Robotics 2018/2019

General information

The course on Robotics will be held by Prof. Tullio Facchinetti.

I recommend to carefully read the information reported in this page.

Weekly schedule

To request a meeting, and for any other issue, please send me an email.

Since I held/hold many different courses, I kindly ask to specify in the email the following information: name, course name, identification number, and – possibly – the year when the course was attended.

The schedule of the lessons of Prof. Howard Li is the following:


Organization of the exam

The exam consists of a written test regarding the topics covered during the course. The duration of the test is 2 hours. The slides linked in this page contain all the material that is necessary for preparing the exam.

The exam also requires a mandatory practical part, which consists in the development of a program that implement a control algorithm for a simulated mobile robot.

The two parts of the exam are independent from each other; there are no precedence constraints and once a part has been passed, its validity does not expire.

Further information regarding the exam:

1) The topics of the seminars from Prof. Howard Li will be subject of open questions or exercises at the exam.
2) The slides on sensors that are available online cover some topics that will not be explained during the lessons. These topics WILL NOT BE subject of questions or exercises at the exam.


The didactic material is based on the slides shown during lessons. Presentations will be made available during the course.

ATTENTION: since slight changes to the slides are possible, it is recommended to periodically check this site for updates. The date indicated for each presentation represents the latest update of the corresponding file.


Robot navigation

Finite State Machines

Real-time systems


Practical project

Starting from this year, there are two options for the practical project: a programming project and a simulation design project.

The possibility to work on the robotics simulation design project instead of the programming project must be declared to Prof. Facchinetti in advance. Prof. Facchinetti will decide to allow this option after an evaluation on the skills of the students composing the team.

Programming project

The practical project requires to implement a path planning and navigation algorithm in C, Java or Python under a simulation environment based on the MORSE simulator. The simulation requires a mobile robot to move in a 2D environment to accomplish a given task.

In particular, the eduMorse framework is used for the project. The simulation environment runs under Linux (tested with XUbuntu). It must be a Debian-based distribution, since the installer provided by eduMorse makes use of the `apt` command. Its features, characteristics, install instructions and usage are described in a lecture by Daniele De Martini. Detailed information on project goals and constraints can be found here.

Some indications:

Additional information, tools and help for the practical project are provided by Daniele De Martini.

Robotics simulation design

The simulation design project consists in the development of a model of a robotics application using the Coppelia Robotics v-rep simulator.

The specific goal of the simulation scene to be developed will be decided once a team expresses the willingness to work on this project instead of the programming project, and Prof. Facchinetti has agreed on this option.

Additional references

Suggested books

The following text books are helpful to expand the topics covered in the course.

  1. John Brignell, Neil White, “Intelligent Sensor System”, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol and Philadelphia, 1996. ISBN 0-7503-0389-1.
  2. Paulo Verissimo, Luis Rodriguez, “Distributed Systems for System Architects”, Kluwer Academis Publishers, 2000. ISBN 0-7923-7266-2.
  3. Giorgio C. Buttazzo, “Hard Real-time Computing System” Second Edition, Springer, 2005. ISBN 0-387-23137-4.
  4. Howie Choset, Kevin M. Lynch, Seth Hutchinson, George Kantor, Wolfram Burgard, Lydia E. Kavraki, Sebastian Thrun, “Principles of Robot Motion: Theory, Algorithms, and Implementations”, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachussets, 2005. ISN 0-262-03327-5.
  5. John R. Taylor, “An Introduction to Error Analysis: The Study of Uncertainties in Physical Measurements”, University Science Books, 1997.
  6. Edward A. Lee and Sanjit A. Seshia, Introduction to Embedded Systems, A Cyber-Physical Systems Approach, ISBN 978-0-557-70857-4, 2011.