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Unit information: Control and Robotics in 2020/21

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Unit name Control and Robotics
Unit code MENGM0057
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Antonia Tzemanaki
Open unit status Not open

MENG11511 Computer Based Modelling 1
EMAT10100 Engineering Mathematics 1
MENG21712 Modelling 2
MENG22200 Dynamics & Control 2
MENG30202 Systems & Control 3
or equivalent



School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This course extends the students' knowledge of Systems and Control Engineering by introducing the main concepts of linear multivariable system dynamics and control, stability and control of nonlinear systems and their application to robotic manipulators.

The syllabus includes analysis and control of multi-variable systems; development of observers to estimate states for control purpose; an introduction to nonlinear systems, Lyapunov stability methods and control of nonlinear systems; how to make robots move efficiently and accurately to achieve desired aims by exploring fundamental aspects of robotic mechanisms: mechanics of robot bodies, serial mechanisms’ kinematics and dynamics modelling.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

1. Model and solve state-space equations of linear multivariable systems.
2. Design a range of controllers satisfying different performance requirements for linear multivariable dynamical systems.
3. Use an observer to estimate a state, when it is not measurable, for linear multivariable control purposes.
4. Develop an understanding of nonlinearities and the requirements for nonlinear control
5. Apply Lyapunov stability theory and feedback linearization to control systems.
6. Analyse and synthesise a robot manipulator for a variety of tasks using appropriate techniques and terminology.
7. Make use of programming tools to control a robot’s movement in a purposeful manner based on its kinematic and dynamic model.
8. Evaluate the performance of the algorithms by interpreting the behaviour of the robot.

Teaching details

Learning material including videos, notes and narrated lectures will be made available to the students support by online and, where possible, face to face interactions for problem solving and computer-based activities.

Assessment Details

Single summative examination assessing all learning outcomes.

Reading and References

  • Modern Control Systems, 11th edition, R.C. Dorf & R.H. Bishop, (Addison-Wesley), 2008.
  • Applied Nonlinear Control, J.-J. Slotine, (Prentice Hall), 1991.
  • Nonlinear systems: Analysis, stability and control, S. Sastry, (Springer-Verlag), 1999.
  • Introduction to Robotics, J.J.Craig, (Prentice Hall) 2005.
  • Robot modelling and control, (2005), Spong MW, Hutchinson S, and Vidyasagar M., John Wiley & Sons, ISBN-10: 0471649902