Course Unit Profile

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Basic Information


Course Unit Code: 276II

Level of course unit

Second Cycle Degree Programme in Robotics and Automation Engineering

Year of study

First year

Semester when the course is delivered

Second semester

Number of ECTS credits allocated: 6

Name of Lecturer(s):

Prof.: Marco Gabiccini

Language of instruction


General Information

Learning outcomes

The aim of this class is to provide the students with the fundamental tools for the analysis, modeling and functional design of robotic systems in their broadest sense: mechanical systems with sensor capabilities, high degree of autonomy, and ability to interact with the environment and with humans.

Upon taking this class the students will be able to: distinguish the different types of robots and their field of application, define the geometric, kinematic and dynamic models of robotic manipulators (both serial and parallel chains), and apply the algorithms for their calibration, velocity control and dynamic simulation.

Course contents

- Introduction: Robotics and industrial automation
- Robot geometry and kineto-static duality for serial and parallel manipulators: description of poses with homogeneous matrices; Denavit-Hartenberg parametrization; Direct and inverse kinematics; Jacobian matrices and kinematic singularities; closed-form and numerical methods for the IK problem; twist and wrenches and their transformations; kineto-static duality; manipulability indices.
- Dynamics: Rigid body dynamics; Kinetic and potential energy; Euler-Lagrange equations and standard forms in robotics; Recursive Newton-Euler formulation; Linearity in the dynamic parameters.
- Constrained systems: holonomic and non-holonomic constraints; Elastic constraints; dynamics of constrained systems (Lagrange-d'Alembert approach, quasi-velocities, augmented formulation); constraint stabilization with Baumgarte's method.

Specific Information

Prerequisites, co-requisites, as a prerequisite for further study





Prerequisite for


Mode of delivery


face to face



Teaching methods

Learning activities

Recommended or required reading

Mandatory references:
- B. Siciliano, L. Sciavicco, L. Villani, G. Oriolo, “Robotica – Modellistica, Pianificazione e Controllo”, McGraw-Hill, Terza Edizione, 2008.
- Notes of the lecturer (available on the lecturer's website)

Recommended readings include:
- R. M. Murray, Z. Li, S. S. Sastry, “A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation”, CRC Press, 1994.
- M. W. Spong, S. Hutchinson, M. Vidyasagar, “Robot Modeling and Control”, J. Wiley & Sons, 2006.
- J. Angeles, “Fundamentals of Robotic Mechanical Systems: theory, methods and algorithms”, Springer, Second Edition,2003.
- L. W. Tsai, “Robot Analysis – The Mechanics of Serial and Parallel Manipulators”, J. Wiley & Sons, 1999.
- A. A. Shabana, “Dynamics of Multibody Systems”, Cambridge University Press, Third Edition, 2005

Assessment methods and criteria

Assessment methods

Further information

The standard exam consists of a final written exam where the students have to show their capability of analyzing, modeling and solve a kinematic and/or dynamic problem involving a robotic mechanical system. Upon choice of the student, instead of the standard exam, he/she can decide to take on a project which can consist of a theoretical research or a laboratory activity, in which he/she shows the ability of apply the concepts studied in class to a real, research-interest, problem.

Assessment criteria

The students will be assessed on their ability to define analytically the problem at hand and devise practical ways for their solution. With the project, which will be documented in a report and with laboratory activities and/or software code implementation, they will demonstrate the ability to approach a well-defined research problem.

Work placement


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