RBE502: Robot Control

Course description

This course reviews the interplay between control and robotics through introducing theory and demonstrating applications. It aims to provide an in-depth coverage of control design for robotic manipulators and mobile robots. We focus primarily on fundamental theory, control design methods, and their application on practical robotic systems. Topics may include modeling of robotic systems, linear/nonlinear control of robotic systems, control of under-actuated robotic systems, optimal control, adaptive control, behavior-based robots. Course projects will emphasize modeling, simulation and practical implementation of control systems for robot applications.

Prerequisites: Linear algebra; Differential equations; Linear systems and control theory (ECE 504), Robot Dynamics (RBE501) or consent of the instructor.


Homework assignment and full lecture notes will be available in Canvas.


Professor Jie Fu


Homework 40
Midterm Exam 30
Project 30%


  1. Spong, M. W., Hutchinson, S., & Vidyasagar, M. (2006). Robot Modeling and Control. New York: Wiley.

  2. Richard M. Murray, Zexiang Li, S. Shankar Sastry (1994) A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation CRC press. Online version.

  3. Sciavicco, L., & Villani, L. (2009). Robotics: Modelling, Planning and Control. Springer. WPI Library Link.

  4. John Lygeros and Federico A. Ramponi, (2015). Lecture Notes on Linear System Theory. PDF.

  5. Khalil, Hassan. Nonlinear Systems. (2002). Related materials will be provided before lectures.

  6. Liberzon, Daniel. Calculus of variations and optimal control theory: a concise introduction. Princeton University Press, 2012. WPI Library Link

  7. Luigi Villani, Joris De Schutter. Force Control in Springer Handbook of Robotics, pp 195-220. PDF