is scheduled on

The final exam has been scheduled by the college, The exam is late this year, don't make travel plans before then

Students with special needs:

Anyone who has special needs should contact me in the first week of classes so that reasonable accommodations can be agreed on.

Academic Integrity:

See  for a complete description of the academic integrity procedure at Bridgewater.

Academic integrity will be taken very seriously in this class. All individual work must be your own. If you cheat or otherwise represent the work of others as your own. You will receive an F for the course.

Guidelines for proper academic integrity:

Robot Projects are group projects.

All in class exams and quizzes are closed book and closed neighbor. If you are found using a data storage device of any kind during one of these evaluations, you will be failed for the course.

Standards for in class behavior:

You are all adults and are expected to act as adults in this class. While questions are encouraged in this class, if a particular line of questioning is taking us too far afield, I will ask the student to come by my office hours or to see me after class.

Cell phones, pagers, electronic organizers and other devises should be silenced while in class. If you work of EMS or something similar, please turn your cell phones/ pagers etc to vibrate mode so that you are not disrupting others in the class.

In the unlikely case of trouble makers in the class, those who are simply attempting to disrupt the class will be asked to stop; those who will not, will be referred to the college for appropriate action.

I do not take regular attendance. Because of the census day regulations, I'll have to take occasional attendance. You are adults and are paying for this class. If you miss a class, you are expected to get notes from a classmate and familiarize yourself with the material that was covered before returning to class. I do find from dealing with students in the past that attendance at lecture is highly correlated with doing well in my classes.

Tentative Schedule:

Week Topic Assignment
Week 1 Intro to robots TBA see projects page
Week 2 robot basics

Week 3 sensor data

Week 4 effectors

Week 5 integrating sensor data into effector behaviors

Week 6 basic robot control

Week 7 behavior selection
Week 8 midterm
Week 9 maps
Week 10 path planning
Week 11 Human Robot interaction

Week 12 robot localizaton
Week 13 navigation
Week 14 SLAM
Week 15 TBA