ECE 4704 Principles of Robotic Systems | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Introduction to the design, analysis, control, and operation of robotic mechanisms. Introduction to the use of homogeneous coordinates for kinematics, dynamics, and camera orientation; sensors and actuators, control, task planning, vision, and intelligence.

Why take this course?

This course introduces the students to the operation of robotic manipulators and other automation systems. It gives electrical engineering students a strong background in the control of mechanical devices, as well as the application of a variety of sensors and actuators. A systems-level approach also facilitates applied studies in planning, automation, and intelligence. In addition, the course is intended to inform interested students of current research and implementation issues in the robotics and automation field, which are commonly encountered only in graduate level electrical engineering courses.

Technical Elective


2574, STAT 4714

This course requires an understanding of signals and systems for modeling robotic components, such as DC motors, and for understanding transfer functions and their relationship to time-domain dynamics. Sufficient coverage of this material is provided in ECE 2704. In addition, this course requires an understanding of interfacing sensors and actuators with computers. Sufficient coverage of this material is provided in ECE 3534. ECE 2704 (signals and systems), ECE 3534 (microprocessor design).

Major Measurable Learning Objectives

  • Compute the forward kinematics of a serial-link robotic manipulator.
  • Compute the inverse kinematics of simple robotic manipulators.
  • Compute dynamics of a simple serial-link robotics manipulator.
  • Compute path-plans for robotic mechanisms.

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

Introduction to robotic problems 5%
Coordinates and transformations 15%
Forward kinematics 15%
Inverse kinematics 10%
Velocity kinematics 15%
Dynamics 15%
Trajectory planning 10%
Control 5%
Advanced topics 10%