2.017J | Fall 2009 | Undergraduate

Design of Electromechanical Robotic Systems


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Labs: 1 session / week, 4 hours / session


Dynamics and Control I (2.003J)

Students are also requested to enroll concurrently in:
Thermal-Fluids Engineering I (2.005) or Hydrodynamics (2.016)
Measurement and Instrumentation (2.671)

Learning Objectives

Objective 1: Apply the principles of linear time-invariant systems

  • Outcomes (Assessment Methods)
  • Identify time constant, resonance, damping, low-frequency and high-frequency response, and other common elements in LTI systems (homework)
  • Compute the convolution of signals (homework)
  • Compute the Fourier transform and recognize common transforms (homework)

Objective 2: Comprehend spectra

  • Explain the underlying concept of a spectrum (homework)
  • Understand spectral descriptions of ocean waves and other common processes (homework and project reports)
  • Infer the design impact of large and extreme events (homework and project reports)

Objective 3: Apply linear systems theory with random inputs

  • Calculate the spectrum of a given time-series and vice versa (homework)
  • Compute the response spectrum for a system subject to random disturbances, and calculate its statistics (homework and project reports)
  • Modify linear system behavior through feedback (homework and project reports)

Objective 4: Working as part of a team, synthesize a physical system for operation in a given random environment and subject to performance specifications

  • Perform an iterative design procedure to satisfy given operational requirements in the presence of uncertainty (project reports)
  • Perform engineering analysis to inform and justify critical design decisions (project reports)
  • Fabricate, debug, and bring the system to life (project reports)
  • Incrementally test the system, culminating in a full demonstration (project reports)
  • Interpret physical data to characterize successes and failures in meeting the design objectives (project reports)

How We Grade

Attendance and participation 10%
Homework (ten at 4% each) 40%
Labs (four at 2.5% each) 10%
Project proposal (group grade) 10%
Project milestone presentation slides 5% (group)
10% (individual)
Project final presentation slides 5% (group)
10% (individual)

Missed assignments cost 20% each weekday.

Homework is assigned on Tuesdays and collected on Tuesdays. The assignment is posted on the course site, but your solutions should be in hardcopy; our solutions are handed out in hardcopy after we receive yours. Ten homework assignments were planned, but the last one was cancelled and students were given the full point value (4%) instead.

We encourage collaboration on homework, but each student has to turn in their own package. We do not want to see identical plots or algorithm listings, and will treat such occurrences seriously. Please make your submissions easy to grade — for example by: working neatly, clearly indicating your answers, and making sure your answers are given in the order the questions were asked!

Throughout the term, teams in the class will be working together to design, build, and test field robotic systems to achieve specified objectives in a random environment or operating condition. Each team is responsible for one written report and two sets of presentation slides; a student’s grade is made up of a weighted sum of group and individual grades, as indicated above. We will provide a statement of “What We Expect” for each of these items, to guide your preparation.

2.017 is not a CIM class, so we ask for compact documentation; you still have to communicate with us effectively, however. Reports and presentations are graded on the following merits:

  • Clarity of presentation
  • Technical soundness and completeness
  • Organization and cohesiveness
  • English usage

Lab notebooks will be given out at the first lab session. You are expected to have your lab notebook with you any time you are in the lab or out in the field working on the assigned labs or the final project assignments. We cannot help you very effectively if you do not have your work recorded (neatly!) in your lab notebook.

Attendance and Participation

Each person has to contribute in lab and in discussions; this starts with good attendance and paying attention. No unexcused absences are permitted. An excused absence consists of at least two parts: a) you send us a request, b) we respond that you are excused — both have to occur before the class or lab session that you will miss. If you are sick or have another excusable situation, we need a note from Medical or the Dean for Student Services. If you have a family emergency, you are also expected to clear it with the Dean for Student Services. In the event of an excused absence it is your responsibility to make up any lost work.

We expect you to be in lab for the scheduled time each week, unless some specific arrangement has been made; if you leave the lab for 2.017-related tasks, that is fine, but please let us know.

Finally, we all know that in a team effort there is the potential for some students to do less than their fair amount of work. Please communicate to us your concerns (privately) to be sure we are aware of the situation.