M.S. in Robotics: Detailed Curriculum Requirements

The program requires 36 hours of letter-grade coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0. A maximum of two classes (6 semester hours) at the 4000 level may be used to satisfy the 30 semester hour requirement. The student is encouraged to select additional elective courses from the diverse offerings available at Georgia Tech.

Example of course sequence:

Fall semester of first year (10 hours):

  • CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 7785 Introduction to Robotics Research (3 hours)
  • CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 7741 Robotics Professional Preparation (1 hour)
  • Robotics foundation course (3 hours)
  • Robotics Elective (3 hours)

Spring semester of first year (10 hours):

  • CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 7742 Robotics Professional Preparation (1 hour)
  • Robotics foundation course (3 hours)
  • Robotics foundation course (3 hours)
  • Open elective (3 hours)

Summer of first year (0 hours):

  • CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 8740 Robotics Internship (0 hours)

Fall semester of second year (7 hours):

  • CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 8741 Robotics Capstone (3 hours)
  • CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 7742 Robotics Professional Preparation (1 hour)
  • Robotics elective (3 hours)

Spring semester of second year (9 hours):

  • CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 8741 Robotics Capstone (3 hours)
  • Robotics Elective (3 hours)
  • Open elective (3 hours)

Descriptions of Fundamental Courses

CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 7785 Introduction to Robotics Research: Provides students with a familiarization of the core areas of robotics including Mechanics, Control, Perception, Artificial Intelligence, and Human Robot Interaction. Provides an introduction to the fundamental mathematical and computational tools required in robotics research. (3 credit hours).

The desired learning outcome is to provide a strong theoretical foundation for students on the multidisciplinary subject matters found in robotics. This is accomplished by:

  1. Providing an introduction to the fundamentals of robotics in the core areas of mechanics, control, perception, artificial intelligence, and Human Robot Interaction.
  2. Providing the basic theoretical and computational tools to support the core areas in robotics.
  3. The course will familiarize the students with a mobile robot platform based on the Robot Operating System (ROS). The students have access to the lab space housing the mobile robots around the clock.

CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 8740 Robotics Internship, A summer-long internship at a partner company, GTRI or a Robotics faculty member’s lab. The internship should be selected in consultation with a robotics faculty member advisor with the expectation that the student will transition internship topic to a successful capstone project.

CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 8741 Robotics Capstone Project, Students in the MS Robotics program complete a 6-credit project over two semesters. When feasible, the Capstone project should represent a collaboration between the student, the student’s internship supervisor and the student’s faculty advisor.

The capstone project is a comprehensive assessment of the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program. There is freedom for great diversity in project topics and options for investigating, designing, and/or developing artifacts that are relevant to Robotics research and technology areas.

While most students will choose to complete an individual project, groups of 2-3 students may also work together on projects. Projects are typically completed during the second year of the program and are graded based on satisfactory progress towards the expectations set forth in the project syllabus. Deliverables include (but not limited to) a mid-point presentation, final written report, and completion presentation. Expectations include:

  • Critically assessing the prior art in an area outside his/her own,
  • Performing state-of-the-art experimental or simulation work in a multidisciplinary area,
  • Coherently reporting, at the level of a conference publication, on the research performed.

All deliverables will be reviewed by the faculty advisor and when possible, a partner company collaborator.

CS/AE/ECE/ME/BME/PHYS 7741, 7742, 7743, Robotics Professional Preparation, A sequence of three one-hour seminars taken with the cohort targeted at the professional development of students at their stage in the program. The seminar is designed to create a sense of community amongst participants and their MS Robotics cohort.

The seminar aims to prepare students for success in their studies and careers. It includes presentations by industrial and academic Robotics practitioners concerning career choices and preparation and new developments, and discussions about potential internships and capstone projects.

Core Area Courses

Courses satisfying foundation and elective requirements are listed for each area below. Foundation courses indicated with an asterisk (*).

