CS395T: Autonomous Robots -- Fall 2005

CS395T: Autonomous Robots -- Fall 2005

Instructor: Peter Stone
Department of Computer Sciences

Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:45pm
TAY 3.144

Jump to the assignments page.
Jump to the resources page.

Class Registration

The class is currently officially full. The class will work best with fewer rather than more people since time with the robots will be a constraint. However, I will do my best to accomodate all interested students who are serious about putting in the required effort on this course. If you are unable to register, please come to the first class meeting. At that point, I will see how many people are interested and I'll decide how to proceed (probably some registered students will drop the class by then as well). At this point, I cannot guarantee permission to register to anyone. If I do give you permission to register, you will need to go see Katherine Utz or Gloria Ramirez in TAY 2.114 after I have sent them your name.

Instructor Contact Information

office hours: by appointment
office: TAY 4.122
phone: 471-9796
fax: 471-8885
email: pstone@cs.utexas.edu

Teaching Assistant

Dan Stronger
office hours: TBA
office: TAY 2.144
email: stronger@cs.utexas.edu

Course Description

This course is a graduate seminar. There will be some assigned readings and discussions pertaining to robotics and multi-robot systems in general. But mainly, the students will learn all of the steps necessary to create fully-functional teams of robots for playing soccer under the rules of the RoboCup legged league using Sony AIBO robots. All students will learn how to program the robots directly. Challenges to be addressed will include:
  • Locomotion
  • Object manipulation
  • Vision (segmentation and object detection)
  • Localization
  • Inter-robot communication
  • Individual behavior creation
  • Multiagent coordination and strategic reasoning
  • If successful, class members may have the opportunity to follow up on their work in this course towards participating in an entry in a RoboCup competition.


    Some background in artificial intelligence is recommended, but not required.


    The course textbook is:
    Robocup 2004: Robot Soccer World Cup VIII.
    Edited by Nardi, D.; Riedmiller, M.; Sammut, C.; and Santos-Victor, J.
    Springer-Verlag, 2005. ISBN#: 3-540-25046-8.
    Note that the book is available on-line.

    To access from off campus, follow these instructions (courtesy of Cody Bann).
    1) search for Springer on http://www.lib.utexas.edu/
    2) Follow the search result to Springer LINK
    3) Click "Springer LINK" and sign in with UT EID
    4) "Register" an account with Springer (utaustin.username)
    5) Sign in and search for articles

    Mailing List

    Please subscribe to the class mailing list. The listname is "cs395t-pstone-fall05".
    Once you have subscribed to the list, you can send mail to the class at cs395t-pstone-fall05@lists.cc.utexas.edu.
    Important class information may be sent to this list. It is the student's responsibility to be subscribed.

    The Lab

    location: TAY 2.144
    phone: 471-9787

    Important: there are 2 entrances to 2.144. My lab is accessible through the East entrance (closer to the elevator).
    The other half of the room is a different lab and is off-limits to class members.


    Grades will be based on

  • class participation (15%);
  • written responses to the readings; (5%)
  • preliminary programming assignments; (45%)
  • a final programming project. (35%)
  • Reading, written, and programming assignments will be updated on the assignments page. Readings and exercises will be posted by the Tuesday before they are due (1 week in advance).

    Associated with most readings will be an assignment to send us a concise, well-thought-out, coherent written responses by email to the instructor and the TA. The email should be in plain ascii text in the body of the email (not an attachment). Please use the subject line "class readings for [due date]". The responses should be free form. Credit will be based on evidence that you have done the readings carefully. Acceptable responses include (but are not limited to):

  • Insightful questions;
  • Clarification questions about ambiguities (please specify exactly where in the text);
  • Comments about the relation of the reading to previous readings;
  • Critiques;
  • Thoughts on what you would like to learn about in more detail;
  • Possible extensions or related studies;
  • Thoughts on the paper's importance; and
  • Summaries of the most important things you learned.
  • These responses will be graded on a 10-point scale and graded mostly on coherence. Responses will be due by 10pm on Monday. Responses received between then and 11a.m. on Tuesday will be deducted 1 point (for a maximum score of 9). Responses received between then and 11a.m. on Thursday will be deducted 2 points (for a maximum score of 8). Responses received after that will be deducted 4 points (for a maximum score of 6).

    These deadlines are designed both to encourage you to do the readings before class and also to allow us to incorporate some of your responses into the class discussions.

    Relevant Links

  • Sony's OPEN-R page
  • RoboCup, the robot soccer world cup
  • UT Austin Villa
  • The official 4-Legged league page
  • US Open 2005 (Atlanta)
  • RoboCup-2005 (Osaka)
  • RoboCup-2006 (Bremen)
  • 2003 class at CMU

  • [Back to Department Homepage]

    Page maintained by Peter Stone
    Questions? Send me mail