CSCI 235
Intelligent Robotics


TR 8:15am - 9:30am




Dr. Gabriel Ferrer

Office Hours


A study of the application of artificial intelligence to solving problems in robotics. Topics include subsumption, planning, machine learning, vision, neural networks, localization, and mapping. Students configure provided implementations of algorithms to control physical robots.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this course, our goal is for you to be able to:



Date Day Topic/Activity Reading Assigned Due
1/17 Tue Overview
Robots in Science Fiction
  Robots: Fiction and Reality  
1/19 Thu Discussion of Short Stories Homework
Company Property
Domotica Berserker
30 Pounds of Human Tissue
How I Saved the Galaxy on a Limited Budget
Memo From the Lab of the Moral Weapon
Under My Thumb
1/24 Tue Introduction to EV3 Kits MicroPython
A Robust Layered Control System for a Mobile Robot
  Robots: Fiction and Reality
1/26 Thu        
1/31 Tue Ice-Pocalypse: No class      
2/2 Thu Mode Selection     Introduction to EV3 Kits
2/7 Tue        
2/9 Thu        
2/14 Tue Reinforcement Learning of Behavior     Mode Selection
2/16 Thu        
2/21 Tue       Reinforcement Learning of Behavior
2/23 Thu Fuzzy Logic Behavior      
2/28 Tue        
3/2 Thu        
3/7 Tue Action Selection with Images     Fuzzy Logic Behavior
3/9 Thu        
3/14 Tue        
3/16 Thu       Action Selection with Images
3/21 Tue Spring Break      
3/23 Thu Spring Break      
3/28 Tue Maps      
3/30 Thu        
4/4 Tue        
4/6 Thu       Maps
4/11 Tue Final Project   Final Project Proposal  
4/13 Thu Final Project work      
4/18 Tue Final Project proposal presentations     Final Project Proposal
4/20 Thu Final Project work      
4/25 Tue Final Project Progress Reports      
4/27 Thu Final Project work      
5/2 Tue 2-5 pm Final Project Presentations     Final Projects



Every 2-3 class periods, a project will be assigned. Students will complete each project in teams of two. In most projects, students will program their robots to perform a task using a newly introduced concept, potentially incorporating other concepts covered previously. Some time will typically be available during some class periods for work on the current project.

Project Reports

For each project, each student (even if part of a team) should submit an individual project report. Each report includes the following:

Project Presentations

On the due date of each project, each team will play a video in class. The video should meet the following constraints:

Note: Presentations will only be given when the project actively involves robot programming. There will be no presentations following the first project, as it does not involve robot programming.

Final Project

In the last three weeks of the semester, each student will undertake a final project. In this final project, you will build and program a robot that fulfills a contextualized purpose. A public demonstration will be made of the robot’s capabilities, and a paper reflecting upon lessons learned will be submitted as well. In keeping with the Odyssey Special Project guidelines, the project will require at least 30 hours of work. As with the other course projects, final projects will be undertaken in teams of two.

Class Participation

Presentation Questions

Specifications Grading

Each assignment is graded on a pass-fail basis. To earn a passing grade, the assignment must be substantively complete; minor imperfections are perfectly acceptable. Final course grades are earned based on completed passing assignments, as follows:



During the second week of the semester, each student team will be assigned a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot kit. Later in the semester, each team will also be assigned a Kindle Fire tablet to augment the robot with computer vision capabilities.

The equipment should be returned to the instructor at the end of the semester. Students will be billed for any unreturned equipment. <!– Each student will need to supply a smartphone or tablet running the Android operating system. Students for whom this presents a difficulty should contact the instructor, who will investigate possible arrangements.

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It is my ultimate goal for this course, and my teaching, to develop your academic skills, advance your learning of computer science concepts, and support the liberal arts in general. To do so will require commitments from myself and from you toward meeting this goal.

Active Participation

I will be prepared and on time for class each day, ready to use class time to help you understand the course material. I will respectfully listen to, understand, and answer questions asked in class.

You are expected to attend class and actively participate in discussions every day, answering questions, asking questions, presenting material, etc. Your participation will be respectful of your classmates, both of their opinions and of their current point in their educational journey, as we each approach the material with different backgrounds and contexts.

Constructive Feedback

I will keep office hours and be available for outside appointments, and respond to emails within one business day (not including weekends). I will provide feedback on group presentations within one day. For exams, projects, and homeworks, I will provide graded feedback within two weeks.

You are encouraged to provide constructive comments for improving this course for furthering your learning throughout the semester. There will be an opportunity for anonymous course feedback at the end of the term, in which I hope you all participate. Through your feedback I can improve this course and others for future students.

Academic Integrity

I will abide by the above syllabus and grade your work fairly.

As stated in the Hendrix Academic Integrity Policy, all students have agreed to adhere to the following principles:

  • All students have an equal right to their opinions and to receive constructive criticism.
  • Students should positively engage the course material and encourage their classmates to do the same.
  • No students should gain an unfair advantage or violate their peers' commitment to honest work and genuine effort. It follows that any work that a student submits for class will be that student's own work. The amount of cooperation undertaken with other students, the consistency and accuracy of work, and the test-taking procedure should adhere to those guidelines that the instructor provides.
  • Members of the Hendrix community value and uphold academic integrity because we recognize that scholarly pursuits are aimed at increasing the shared body of knowledge and that the full disclosure of sources is the most effective way to ensure accountability to both ourselves and our colleagues.
More details of our departmental stance on integrity can be found in the Hendrix Computer Science Academic Integrity Policy

Learning Accomodation

I will make this classroom an open and inclusive environment, accommodating many different learning styles and perspectives.

Any student seeking accommodation in relation to a recognized disability should inform me at the beginning of the course. It is the policy of Hendrix College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Students should contact Julie Brown in the Office of Academic Success (505.2954; to begin the accommodation process.

Physical and Mental Health

I am willing to work with you individually when life goes off the rails.

Coursework and college in general can become stressful and overwhelming, and your wellness can be impacted when you least expect it. You should participate in self-care and preventative measures, and be willing to find support when you need it.

  • The Office of Counseling Services welcomes all students to see a counselor in a private and safe environment regardless of their reasons for making an appointment. Counseling services are available to all Hendrix students at no cost.
  • Student Health Services provides free healthcare to Hendrix students. Services are provided by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in collaboration with a local physician.

The Offices of Counseling Services and Student Health Services are located in the white house behind the Mills Center for Social Sciences at 1541 Washington Avenue.