MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Robotic Manipulators

Course unit fact file
Unit code EEEN62012
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit introduces students to the field of robotic manipulation, which is widely used in several application areas, from manufacturing to surgery, agriculture to social care. Manipulators allow robots to interact with their environment and are critical to their full potential to assist humans with tasks. Students will learn how to create kinematic and dynamic models for manipulators before developing a range of controllers to enable them to complete tasks.


Introduce students to the fundamental concepts underpinning robotic manipulators, from the principles of design of manipularots and end-effectors to the modelling and control for various applications.

Learning outcomes

ILO1 - Describe the key components of a robotic manipulator and evaluate the effectiveness of end-effectors for a given task. (Developed and assessed).

ILO2 - Formulate kinematic and dynamic models for robotic manipulators. (Developed and assessed).

ILO3 - Design and implement appropriate closed-loop controllers for robotic manipulator tasks.  (Developed and assessed).

ILO4 - Analyse the control system performance against appropriate metrics.(Developed and assessed).

ILO5 - Present scientific data to professional engineering and/or lay audiences. (Assessed).

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will make use of blended learning teaching styles. Students will engage with asynchronous materials such as videos, notes and formative quizzes prior to the synchronous sessions to learn the fundamental material on topics.

During the synchronous sessions, the first half will focus on reinforcing the mateiral through activities such as interactive tutorial questions and Q&As. The second half will be marked simulation exercises which will count towards continuous assessment.

Knowledge and understanding

(1) Demonstrate understanding of robotic manipulators, their modelling and control.

(2) Demonstrate understanding of main topics encountered in Autonomous Systems field.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 50%
Written exam 50%

Feedback methods

Exam (50%) - departmental feedback form after the exam board.

Continuous assessment through weekly simulation activities (5% weekly, 50% total) - in session or 1 week after submission.

Recommended reading

Spong, M.W., Hutchison, S., & Vidyasagar, M. (2020). Robot modelling and control. John Wiley & Sons. 

Siciliano, B., Sciavicco, L., Vilani, L., & Oriolo, G. (2009). Robotics: Modelling, Planning and Control. In Advanced Textbooks in Control and Signal Processing. Springer-Verlag London. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 108

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Bruno Adorno Unit coordinator

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