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Practical robotics - ELE00152M

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Mark Post
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

This module provides students with a comprehensive practical knowledge of designing and developing low and high level control systems for intelligent robots in preparation for robotic design and construction projects. Students will assemble and program mobile robots to solve localization and navigation problems in C/C++ and Python.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • to provide technical skills in the design and construction of robotic devices

  • to provide technical skills in the programming of robotic controllers

  • to provide an understanding of the limitations of robotic software and hardware

Graduate skills aims:

  • To provide a context for the application of taught knowledge in an engineering setting

  • To demonstrate the appreciation of scientific and engineering methods and techniques

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to discuss sensor motor coordination and apply the concept to a robot platform.

  • Be able to navigate a simple mobile robot using hardware and robot middleware.

  • Be able to explain robotic mobility, including dynamic localization and mapping aspects.

Graduate skills learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to express basic robotics concepts concisely and accurately and comment on their applications and limitations.

  • Be able to select, adapt, and apply a range of mechatronics technologies for the design, development, and control of advanced robots


Task Length % of module mark
Source Code and Demonstration Performance
N/A 80
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 20

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The coursework builds on content from the practicals, so by completing the labs, students will gain the skills and experience necessary to do the coursework. The coursework is broken down into 4 phases of practical work derived from skills developed in the laboratory that are assessed through both review of the program code submitted by students and commented appropriately for their robots, and through critical observation of the quality and performance of their robots while completing the tasks set for them in the laboratory. A fifth phase of work requires the students to present the design and construction work they have done, explain the problems they have solved, and critically reason about the quality of their results to their supervisors and peers, followed by the demonstration of their knowledge in a question and answer session


Task Length % of module mark
Source Code and Demonstration Performance
N/A 80
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 20

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The School of PET aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. The School will endeavour to return all exam feedback within the timescale set out in the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Formative Feedback:

Lab work with spoken feedback and problem-solving, and immediate help given by lab demonstrators during lab sessions.

Workshops held every week that allow students to ask questions and get immediate feedback on their progress in lecture study and coursework.

Summative Feedback:

Feedback forms with a detailed breakdown of grades provided at the assessment of coursework which occurs at the end of term, returned to the students with grades

Indicative reading

All needed material is provided in the lectures, workshops, and labs. Students may want to refer to the following for additional information:

Modern Robotics (Mechanics,Planning and Control), 2017, K.M. Lynch and F. C. Park.

Introduction to Robotics, P.J. McKerrow Addison Wesley 1991.7

Fundamentals for control of robotic manipulators, Koivo, John Wiley, 1989.

Behaviour based robotics, R. C. Arkin, 1998, MIT press

Davies, E. Roy (2005). Machine Vision: Theory, Algorithms, Practicalities (3rd ed.). Amsterdam, Boston: Elsevier. ISBN 9780122060939

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.