CS378: Autonomous Intelligent Robotics (FRI)

Fall 2015

Instructor: Matteo Leonetti
Department of Computer Science

Monday, Wednesday 15:30- 17:00
Classroom: GDC 2.410

Office Hours:

Time: Monday 14:00 - 15:30, or by appointment
Office: GDC 3.418
Email: matteo--AT--cs--DOT--utexas--DOT--edu

Course Requirements

Grades will be based on

Students should post responses to the readings on Canvas. Credit will be based on evidence that you have done the readings carefully. The response should include a summary of the reading along with any of the following:


Knowledge of the Robot Operating System. Good programming skills in either C++ or Python.

Text and Website

There is no textbook for this course. Instead, relevant research papers will be assigned.

Philosophy and Goal

The foremost goal of this course is to expose the student to the full range of activities required of a real-life computer science researcher. It turns out that computer scientists rarely read textbooks, sit silently in lectures, work on programming assignments with correct and complete answers, or take exams. Rather, they

This course presents an opportunity for students to help decide whether they would enjoy going on to graduate school and an eventual career as a computer science researcher. In particular, students will be required to read published research papers, write brief reactions to them, participate in class discussions, propose and execute a solution to a challenging open-ended problem, and write about their work. They will be given an opportunity to collaborate with other students on the final project.

Content Overview

This course is focused on developing a building wide intelligence (BWI) for the new computer science building. The idea is to have a pervasive intelligence throughout the building, in the form of robots, kiosks, display screens, and cameras. These robots will perform a variety of tasks, such as leading people to their destinations or locating a person in the building.

The main goal of this course is to complete a small research project, advancing the abilities of the current BWI system.

Participation in the class discussions will also form a significant part of the grade. Class meetings will consist of discussions based on assigned readings and updates on project progress.



Every week the students choose a paper related to their research project and post a report on Canvas. Appropriate assignments, one per week, will be created on Canvas. The deadline is every Sunday at 11:59 pm.

Independent Inquiry

This course carries the Independent Inquiry flag. Independent Inquiry courses are designed to engage you in the process of inquiry over the course of a semester, providing you with the opportunity for independent investigation of a question, problem, or project related to your major. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from the independent investigation and presentation of your own work.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

All work ideas, quotes, and code fragments that originate from elsewhere must be cited according to standard academic practice. Students caught cheating will automatically fail the course. If in doubt, look at the departmental guidelines and/or ask.

Notice about students with disabilities

The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To determine if you qualify, please contact the Dean of Students at 471-6529; 471-4641 TTY. If they certify your needs, I will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.

Notice about missed work due to religious holy days

A student who misses an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holy day will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence, provided that he or she has properly notified the instructor. It is the policy of the University of Texas at Austin that the student must notify the instructor at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates he or she will be absent to observe a religious holy day. For religious holy days that fall within the first two weeks of the semester, the notice should be given on the first day of the semester. The student will not be penalized for these excused absences, but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence.

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