CS 4970-001/5973-002 - Introduction to Intelligent Robotics - Spring 2002

Course Title:
Introduction to Intelligent Robotics

Dean Hougen, EL 128, 405-325-3150,

Class Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 11:30-12:20, Sarkeys Energy Center N202A (was: Carson Engineering Center 31)

Office Hours:
Monday, 1:00-2:00; Wednesday, 2:00-3:00; EL 128

Text Book:
Required: Introduction to AI Robotics, Robin Murphy, 2000, MIT Press. (ISBN 0-262-13383-0)

Students should read ahead the chapters that are expected to be covered in the class period. Students should always bring their textbook with them to class, including lectures/discussions, group work days, and exams.

Recommended (for Grad Students): Writing for Computer Science: The Art of Effective Communication, Justin Zobel, 1997, Springer. (ISBN 981-3083-22-0)

The primary means of transmitting class information to the students will be through announcements during class time, announcements in the Message of the Day file, and web pages.

The best way for students to communicate with the instructor is to come to scheduled office hours. If you cannot attend office hours in person, phone calls can be accepted but students present in the office will get priority. Email can also be used but a quick or detailed personal response is unlikely as I get a lot of email and responding to email can be very time consuming.

The best way for students to communicate with one another has yet to be determined.

Details of all of the communication methods follow:

Information about this class will be found on the class website. The URL is
This page will contain links to the directory of class materials and announcements, the message of the day, and other important information.
Students should use the email addresses listed above. Note that I get a lot of email. Do not expect a reply in minutes; one or two days is more likely in most cases. If you have not heard back within five days, please resend your message, if it is still relevant.
A message of the day will be placed in the class file directory. To automatically view this file on login, students should add the command
    cat ~hougen/www/classes/Spring-2002/Robotics/materials/MOTD
to their .login (or other shell start-up) scripts.

Expectations and Goals:
The prerequisite for this course is instructor permission. You are expected to have a sufficient background in Computer Science to be able to support team projects involving robots. Relevant courses include Computer Science 2413 - Data Structures and Computer Science 2334 - Programming Structures and Abstractions, although other backgrounds are possible. You are expected to have a working knowledge of a high-level object-oriented or imperative language, including a familiarity with its basic data types and control structures. A background in AI such as that provided by Computer Science 4013 - Artificial Intelligence may be useful but is not a requirement.

This course will introduce students to the state of the art in Intelligent Robotics and cover the principles involved.

  • History of Intelligent Robotics
  • The Functional Modules Approach
  • Reactive Robots
    • Ethology for Roboticists
    • Architectures and Methodologies
    • Implementation
    • Sensing
  • Hybrid Deliberative/Reactive Robots
  • Multiple Robots
  • Navigation
    • Topological Path Planning
    • Metric Path Planning
    • Localization and Mapping

Computer Accounts and Software:
All students in this class should have a CS account. This will be used for writing programs and sending and receiving materials electronically. All code written for this course MUST run using the compilers or interpreters that will be specified for the assignments. You may do your development work on whatever system you choose but it is your responsibility to ensure that your code runs on the school systems. If you do not have an account, one will be generated for you based on the class roster. I will hand out your account information in class.

The graded assignments and their contribution to a student's grade are given in the table below. (Subject to change.)

Group Projects
Technical Paper Reviews

All homework, exams, and technical paper reviews in this course are to be done alone; the work submitted by a student must be the student's own. Group work is required for the projects; students will be assigned to groups with specific roles and tasks given to each group member.

You may write your programs from scratch or may start from programs for which the source code is freely available on the web or through other sources (such as friends or student organizations). If you do not start from scratch, you must give a complete and accurate accounting of where all of your code came from and indicate which parts are original, which are changed, and which you got from which other source. Failure to give credit where credit is due is academic fraud and will be dealt with accordingly.

All work must properly cite sources. For example, if you quote a source in your technical paper review, you must include the quotation in quotation marks and clearly indicate the source of the quotation.

Assignments are due at the beginning of lecture (at 11:30) on the due date. Late assignments will be penalized 20% per day late. (All parts of days will be rounded up.) After five days, you will not be able to turn in that assignment for credit. If you are worried about turning in the assignment late and loosing points, turn in the assignment ahead of time. You will be turning in electronic and paper copies of group projects. It is the electronic copy that must be turned in by class time on the day that it is due. The paper copy is due twenty four hours after the electronic copy. The paper copy may be submitted in class or turned in during office hours or by slipping it under my office door.

All exams will be open book/open notes. NO electronic devices will be permitted in the testing area.

Copying another's work, or possession of electronic computing or communication devices in the testing area, is cheating and grounds for penalties in accordance with school policies.

Any Student with a disability should contact the instructor so that reasonable accommodations may be made for that student.