Mechanics

  • AE 6210*, Advanced Dynamics I – Kinematics of particles and rigid bodies, angular velocity, inertia properties, holonomic and nonholonomic constraints, generalized forces. Prerequisite: AE 2220. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6211, Advanced Dynamics II – A continuation of AE 6210. Equations of motion, Newtonian frames, consistent linearization, energy and momentum integrals, collisions, mathematical representation of finite rotation. Prerequisite: AE 6210. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6230, Structural Dynamics – Dynamic response of single-degree-of-freedom systems, Lagrange's equations; modal decoupling; vibration of Euler-Bernoulli and Timoshenko beams, membranes and plates. Prerequisites: AE 3120, AE 3515. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6263, Flexible Multi-Body Dynamics – Nonlinear, flexible multi-body dynamic systems, parameterization of finite rotations, strategies for enforcement of holonomic and non holonomic constraints, formulation of geometrically nonlinear structural elements, time-integration techniques. Prerequisites: AE 6211, AE 6230. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6270, Nonlinear Dynamics – Nonlinear vibration methods through averaging and multiple scales, bifurcation, periodic and quasi-periodic systems, transition to chaos, characterization of chaotic vibrations, thermodynamics of chaos, chaos control. Prerequisite: AE 6230. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6520, Advanced Flight Dynamics — Reference frames and transformations, general equations of unsteady motion, application to fixed-wing, rotary-wing and space vehicles, stability characteristics, flight in turbulent atmosphere. 3 credit hours
  • BMED 8813*, Robotics — Robot kinematics, statics, and dynamics. Open-chain manipulators and parallel manipulators as well as an understanding of trajectory planning and non-holonomic systems. 3 credit hours
  • CS 7496, Computer Animation — Motion techniques for computer animation and interactive games (keyframing, procedural methods, motion capture, and simulation) and principles for storytelling, composition, lighting, and interactivity. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6405, Introduction to Mechatronics – Modeling and control of actuators and electro-mechanical systems. Performance and application of microprocessors and analog electronics to modern mechatronic systems. Prerequisites ME 3015 or equivalent, or with the consent of the instructor. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6407*, Robotics – Analysis and design of robotic systems including arms and vehicles. Kinematics and dynamics. Algorithms for describing, planning, commanding and controlling motion force. Prerequisites ME 3015 or ECE 3550. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6441*, Dynamics of Mechanical Systems – Motion analysis and dynamics modeling of systems of particles and rigid bodies in three-dimensional motion. Prerequisites: ME 3015 or equivalent, or with the consent of the instructor. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6442, Vibration of Mechanical Systems – Introduction to modeling and oscillatory response analysis for discrete and continuous mechanical and structural systems. Prerequisites: ME 3015 and ME 3201. 3 credit hours
  • ME 7442, Vibration of Continuous Systems – Equations of motion and oscillatory response of dynamic systems modeled as continuous media. Prerequisites: ME 6442 or equivalent, or with the consent of the instructor. 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 6101*, Classical Mechanics I. 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 4142, Statistical Mechanics. 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 7224, Nonlinear Dynamics. 3 credit hours

