ECE: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Accredited by ABET
Undergraduate Programs

ECE 4704 Principles of Robotic Systems

Spring 2016 textbook list

The Spring 2016 ECE textbook list is available online for students.

Current Prerequisites & Course Offering

For current prerequisites for a particular course, and to view course offerings for a particular semester, see the Virginia Tech Course Timetables.

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ECE 4704 Principles of Robotic Systems (3C)

Introduction to the design, analysis, control, and operation of robotic mechanisms. Introduction to the use of homogeneous coordinates for kinematics, dynamics, and camera orientation; sensors and actuators, control, task planning, vision, and intelligence.

What is the reason for this course?

This course introduces the students to the operation of robotic manipulators and other automation systems. It gives electrical engineering students a strong background in the control of mechanical devices, as well as the application of a variety of sensors and actuators. A systems-level approach also facilitates applied studies in planning, automation, and intelligence. In addition, the course is intended to inform interested students of current research and implementation issues in the robotics and automation field, which are commonly encountered only in graduate level electrical engineering courses.

Technical Elective. Typically offered: Spring. Program Area: Systems/Controls.

Prerequisites: 2574, STAT 4714.

Why are these prerequisites or corequisites required?

This course requires an understanding of signals and systems for modeling robotic components, such as DC motors, and for understanding transfer functions and their relationship to time-domain dynamics. Sufficient coverage of this material is provided in ECE 2704. In addition, this course requires an understanding of interfacing sensors and actuators with computers. Sufficient coverage of this material is provided in ECE 3534. ECE 2704 (signals and systems), ECE 3534 (microprocessor design).

Department Syllabus Information:

Major Measurable Learning Objectives:
  • Compute the forward kinematics of a serial-link robotic manipulator.
  • Compute the inverse kinematics of simple robotic manipulators.
  • Compute dynamics of a simple serial-link robotics manipulator.
  • Compute path-plans for robotic mechanisms.

Course Topics
Topic Percentage
Introduction to robotic problems 5%
Coordinates and transformations 15%
Forward kinematics 15%
Inverse kinematics 10%
Velocity kinematics 15%
Dynamics 15%
Trajectory planning 10%
Control 5%
Advanced topics 10%

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