

ME39202 Special Topics: Advanced Topics in Robotics and Mechanism Synthesis(will be offered in Spring 2011)This is a graduate level course in robotics and mechanism synthesis. The course focuses on covering several topics in kinematics of serial and parallel robots, special methods in kinematics including dual number representations and quaternion methods, introduction to screwbased kinematics and its applications to mechanism analysis and synthesis, line geometry methods and applications in kinematics, open research problems in robotics, mathematical methods for the solution of polynomial systems related to design/analysis problems of mechanisms (e.g. direct kinematics of parallel robots) including homotopy continuation methods and resultantbased methods. The course is highly recommended for graduate students with some background in robotics and mechanism theory who are interested in expanding their background for research in these areas. It is intended to provide a wider perspective on the mathematical methods and on performance evaluation/optimization of different mechanisms/robots including parallel robots, serial robots, multifingered hands, robots with actuation redundancy and with kinematics redundancy (e.g. snakes). The mathematical background necessary for this course includes linear algebra (you should be familiar with matrix computations, eigenvalues/eigenvectors) and ordinary differential equations (recommended). Course Administration This course is open for graduate students interested in strengthening their background in kinematics and robotics. The course grading is based on home works, research projects. Textbooks The course will mainly focus on the class notes of the instructor. Most of the topics covered are included in the following recommended text books:
There are several other books that I will recommend at the beginning of the class. The abovementioned books are the most relevant to my class  but they do not cover all the topics that I will discuss. Subjects covered The course will cover the following topics based on time availability:
Examples The following images show some of the robots/topics we will be focusing on in this class. The course is intentionally designed to cover wider topics, but will provide you a prossibility to get familiar with some of these topics for later research. Example 1: a parallel robot is composed of several closed kinematics chains (RSPR3 robot) Example 2: eight possible inverse kinematics solutions for a Composite SerialinParallel (CISP) robot RSPR3 Example 3: The singularities of the RSPR3 robot and other parallel robots can be explained by associating a physical interpretation to the rows of the jacobian and using line geometry.