Control

  • AE 6252, Smart Structure Control – Modeling smart sensors and actuators, development of closed loop models, design of controllers, validation of controllers, application to vibration control, noise control, and shape control. Prerequisite: AE 6230. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6504, Modern Methods of Flight Control – Linear quadratic regulator design. Model following control. Stochastic control. Fixed structure controller design. Applications to aircraft flight control. Prerequisite: AE 3521. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6505, Kalman Filtering – Probability and random variables and processes; correlation; shaping filters; simulation of sensor errors; Wiener filter; random vectors; covariance propagation; recursive least-squares; Kalman filter; extensions. Prerequisite: AE 3515. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6506, Guidance and Navigation – Earth's shape and gravity. Introduction to inertial navigation. GPS aiding. Error analysis. Guidance systems. Analysis of the guidance loop. Estimation of guidance variables. Adjoint analysis. Prerequisite: AE 3521. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6511, Optimal Guidance and Control – Euler-Lagrange formulation; Hamilton-Jacobi approach; Pontryagin's minimum principle; Systems with quadratic performance index; Second variation and neighboring extremals; Singular solutions; numerical solution techniques. Prerequisite: AE 3515. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6530*, Multivariable Linear Systems and Control. Prerequisite: AE 3515. 3 credit hours
  • Techniques for analysis and description of multivariable linear systems. Tools for advanced feedback control design for these systems, including computational packages
  • AE 6531, Robust Control I – Robustness issues in controller analysis and design. LQ analysis, H2 norm, LQR, LQG, uncertainty modeling, small gain theorem, H-infinity performance, and the mixed-norm H2/H-infinity problem. Prerequisite: ECE 6550. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6532, Robust Control II – Advanced treatment of robustness issues. Controller analysis and design for linear and nonlinear systems with structured and non-structured uncertainty. Reduced-order control, stability, multipliers, and mixed-mu. Prerequisite: ECE 6531. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6534, Control of AE Structures – Advanced treatment of control of flexible structures. Topics include stability of multi-degree-of-freedom systems, passive and active absorbers and isolation, positive real models, and robust control for flexible structures. Prerequisite: AE 6230, AE 6531. 3 credit hours
  • AE 6580, Nonlinear Control – Advanced treatment of nonlinear robust control. Lyapunov stability theory, absolute stability, dissipativity, feedback linearization, Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman theory, nonlinear H-infinity, backstepping control, and control Lyapunov functions. Prerequisite: ECE 6550. 3 credit hours
  • AE 8803 THE, Nonlinear Stochastic Optimal Control 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6550*, Linear Systems and Controls – Introduction to linear system theory and feedback control. Topics include state space representations, controllability and observability, linear feedback control. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6551, Digital Controls – Techniques for analysis and synthesis of computer-based control systems. Design projects provide an understanding of the application of digital control to physical systems. Prerequisites: ECE 6550 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6552, Nonlinear Systems and Control – Classical analysis techniques and stability theory for nonlinear systems. Control design for nonlinear systems, including robotic systems. Includes design projects. Prerequisites: ECE 6550 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6553, Optimal Control and Optimization – Optimal control of dynamic systems, numerical optimization, techniques and their applications in solving optical-trajectory problems. Prerequisites: ECE 6550 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6554, Adaptive Control – Methods of parameter estimation and adaptive control for systems with constant or slowly varying unknown parameters. Includes MATLAB design projects emphasizing applications to physical systems. Prerequisites: ECE 6550 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6555, Optimal Estimation – Techniques for signal and state estimation in the presence of measurement and process noise with the emphasis on Wiener and Kalman filtering. Prerequisites: ECE 6550 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6558, Stochastic Systems. Advanced techniques in stochastic analysis with emphasis on stochastic dynamics, nonlinear filtering and detection, stochastic control and stochastic optimization and simulation methods. Prerequisites: CEE/ISYE/MATH 3770. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6401*, Linear Control Systems – Theory and applications of linear systems, state space, stability, feedback controls, observers, LQR, LQG, Kalman Filters. Prerequisite: ME 3015 or equivalent, or with the consent of the instructor. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6402, Nonlinear Control Systems – Analysis of nonlinear systems, geometric control, variable structure control, adaptive control, optimal control, applications. Prerequisite: ME 6401 or equivalent, or with the consent of the instructor. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6403, Digital Control Systems – Comprehensive treatment of the representation, analysis, and design of discrete-time systems. Techniques include Z- and W- transforms, direct method, control design, and digital tracking. Prerequisite: ME 3015 or equivalent, or with the consent of the instructor. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6404, Advanced Control System Design and Implementation – Analysis, synthesis and implementation techniques of continuous-time and real-time control systems using classical and state-space methods. Prerequisite: ME 6403 or equivalent, or with the consent of the instructor. 3 credit hours

