CMPE8 (Fall 2017)

CMPE 8 - Robot Automation: Intelligence through Feedback Control

Course Description

  Introduction to dynamical systems, feedback control, and robotics. Fundamental concepts in dynamical systems, modeling, stability analysis, robustness to uncertainty, feedback as it occurs naturally, and the design of feedback- control laws to engineer desirable static and dynamic response. Course includes an introduction to Matlab and programming in Matlab. Students will also learn about a robotic platform, its sensors, and eventually how to design and implement a feedback controller to make the robot autonomously follow a curved path.


Enrollment is restricted to first and second year students. NOTE: This course is aimed at first-year undergrads.


• Homework will account for 20% of final grade. Schedule: ≈ one HW every 1.5 weeks.

• Quiz, will account for 15% of final grade. Schedule: announced at the end of the previous lecture. • Lab reports, will account for 20% of final grade. Schedule: every Friday starting on Week 1.

• Midterm, 20% of final grade. Schedule: 11/07 in class, 1:30-3:05pm.

• Final, 25% of final grade. Schedule: Wednesday 12/13, 4:00–7:00pm in usual lecture room.

Teams of 2 or 3 students will be responsible for group assignments (part of each homework set), and all members of the group will receive a common grade. You will form groups in your respective lab section, and will work with in the group on your lab assignments also. At the end of the quarter, your group members will grade your team performance, and this assessment will be considered when I am determining your final grade.

For final letter grade assignment, the instructor will follow the usual breakdown; see, e.g., http://instructorlink.

Homework Policy

Due dates will be posted on the course website. No late homework submissions are allowed. Please check how to submit your homework via Canvas way before the deadline to avoid technical problems with your submission. Collaborations are encouraged and feel free to consult anyone, particularly me (via office hours) and those in your team. However, all solutions handed in for credit must reflect your own understanding of the material. If you do collaborate or receive help from anyone, you must credit them by placing their name(s) at the top of your paper!!!


All course material will be made freely available on the course website in the form of PDF documents and Matlab m-files.


We will be using Matlab. Pretty much any version of Matlab would suffice. The computer labs at SOE have Matlab installed that you can use. To get personal copies, Student versions of Matlab are available at

The Matlab student version [The one without simulink] would suffice for CMPE8. The “suite” version includes toolboxes that might become useful throughout your robotics career.


In-class (announced a lecture in advance) quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam will be given. The date of the midterm is 11/07 in class, 1:30-3:05pm. The date of the final is Wednesday 12/13, 4:00–7:00pm. These dates are set and will not move.


The sections introduce you to a robot platform, and how to interface and program the robot. The sections cover separate material that is related to the course. The lab work is also part of your overall course grade.

Special Accommodations

UC Santa Cruz is committed to creating an academic environment that supports its diverse student body. If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations to achieve equal access in this course, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to me privately during my office hours or by appointment, preferably within the first two weeks of the quarter. At this time, I would also like us to discuss ways we can ensure your full participation in the course. I encourage all students who may benefit from learning more about DRC services to contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089, or by email at

Incompletes will be given only for medical and family emergencies. In this event, you must request an incomplete from the instructor before the last day of instruction of the quarter.

Academic Integrity

All course work should be your own work, unless otherwise explicitly required. You may consult with the instructor, the TAs, the graders, and other students, verbally and possibly with the use of a board. It will be necessary to spend some time thinking about a problem before consulting anyone. You must cite any materials (besides the text and course handouts) that you use to solve the problems. Depending on the source you may not receive full credit for the problem. I take cheating very seriously and follow the academic misconduct policy at https: // Any cases will be reported to your college Provost and the School of Engineering and

• the assignment/quiz/exam/final involved will receive a 0 grade, and

• your total score for the class will be reduced by 10% and your grade will be based on this reduced score.

Additional Useful Information

• Email will be the preferred way to communicate. Please check your email frequently for announcements. An immediate response from the instructor within 24hs on weekdays when the subject of your email starts with “[CMPE8]” is guaranteed, e.g.,

Subject: [CMPE8] Question about HW1 problem 1

• Everybody is encouraged to post questions about the lecture, homework, labs at the discussion board (look for incoming information).

• There will be no make-ups for any exam. If you are unable to take a scheduled exam due to health reasons, you must notify the instructor prior to the beginning of the exam. If you will be absent to an exam due to a death (or life-threatening illness) in your family, similar advance notification and subsequent documentation will be required. Students absent from an exam for one of the above reasons will be assigned a grade reflecting performance on homework and previous/future exams. Students missing exams under conditions not discussed above will normally be awarded a zero.

• Exams are closed notes and books.

• Use of cellphones, laptops, tablets and the like is not permitted in class.

• The instructor holds the copyright for lectures and course materials, and these materials are made available for personal use by students. Students may not distribute or reproduce the materials for commercial purposes without the instructor’s express written consent.