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INTRODUCTION TO ROBOTICS AND AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS

Leeds International Summer School (Block One)

Module Leader: Dr Craig A. Evans

Module Summary
This module gives students an introduction to robotics and autonomous systems, covering the fundamentals of
mechanical design, electronics and embedded software development.
The seven lectures will include an overview of the current and future trends in robotics; an introduction to robots
and overview of the typical sub-systems that form a robotic system; lectures covering the use of embedded systems
in robotics and an introduction to the C/C++ programming language; a discussion of the ethical considerations of
robots in society; an introduction to robot kinematics and use of medical and surgical robots.
The lectures give the background to the extensive hands-on practical work in which the students will build and
program two different robot platforms (an autonomous line-following wheeled robot and a robotic arm) using the
excellent laboratories in the Faculty of Engineering.
Students will learn the C/C++ programming language and how to interface with sensors and actuators as well as
developing control algorithms in order to program the robots to carry out useful tasks.
As well as building their own robots, students will also be able to see demonstrations of a wide range of industrial
and research robots within the Faculty.
This module is suitable for students who study engineering or related fields of study, or who have some computer
programming experience.

Learning Outcomes
On completing this module, students will:
- Have developed proficiency in C/C++
- Have gained an appreciation and understanding of embedded systems
- Understand the basic building blocks of robots and autonomous systems (RAS)
- Be able to program a microcontroller using C/C++
- Be able to develop software to control robotic platforms
- Have developed algorithms to enable autonomous behaviour
- Have gained an appreciation of the ethical considerations of the role of robots in society
- Understand the current and future trends in robotics

Syllabus
- Current and future trends in robotics
- Applications of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS)
- C/C++ software development
- Embedded systems for robotics
- Wheeled robots
- Robotic arms
- Medical and surgical robots
- The ethics of robots in society
- Kinematics

Delivery
Seven x 1 hour 15 minute lectures
Seven x 3 hour laboratories
One x 8 hour field trip
One x 10 hour cultural trip
Private study

Assessment
An essay on the ethics of robots in society (20%), a case study on a robot platform that appears in literature (20%), a
practical demonstration of the line-following robot developed in the laboratory sessions completing a series of tasks
(30%) and a practical demonstration of the robot arm developed in the laboratory sessions completing a series of
tasks (30%).

VLE Preparatory Work: Reading learning resources

Outline Schedule

WEEK ONE
Monday
9:30 – 10:45 Lecture Current and future trends in robotics
11:00 – 12:15 Lecture What is a robot?
Tuesday
9:30 – 10:45 Lecture Introduction to embedded systems
11:00 – 12:15 Lecture Introduction to C/C++
Wednesday
9:30 – 12:30 Lab Session – Line-following Robot I
14:00 – 17:00 Lab Session – Line-following Robot II
Thursday
Module field-trip –industrial visit TBC
Friday
9:30 – 12:30 Lab Session – Line-following Robot III
14:00 – 17:00 Assessment – Line-following Robot Demonstration
WEEK TWO
Monday
9:30 – 10:45 Lecture Ethical considerations of robotics
11:00 – 12:15 Lecture Robot Kinematics
14:00 – 17:00 Lab Session – Robot Arm Assembly
Tuesday
9:30 – 12:30 Lab Session –Robot Arm I
14:00 – 17:00 Lab Session – Robot Arm II
Wednesday
9:30 – 10:45 Lecture Medical and Surgical Robots
11:00 – 12:00 Tour of research laboratories in the school
Thursday
9.30 - 12.30: Lab Session – Robot Arm III
15:00 – 17:00 Assessment – Robot Arm Demonstration