Skip to main content

Unit information: Robotics Systems in 2024/25

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Robotics Systems
Unit code EMATM0054
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. O'Dowd
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

Basic ability in computer programming.

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


School/department Department of Engineering Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Unit Information

Robotics is a rapidly growing area of research and industry which can be approached from many angles. Robotics takes engineering out of a purely digital sphere by embedding theory – e.g., physics, mathematics, and computing – within real physical devices (robots) which must safely, reliably and intelligently respond to unpredictable environments.

This unit introduces robotic systems through a project-based coursework concerning a real mobile robot. Students are guided through a combination of laboratory worksheets and lectures. Students are supported to study the sub-components of a robotic system (e.g. robotic sensing, motion control, intelligent decision making), and to bring these together into an integrated autonomous system. These learning objectives are focused around achieving the performance of the mobile robot to complete a challenge task autonomously.

The aims of this unit are:

  • To provide a fun, engaging and informative platform for learning via robotics.
  • To engage students in applying theoretical concepts to a robotic system.
  • To make robotics software development/applications familiar and accessible to students.
  • To provide students with an experience of the complexity of a robotic system from a sub-component level, to enable an appreciation of the constraints and challenges which underlie advanced/further robotics applications/technologies.
  • To support students to develop intelligent methods of investigation and experimentation for robotic systems development.

Please note, this unit is for PGT students only.

Your learning on this unit

Successful completion of the unit will enable students to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of complex robotic systems from a sub-component level, to enable an appreciation of the constraints and challenges which underlie advanced robotics applications/technologies and further study.
  2. Apply theoretical concepts relevant to robotic systems with multi-faceted, non-deterministic real time requirements.
  3. Employ intelligent methods of investigation and experimentation necessary for working in robotic systems development.
  4. Develop through project-based coursework the necessary skills to conceive of and conduct rigorous empirical studies of robotic systems to gain new knowledge and understanding.
  5. Situate their study in robotics against relevant resources such as academic literature and advances in industry, through the acquisition of fundamental knowledge, understanding, skill and language of subject.

How you will learn

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in

How you will be assessed

  1. [ Summative, 30% weighting ] Individual Work, Practical assessment.  Students must program a provided mobile robot to solve a set challenge.
  2. [ Summative, 70% weighting] Group Work, Theoretical assessment.  Students work in groups to write a report on their work to conceive, design, execute and evaluate a scientific experiment with the robotic system provided to them. Final report submission additionally requires each team member to make a peer-assessment of individual contributions of all team members and the final marks will be adjusted proportionally; if the marks differ by more than 7%, if there is no agreement on marks, or if a student should fail as a result, a viva process will be held to determine the final outcome.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EMATM0054).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.