ACS329 Robotics

Module Description (subject to change)

The module aims to explore robotic systems, both historically and  as an area of rapid contemporary development. Students will be introduced to the different types and applications of robotic systems. An emphasis is placed on modelling and simulation. Sensing and actuation is also covered, with a focus on control of robot manipulators. Students will be exposed to a wide range of practical applications of robotic systems, and encouraged to discuss and reflect on the implications of using robots (e.g. ethical considerations, safety, social and economic impacts).

Credits: 10 (Autumn semester)

Module Leader

Sanja Dogramadzi
Professor Sanja Dogramadzi
Amy Johnson Building

If you have any questions about the module please talk to me during the lectures or the labs in the first instance. It is likely that other students will learn from any questions you ask as well, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Outside of lectures please contact me via email, or drop in to see me.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

Describe a number of scenarios where robotics is beneficial, and critically appraise these from perspectives of ethics, safety, cost-benefit and social impact. [SM3m, SM4m, D1p, D2p, ET1p, ET6p]
Describe different robotic systems commonly used in the industry, understand the different configurations and appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of these. [ET2p, ET6p]
Understand the difference between kinematic and dynamic modelling, and be able to derive and apply kinematic and dynamic models of robots. [SM2m, SM5m, EA1m]
Describe sensing and actuation systems applied in robotics. [SM4m, EP2p]
Define control problems for a variety of different robotic manipulator systems. [EA2p, D2m]

This module satisfies the AHEP3 (Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes, Third Edition) Learning Outcomes that are listed in brackets after each learning outcome above. For further details on AHEP3 Learning Outcomes, see the downloads section of our accreditation webpage.



After a general introduction to robotics the module will be taught based around a number of case studies. Each case study will be built around a general application area or type of robotics, e.g. healthcare, biologically inspired robots, mobile robots, co-operative robots. This general area will be introduced and then the technical aspects of robotics will be taught using a specific example of a robot in the area.

•Introduction to robotics; brief history; types and applications of robotics; why robots are important; social and ethical issues.
•Kinematics and dynamics modelling; trajectory planning; sensing and actuation systems;
•Programming robots and the Robot Operating System (ROS); healthcare and medical robotics; assistive and rehabilitation robotics.

Teaching Methods

Learning and Teaching Methods

NOTE: This summary of teaching methods is representative of a normal Semester. Owing to the ongoing disruption from Covid-19, the exact method of delivery will be different in 2020/21.

Lectures: 20 hours
Independent Study: 76 hours

Teaching Materials

Learning and Teaching Materials

All teaching materials will be available via Blackboard (MOLE).



2 hour written examination.

No resit examination is available for this module.



  • You will have an opportunity to view marked Exam Scripts once Exam results have been confirmed by the Faculty and released to students. The date of this Review session will be announced by the Departmental Office.
  • You will be able to look at the exam paper and a sample solution on the Blackboard (MOLE) page for this module. The paper and solution will be available after the exam period.
Student Evaluation

Student Evaluation

Students are encouraged to provide feedback during the module direct to the lecturer. Students will also have the opportunity to provide formal feedback via the Faculty of Engineering Student Evaluation Survey at the end of the module.

You can view the latest Department response to the survey feedback here.

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

This is updated regularly as Robotics is a rapidly developing field and textbooks quickly become out of date. Some indicative reading is given below, and more information will be made available via BLackboard (MOLE).

  • Band T., Mihelj M., Lenarcic J., Stanovnik A & Munih M. (2010). Robotics, Springer, London
  • Corke P. (2011) Robotics – Vision and control, Springer, Berlin
  • Siciliano B. and Khatib O. (Ed) (2008). Springer handbook of robotics, Springer, Berlin
  • Siciliano B., Sciavicco L., Villani L. & Oriolo G. (2010). Robotics – Modelling, planning and control, Springer, London
  • Spong M. W., Hutchinson, S. & Vidyasagar, M. (2006). Robot modelling and control, John Wiley, USA
  • Tokhi M. O. and Azad A. K. M. (2008). Flexible robot manipulators – Modelling, simulation and control, IET, UK