Robotic Science and Systems (CS4610) Spring 2013

This is the website for the course Robotic Science and Systems at the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. The undergrad version of the course is listed as CS4610/CS4611 (lecture/lab). The grad version is listed as CS5335/CS5336.

This course introduces autonomous mobile robots from a computer science perspective. The focus is on applied algorithms and software development, including closed-loop control, robot software architecture, wheeled locomotion and navigation, tactile and basic visual sensing, obstacle detection and avoidance, and grasping and manipulation of objects. Throughout the course of the term students will progressively construct mobile robots from a predesigned electromechanical kit we have developed called the Open Hardware Mobile Manipulator (OHMM). The robots will be controlled by software of the students’ own design, built within a provided robotics software framework. The undergraduate version of the course culminates in a grand challenge competition using all features of the robots. The grad version culminates in a term project that connects with current research in mobile manipulation.

Undergrad Prerequisites: CS 3500. Undergrad Corequisites: CS 4611 (lab).

Grad Prerequisites: permission of instructor. Grad Corequisites: CS 5336 (lab).

You will need a CCIS account for this course. If you have registered for the course and don’t already have an account, click that link and register for an account. You will qualify for a CCIS account even if you are enrolled in a different college because you are taking the course.

Instructor: Marsette Vona

Email: (webpage)
Office: 248 WVH
Office Hours: 4:30–5:30pm Mondays and Wednesdays

TA: Henry Roth

Office: 214 WVH
Office Hours: 2:00–3:00pm Tue/Fri

Meeting Times and Places

Lectures: 030 Berakis 9:50–11:30am Tue/Fri
Labs: 212 WVH 2:50–4:30pm Mon/Wed

The undergrad and grad versions of the course meet together for both lectures and labs. All students are requried to attend both lectures and labs.

The robot kits are stored in the 102 WVH lab which is accessible to all students in the course. The normal schedule is Sun-Fri 9am–11pm and Sat 11am–7pm.


There are two required textbooks:

Siegwart, Nourbakhsh, Scaramuzza. Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots, Second Edition. MIT press, 2011.

Thomas Braunl. Embedded Robotics: Mobile Robot Design and Applications with Embedded Systems, Third Edition. Springer, 2008.