AME 50551 – Introduction To Robotics


This material is from the Fall 2018 offering of AME 50551, Introduction to Robotics, taught at the University of Notre Dame. This semester-long course covers fundamentals in modeling, dynamics, and control for serial-chain manipulators.

Learning Objectives

The objective of this course is for students to develop fundamental skills for the analysis, design, and control of robotic manipulators. Successful engineering of robotic systems is a multifactorial challenge, requiring competencies in kinematics, dynamics, design, control, mechatronics, and programming. This course will allow students to hone skills in each of these areas, but will place focus on aspects of kinematics, dynamics, and control.


Representations of orientation (Euler angles, angle-axis, rotation matrices), homogenous transformations, Denavit-Hartenberg convention for serial kinematic chains, direct and inverse kinematics of serial manipulators, differential kinematics and the Jacobian matrix, Newton-Euler and Lagrangian dynamics, trajectory planning, position control, force and impedance control, introductory nonlinear manipulator control.


Introduction to Robotics, Fourth Edition, J. J. Craig, Pearson, 2017


All of the materials are provided in the ZIP file here: link


  1. Introduction
  2. Representations of Orientation
  3. Composing Multiple Rotations
  4. Homogeneous Transforms
  5. Denavit Hartenberg (DH)
  6. DH Continued
  7. Forward Kinematics
  8. 2D Kinematics Examples
  9. 3D Kinematics Examples
  10. Inverse Kinematics Intro
  11. Inverse Kinematics – Geometric Approach
  12. Inverse Kinematics – Algebraic Solutions
  13. Exam Review
  14. Exam – No Lecture
  15. Relative Velocity
  16. Velocity Kinematics
  17. Jacobian Matrices
  18. Jacobian and Static Force Analysis
  19. Numerical Inverse Kinematics Intro
  20. Numerical Inverse Kinematics
  21. Dynamics of a Rigid Body – The Inertia Tensor
  22. Dynamics of a Rigid Body – Newton’s and Euler’s Equations
  23. Travel – No Lecture
  24. Recursive Newton Euler – Outward Pass
  25. Recursive Newton Euler – Outward Pass Example
  26. Recursive Newton Euler – Inward Pass
  27. Review of tricks for reasoning spatially
  28. Exam 2 Review
  29. Lagrangian Dynamics
  30. Exam Wrap Up – No Notes
  31. Lagrangian Dynamics
  32. Design Considerations
  33. Design Considerations
  34. Trajectory Generation
  35. Trajectory Generation
  36. Linear Control
  37. Motor Modeling
  38. Nonlinear Control
  39. Force Control
  40. Research Presentation – No Notes
  41. Final Exam Review


  1. Representations of Orientation
  2. Spatial Descriptions and Transformations
  3. Assigning Coordinate Systems & Forward Kinematics
  4. Inverse Kinematics
  5. Velocity Analysis and the Jacobian
  6. The Jacobian & Static Force Analysis
  7. Recursive Newton Euler Dynamics
  8. Equations of Motion and Lagrangian Dynamics
  9. Trajectory Generation
  10. Motor Modelling and Linear Control

Computer Projects:

  1. Numerical Inverse Kinematics and the Matlab Robotics Systems Toolbox
  2. Trajectory Generation and Control