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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Vision and Robotics (INFR09019)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaInformatics Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionRobotics and Vision applies AI techniques to the problems of making devices capable of interacting with the physical world. This includes moving around in the world (mobile robotics), moving things in the world (manipulation robotics), acquiring information by direct sensing of the world (e.g. machine vision) and, importantly, closing the loop by using sensing to control movement. Applying AI in this context poses certain problems, and sets certain limitations, which have important effects on the general software and hardware architectures. For example, a robot with legs must be able to correct detected imbalances before it falls over, and a robot which has to look left and right before crossing the road must be able to identify approaching hazards before it gets run over. These constraints become much more serious if the robot is required to carry both its own power supply and its own brain along with it. This module introduces the basic concepts and methods in these areas, and serves as an introduction to the more advanced robotics and vision modules.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Successful completion of Year 2 of an Informatics Single or Combined Degree, or equivalent by permission of the School. This course assumes experience of AI knowledge and representation issues (equivalent to first and second year courses in Informatics); enough school algebra and geometry to understand the optics of image formation with lenses; enough school physics to understand Newton's Laws of Motion; the general mechanical intuitions required in such tasks as bicycle maintenance; enough electrical knowledge to understand how electric batteries make electric motors work. You are expected to be familiar with these mathematical methods: Bayes rule, Multivariate Gaussian Distribution,
Covariance matrices, Convolution, the Jacobean (relating derivatives of a vector valued function to its vector valued inputs).
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
CentralLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
First Class Week 1, Friday, 09:00 - 09:50, Zone: Central. Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 1, Part-year visiting students only (VV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
CentralLecture1-11 09:00 - 09:50
First Class Week 1, Friday, 09:00 - 09:50, Zone: Central. Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
1 - Students will be able to recall and explain the essential facts, concepts and principles in robotics and computer vision, demonstrated through written answers in examination conditions.
2 - Students will be able to describe and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of some specific sensor and motor hardware; and some specific software methods for sensory processing and motor control, demonstrated through written answers in examination conditions.
3 - Students will be able to employ hardware (e.g. cameras, robots) and software (e.g. Matlab,robot simulator) tools to solve a practical problem of sensory-motor control, and will show a working system in a practical class.
4 - Students will, in writing a joint report, identify problem criteria and context, discuss design and development, test, analyse and evaluate the behaviour of the sensory-motor control system they have developed.
Assessment Information
Written Examination 75
Assessed Assignments 25
Oral Presentations 0

Assessed Coursework
Reports on practical projects.

If delivered in semester 1, this course will have an option for semester 1 only visiting undergraduate students, providing assessment prior to the end of the calendar year.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus The issues addressed will include the following:

* Applications of robotics and vision; the nature of the problems to be solved; historical overview and current state of the art.
* Robot actuators and sensors. Parallels to biological systems.
* Robot control: Open-loop, feed-forward and feedback; PID (proportional integral differential) control.
* Image formation, transduction and simple processing; thresholding, filtering and classification methods for extracting object information from an image.
* Active vision and attention.
* Sensors for self monitoring.
* General approaches and architectures. Classical vs. behaviour-based robotics. Wider issues and implications of robot research.

The course also involves hands-on practicals in which vision and robot systems will be programmed.

Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Artificial Intelligence; Computer Vision and Image Processing
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list * Rusell & Norvig Chapters 24 & 25 in Artificial Intelligence: A modern approach, Prentice Hall, 1995
* Robin R. Murphy, Introduction to AI Robotics, MIT Press, 2000
* Ramesh Jain, Rangachar Kasturi and Brian G. Schunck, Machine vision, McGraw-Hill, 1995.
* Nevins and Whitney, Computer Controlled Assembly, in Scientific American, Feb 1978
* Phillip J. McKerrow, Introduction to Robotics, Addison Wesley, 1991
* Further references will be listed in lectures and on the module website
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Lectures 16
Tutorials 0
Timetabled Laboratories 10
Non-timetabled assessed assignments 25
Private Study/Other 49
Total 100
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Nigel Goddard
Tel: (0131 6)51 3091
Course secretaryMiss Tamise Totterdell
Tel: 0131 650 9970
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