Daniel M. Lofaro Ph.D

Electrical Engineer and Roboticists
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence (NCARAI)
Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR)
4555 Overlook Ave SW
Washington, DC 20375, USA

University of Maryland (UMD)
Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering
Maryland Robotics Center
4356 Stadium Dr #2105
College Park, MD 20742, USA

Affiliate Professor
George Mason University (GMU)
School of Business and the Volgenau School of Engineering
4400 University Drive, Planetary Hall #4
Fairfax, VA 22030, USA

c: +1-202-378-8964
UMD: lofaro@umd.edu
GMU: dlofaro@gmu.edu
Personal: dan@danlofaro.com

IEEE-RAS Humanoids 2012

ECE 499/590/699

This course introduces you to robot architecture including mechanical design philosophies, electrical design philosophies and controller design. Assignments are heavily based in simulation culminating with a term project which can/should include a hardware demonstrations. majority of simulations and labs will be preformed in the Linux environment using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Bringing your own computer to class is highly recommended. A brief week-by-week description of the course is listed below (subject to change).


Title: Handbook of Robotics (Springer)
Editors: Bruno Siciliano Prof., Oussama Khatib Prof.
ISBN: 978-3-540-23957-4 (Print) 978-3-540-30301-5 (Online)
Title: Robotics, Vision and Control: Fundamental Algorithms in MATLAB (Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics)
Author: Peter Corke
ISBN-10: 3642201431, ISBN-13: 978-3642201431


  • Week 1: Introduction to simple robotics 1-DOF, 2-DOF and 3-DOF systems
  • Week 2: Sensors
  • Week 3: Lab 1: Obstacle avoidance
  • Week 4: Literature Review 1 and Midterm 1 Review
  • Week 5: Midterm 1
  • Week 6: 6-DOF and 7-DOF systems
  • Week 7: Introduction Computer Vision
  • Week 8: Lab 2: Peg-in-hole and/or Button Press
  • Week 9: >7-DOF (High DOF) systems
  • Week 10: Literature Review 2 and Midterm 2 Review
  • Week 11: Midterm 2
  • Week 12: Introduction to Humanoid Robotics
  • Week 13: Lab 3: Implementation on Humanoids
  • Week 14: Term Project Presentations and Demonstrations
  • Week 15: Final

Grading Policy

Assignments/Homeworks 10%
Labs 8.3% each
Term Project 10%
Literature Review 5%
Midterms 15% each
Final 20%

Lateness Policy

All assignments up to 24 hours late will receive 50% of the achieved score. All assignments >24 hours late will not be accepted.

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