Electrical Engineering C106A — Introduction to Robotics (4 Units)

Course Overview


EE C106A is a project course focusing primarily on robotics and basic control, with introduction to topics such as computer vision, motion planning, and mapping. The course provides an introduction to the kinematics, dynamics, and control of robot manipulators, robotic vision, and sensing. Also, the course covers methods for solving forward and inverse kinematics of serial chain manipulators, the manipulator Jacobian, force relations, dynamics, and reinforces elementary principles of linear transforms. The course concludes with a final design project, which utilizes active sensing, planning, and actuation for a given application chosen by teams of students.


  • EE 16A/B
  • CS 61A
  • CS 61B


  • EE 120
  • EEC128
  • Physics 7A
  • CS 61C (not needed, but helpful)
  • Math 110 (not needed, but helpful)

Topics Covered

  • Coordinate Transforms, Rotation Matrices, Trajectory Generation
  • Forward Kinematics Methods
  • Inverse Kinematics Methods for Serial Chain Manipulators
  • Configuration Space Vs. Task Space Analysis
  • Joint Velocities, Joint Torques
  • Spatial and Body Jacobians
  • Twists and Wrenches
  • Introduction to Computer Vision, Camera Calibration, Image Homography
  • Modeling Dynamics of Robotic Systems: Newtonian Methods vs. Lagrangian Mechanics
  • Integration of Planning, Sensing, and Actuation: Applications and Examples
  • Ethical Issues in Robotics: Medical, Defense, Industry, Automotive, etc.


Course Work

  • Five homeworks total
  • Two labs every three weeks
  • Final group project at end of semester
  • 2 midterms
  • No final

Time Commitment

  • Average time during semester is about 10 - 15 hours.
  • The final project is very time consuming, end of semester about 15 - 25 hours per week.

HKN Tips

  • Try to find final project partners early!
  • Lab, discussion and homework groups are very useful for learning difficult material.
  • Think about final project ideas in the beginning of the semester and start early!

Choosing the Course


  • Robotics
  • Human Robot Interaction

When to take

If you are interested in robotics, take this class as soon as possible, preferably after you’ve taken the listed prerequisites above.

What next?

EE C106A is the first class in the C106 series. It prepares you very well for material presented in EE C106B (Robotic Manipulation and Interaction) as well as other graduate level courses on robotics.

Usefulness for Research or Internships

Research and Internships: Since the class has a major final project, a strong final project can help you get research positions and internships in robotics and related fields. Also, many labs on campus studying robotics tend to require this course along with EE 120 at a minimum.

Additional Comments

The course is also listed as Bioengineering C125. Also, this course is usually offered only during fall semester.

Last Updated: Summer 2020