University of Notre Dame
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
ME 469: Course Syllabus
The final grade will be based on homework sets, a midterm exam,a final
exam and three projects.
Note: the undergraduate robotics lab is under renovation. As such, there is a
small chance that some of the equipment necessary for the above projects may not be available
in time for the project. In the unlikely event that a project is canceled,
the 15% of the grade for that project will be evenly divided and 5% added to the homework, midterm and final exam
- Homework (15%)
Homework sets will be handed out weekly (except near project deadlines)
and will be due before the beginning of class on Wednesdays. Late homework
will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructor.
- Projects: (45%)
- Midterm exam (15%): Wednesday, March 3, 1999.
- Final exam (25%)
Collaboration on homework assignments in encouraged. You may consult outside
reference materials, other students, the TAs, or the instructor. However,
all solutions that are handed in should reflect your understanding of the
subject matter at the time of writing. Homework solutions from
previous semesters are off limits. Referring to them
before submitting an assignment will be considered a violation of
the honesty policy.
For each project, you will work in groups of three of four. The instructor
will assign each group. Except for dire
circumstances, the group composition will remain fixed throughout
the semester. At the end of the semester, you will be able
to grade the general effort and
contribution of each member of your group (including yourself),
which will be considered when allocating individual grades.
The projects are designed, for the most part, to be open-ended.
As such, prior to "doing" each project, you are responsible for
asking questions when you have them and doing any preliminary
reading (such as the PUMA programming manual). It will generally
be virtually impossible for a group to finish a project in less
than a couple of days, and the projects are specifically designed
to require coordinated effort on the part of group members over a
period of time on the order of more than a week. As a group, you
are responsible for determining individual responsibilities and
duties for each project. You have complete flexibility in this
regard, and the obvious goal is to allocate work in the most
efficient way possible. As a group, you will submit only
one report, and they must be prepared in an acceptable manner.
Project descriptions will be distributed at least two weeks
before the project report is due. As a group, you may submit a
proposal to modify the project, or even to substitute a completely
different project. Insightful proposals, e.g. ideas to do
something better than the original project description in an
easier way, will be viewed favorably.
Course text and references:
The required text for the course is:
The following text will be useful as well, and has been placed on reserve
in the engineering library:
- John J. Craig, Introduction to Robotics Mechanics and Control, Second
Edition, Addison-Wesley, 1989.
The following technical writing references may be helpful for writing good project reports
and are available in the Engineering Library:
- Jean-Claude Latombe, Robot Motion Planning, Kluwer Academic Publishers,
- Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook, call number 2369 .G53.
- James P. Lester, Writing Research Papers, call number 2369 .L4
- Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers, call number 2369 .T8
Computer exercises will be assigned as part of the regular homeworks. Many
computations you will do as part of this course will involve the manipulation
of relatively large matrices. Since Mathematica is a very useful tool
for such computations, you are strongly encourage to learn how to use it,
if necessary, and to regularly use it for the homework assignments. The
following are a few resources to help you become familiar with Mathematica:
Items 1 through 7 are from Craig's book. Supplemental notes will be available
for the last three topics.
- Rigid Body Transformations.
- Manipulator Kinematics.
- Inverse Manipulator Kinematics.
- Jacobians: Velocities and Forces.
- Manipulator Dynamics
- Trajectory Generation.
- Introduction to Robotic Vision.
- Introduction to Mobile Robot Motion Planning.
- Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.
January 15 - January 22
January 25 - January 29
February 1 - February 5
February 8 - February 12
February 15 - February 19
February 22 - February 26
March 1 - March 19
March 22 - May 2
April 5 - April 19
Return to the ME 469 Homepage.
Last updated: January 13, 199.9
B. Goodwine (firstname.lastname@example.org)