Perception

  • CS 6476*, Computer Vision – Introduction to computer vision including fundamentals of image formation, camera imaging geometry, feature detection and matching, stereo, motion estimation and tracking, image classification and scene understanding. Credit not awarded for both CS 6476 and CS 4495 or CS 4476. 3 credit hours
  • CS 7476, Advanced Computer Vision – Advanced topics in computer vision, which includes a deep dive into both the theoretical foundations of computer vision to the practical issues of building real systems that use computer vision. Credit not awarded for CS 7476 and CS 7495. 3 credit hours
  • CS 7616, Pattern Recognition – This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of pattern recognition.It emphasizes unifying concepts and the analysis of real-world datasets. 3 credit hours
  • CS 7636, Computational Perception – Study of statistical and algorithmic methods for sensing people using video and audio. Topics include face detection and recognition, figure tracking, and audio-visual sensing. Prerequisites: CS 4641 and (CS 4495 or CS 7495) 3 credit hours
  • CS 7643 Deep Learning,. Prerequisite: CS 6601. 3 credit hours
  • CS 8803, 3D Reconstruction and Mapping – Course focuses on multi-robot/multi-camera mapping and reconstruction. Topics range from SLAM, graphical model inferences, and understanding the practical issues regarding multi-platform reconstruction. 3 credit hours
  • CS 8803, BHI Behavioral Imaging – Theory and methods for measuring, recognizing, and quantifying social and communicative behavior using video, audio, and wearable sensor data. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6255, Digital Processing of Speech Signals – The application of digital signal processing to problems in speech communication. Includes a laboratory project. Prerequisites: ECE 4270 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6258, Digital Image Processing – An introduction to the theory of multidimensional signal processing and digital image processing, including key applications in multimedia products and services, and telecommunications. Prerequisites: ECE 4270 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6273, Pattern Recognition – Theory and application of pattern recognition with a special application section for automatic speech recognition and related signal processing. Prerequisites: ECE 4270 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ECE 6560, PDEs in Image Processing and Computer Vision – Mathematical foundations and numerical aspects of partial-differential equation techniques used in computer vision. Topics include image smoothing and enhancement, edge detection, morphology, and image reconstruction. Prerequisites: ECE 6550 Minimum Grade of D. 3 credit hours
  • ME 6406*, Machine Vision – Design of algorithms for vision systems for manufacturing, farming, construction, and the service industries. Image processing, optics, illumination, feature representation. Prerequisite: Graduate Standing in engineering or related discipline. 3 credit hours

Artificial Intelligence

  • CS 6601*, Artificial Intelligence – Basic concepts and methods of artificial intelligence including both symbolic/conceptual and numerical/probabilistic techniques. Prerequisites: CS 2600
  • CS 7612, AI Planning – Symbolic numerical techniques that allow intelligent systems to decide how they should act in order to achieve their goals, including action and plan representation, plan synthesis and reasoning, analysis of planning algorithms, plan execution and monitoring, plan reuse and learning, and applications. Prerequisites: CS 6601
  • CS 7640, Learning in Autonomous Agents – An in-depth look at agents that learn, including intelligent systems, robots, and humans. Design and implementation of computer models of learning and adaptation in autonomous intelligent agents. Prerequisites: CS 3600 or CS 4641
  • CS 7641 Machine Learning – Machine learning techniques and applications. Topics include foundational issues; inductive, analytical, numerical, and theoretical approaches; and real-world applications. Prerequisites: CS 6601
  • CS 7643 Deep Learning, Prerequisites: CS 6601. 3 credit hours
  • CS 8803, Mobile Manipulation – The objective of the course is to gain knowledge of methods for design of mobile manipulation systems. The course covers all aspects of the problem from navigation and localization over kinematics and control to visual and force based perception.
  • CS 8803, Robot Intelligence: Planning in Action – Course covers methods for planning with symbolic, numerical, geometric and physical constraints. Topics will range from classical and stochastic planning to continuous robot domains and hybrid control of dynamic systems.
  • CS 8803, Computation and the Brain
  • CS 8803, Special Topics on Reinforcement Learning
  • CS 8803, Statistical Techniques in Robotics

