ME604 - Robotics

ME604 - Robotics


Abhishek Gupta


Spring ‘20

Course Difficulty

The course is not very difficult to follow, and easy to do well in with some regularity.

Time Commitment Required

6-8 hours per week

Grading Policy and Statistics

AA 1
AB 6
AU 3
BB 6
BC 5
CC 4
CD 4
DD 4
FF 3
FR 4
Total 40

Grading stats were not good. Bad news for people looking to take this as a DE.


No hard prerequisites. Knowledge of basics kinematics, mechanics, and linear algebra is expected (JEE level is enough)

Evaluation Scheme

Assignment/Tutorials: 15%
In Class quizzes: 10%
Quizzes: 20%
Midsem or Project: 20%
Endsem: 35%

Topics Covered in the Course

Construction of manipulators, advantages and disadvantages of various kinematic structures, Rigid motions and representing rotational transformations, Forward Kinematics and the DH convention, Velocity Kinematics and the Jacobian, Inverse Kinematics, Dynamics of manipulators, Path and Trajectory Planning, Independent Joint Control, Non-linear and Multivariable Control. Discussion of Applications, and simulations in MATLAB.


The tutorials/assignments are long and repetitive, but doing them properly really hammers the concepts into you. There is a decent amount of weightage to submitting these, so should be taken seriously.

Feedback on Exams

Midsem, Endsem and Quizzes are not very difficult, and questions are parallel to the kind of questions in the tutorial, sometimes even directly from them.

How strongly would I recommend this course?

This is a good course to get a general overview of the field of classical robotics, and all the concepts towards building a working manipulator for a specialized task. But, the course concepts, follow the reference textbook (mentioned in the section below) very very closely, with the same order of concepts taught, more than 90% overlap, and even the same examples from the textbook used in class. The textbook is also very well written, so just going through the first 10-12 chapters of the textbook is enough to cover all the content covered in this course with equivalent depth. The benefit taking this course can offer is the development that comes with practice problems, and the course project (if you are in an offline semester). People taking this course as a department elective, be warned about the grading statistics.

When to take this course?

I took this course in the 6th semester. It is the ideal semester to take this course, as it runs in parallel to ME316 KDoM (core course), and there is a relation of concepts from the latter parts of that course to this elective, which gives a better appreciation of concepts. But, this course can also be taken in the 4th semester if you plan to explore more advanced robotics courses / research projects in your later semesters.

Going Forward

Look out for the advanced robotics courses from SysCon, and look into research opportunities under professors working in robotics in the Mechanical and SysCon departments

References Used

Robot Modeling and Control by Mark W. Spong, Seth Hutchinson, M. Vidyasagar

ME 604 Review By: Shubham Lohiya