Mechatronics BEng/MEng

Robotics 4 ENG4118

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces the basics of sensors, actuators, path planning, kinematics, dynamics and control in the context of robotic systems. In particular it focusses on the theoretical design aspects of industrial robot manipulators.


Four lectures per week

Excluded Courses





20% report, informal presentation and robotic system design for a case study assignment undertaken during laboratory times, of which 10% team presentation, 20% competition performance and 70% team report

80% Examination

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade D3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ provide an introduction to the types of sensors and actuators that are commonly used in robotics;

■ develop an appreciation of the application issues concerning sensors and actuators within the context of robot applications.

■ provide an introduction to the common types of robot manipulators found in industry.

■ provide participants with the opportunity to develop skills associated with the derivation of kinematics, inverse kinematics differential kinematics and dynamics for industrial robot manipulators.

■ develop a detailed appreciation of the implementation of control and path planning techniques in the context of robot manipulators.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ apply the principles of measurement and actuation

■ select the correct sensor and/or actuator for a specific robotic system application

■ use sensors and actuators for information feedback and controlled robotic manipulation

■ consider the limits imposed on control calculations by the sensors and actuators

■ use methods for calculating the kinematics, inverse kinematics, differential kinematics and dynamics of a robot manipulator

■ formulate the appropriate control structure for a robot manipulator

■ calculate the appropriate path for a robot manipulator to follow

■ design a robotic system for a simple task

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.