Human Robot Interaction (HRI)

HRI includes two core courses. Students are encouraged, but not required to take both HRI core courses. Students taking both core courses may use their second core class in place of an HRI elective course.

  • AE 6721*, Evaluation of Human Integrated Systems – Evaluation of human integrated systems including translating research questions into measurable objectives, overview of evaluation methods and data analysis techniques applicable to such systems. 3 credit hours
  • CS 7633*, Human-Robot Interaction – Survey of the state of the art in HRI research, introduction to statistical methods for HRI research, research project studio. A petition has been filed for this to be added to the permanent CS curriculum and have permanent course number. 3 credit hours
  • CS 6455, User Interface Design and Evaluation – Qualitative empirical methods for understanding human-technology interaction. 3 credit hours
  • CS 6750, Human-Computer Interact – Describes the characteristics of interaction between humans and computers and demonstrates techniques for the evaluation of user-centered systems. 3 credit hours
  • CS 8803 CSR, Computational Social Robotics 3 credit hours
  • ISYE 6215, Human-Machine Systems – The development and use of mathematical models of human behavior are considered. Approaches from estimation theory, control theory, queuing theory, and fuzzy set theory are considered. 3 credit hours
  • ISYE 6224, Human-Integrated Systems – State-of-the-art research directions including supervisory control models of human command control tasks; human-computer interface in scheduling and supervision of flexible manufacturing systems. 3 credit hours
  • PSYC 6011, Cognitive Psychology – Survey course on human cognition including pattern recognition, attention, memory, categorization, problem solving, consciousness, decision making, intention, and the relation between mind and brain.
  • PSYC 6014, Sensation & Perception – This course examines how sensations and perceptions of the outside world are processed by humans, including physiological, psychophysical, ecological, and computational perspectives. 3 credit hours
  • PSYC 6017, Human Abilities – Theory, methods, and applications of research on human abilities, including intelligence, aptitude, achievement, learning, aptitude treatment interactions, information processing correlates, and measurement issues. 3 credit hours
  • PSYC 7101, Engineering Psych I – Basic methods used to study human-machine systems including both system analysis and human performance evaluation techniques. These methods will be applied to specific systems. 3 credit hours
  • PSYC 7104, Psychomotor & Cog Skill – Human capabilities and limitations for learning and performing psychomotor and cognitive skills are studied. 3 credit hours

Natural Systems

  • CS 7492*, Simulation of Biology -- Course topics include self-replication, artificial chemistry, multi-cellular development, simulation of evolution, cellular automata, mass-spring simulators, L-systems for plant development, animal locomotion (walking, swimming, jumping), flocking and herding behavior in groups, predator/prey systems, parasites, and foraging behavior. 3 credit hours.
  • PHYS 8814 – Special Topics: Neurophysics. . 3 credit hours.
  • PHYS 4854 – Special Topics: Physics of Living Systems. 3 credit hours.
  • PSYC 6011, Cognitive Psychology – Survey course on human cognition including pattern recognition, attention, memory, categorization, problem solving, consciousness, decision making, intention, and the relation between mind and brain.
  • PSYC 6014, Sensation & Perception – This course examines how sensations and perceptions of the outside world are processed by humans, including physiological, psychophysical, ecological, and computational perspectives. 3 credit hours
  • PSYC 6017, Human Abilities – Theory, methods, and applications of research on human abilities, including intelligence, aptitude, achievement, learning, aptitude treatment interactions, information processing correlates, and measurement issues. 3 credit hours