Robotics Minor

The field of Robotics integrates sensing, information processing, and movement to accomplish specific tasks in the physical world. As such, it encompasses several topics, including mechanics and dynamics, kinematics, sensing, signal processing, control systems, planning, and artificial intelligence. Applications of these concepts appear in many areas including medicine, manufacturing, space exploration, disaster recovery, ordinance disposal, deep-sea navigation, home care, and home automation.

The faculty of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR), in collaboration with the academic departments and centers of the Whiting School of Engineering, offers a Robotics Minor in order to provide a structure in which undergraduate students at Johns Hopkins University can advance their knowledge in robotics while receiving recognition on their transcript for this pursuit. The minor is not “owned” by any one department, but rather it is managed by the LCSR itself. Any student from any department within the university can work toward the minor.

Robotics is fundamentally integrative and multidisciplinary. Therefore, any candidate for the Robotics Minor must cover a set of core skills that cut across these disciplines, as well as obtain advanced supplementary skills.

Core skills include the following:

  • Robot kinematics and dynamics (R)
  • Systems theory, signal processing, control (S)
  • Computation and sensing (C)

Supplementary advanced skills may be obtained in specialized applications — such as space, medicine, or marine systems — or in one of the three core areas listed above.

The full minor course listing (see below) lists which courses fill these requirements. Note that ALL core areas must be filled, but that ANY advanced/supplementary courses can be chosen from the list. This allows students to strike a balance between breadth and depth.

 

If you are interested in declaring a Robotics minor, please contact Anita Sampath.

 

  • An undergraduate qualifies for the minor provided he or she has taken at least 18 credits (at the 300 level or above, with a C- or above) from an approved list of courses (provided on the Robotics Minor website), with the following requirements and restrictions:

    • Between 6 and 12 credits chosen to cover the three core skills (see table below).
    • At least 6 credits chosen from advanced supplementary skills (see table).
    • At least 3 credits of the 18 must be a laboratory course (at least 15 hours of laboratory time that includes working with physical hardware and/or real data);
    • At most 3 credits of the 18 can be an independent research or individual study with a faculty member on the list of approved faculty advisors;
    • At least 6 credits must be primarily listed in a department other than the student’s home department (it is acceptable if such a course is cross-listed in the student’s home department).
    • At most one course up to 3 credits (including independent research or individual study) may be taken S/U, but all other courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Click here for checkout sheet.
    1. All students interested in the minor are required to make an appointment with Anita Sampath in the LCSR to be assigned to a minor advisor to receive guidance about the program.
      Phone: 410-516-6841
      Email: asampath@jhu.edu
      When possible, you will be assigned an advisor in your department (though this is not required).
    2. Students who decide to pursue the minor should also review their academic transcript with their minor advisor to ensure they will be able to complete the requirements.
    3. Fill out and submit an Add Minor form (which can be obtained from the registrar’s office)
    4. Complete the Requirements Checkout tables in the CheckOut sheet, downloadable on this web page. You should meet with your minor advisor periodically (at least once per year), bringing a copy of this form for review.
    5. During your senior year, you must also note the Robotics Minor on your Application for Graduation.
    6. When all requirements have been completed, take the completed form to the Robotics Minor Program Coordinator for review and signature.

    Undergraduates interested in completing the minor must be assigned a minor advisor. The advisor is responsible for helping the student choose courses and helps to ensure all requirements for the minor are met. The minor advisors are listed below:

    • Greg S. Chirikjian, Professor, Mechanical Engineering
    • Noah J. Cowan, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
    • Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Professor, Electrical Engineering
    • Gregory D. Hager, Professor, Computer Science
    • Dan Stoianovici, Professor, Department of Urology
    • Russell H. Taylor, Professor, Computer Science
    • René Vidal, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
    • Louis L. Whitcomb, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Director of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR)
  • Below are sample curricula for ME, CS, ECE and BME majors. These sample curricula were designed to highlight certain requirements:

    1. Courses must collectively cover the three core areas.
    2. At least 2 courses must be advanced supplementary courses.
    3. At least 3 credits must be from a laboratory course (marked with *).
    4. At least 2 courses must be outside the major (text in blue).

    Note: these are just samples. For the full list of requirements see Overview, above. For a complete list of courses, see Robotics Minor Courses, below.
    A sample Mechanical Engineering Student Robotics Minor:

    Dept Num. Title R S C Sup
    ME 530.343 Design and Analysis of Dynamic Systems* X X
    ME 530.420 Robot Sensors & Actuators* X X
    ECE 520.353 Control Systems X
    CS 600.436 Algorithms for Sensor-Based Robotics X X X
    ME 530.424 Dynamics of Robots and Spacecraft X X
    ME 530.646 Robot Devices, Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control X X X

    A sample Computer Science Student Robotics Minor:

    Dept Num. Title R S C Sup
    CS 600.436 Algorithms for Sensor-Based Robotics X X
    CS 600.361 Computer Vision* X X
    ECE 520.353 Control Systems X
    ECE 520.435 Digital Signal Processing X X
    CS 600.445 CIS I* X X X
    CS 600.446 CIS II* X X

    A sample Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Robotics Minor:

    Dept Num. Title R S C Sup
    ECE 520.353 Control Systems X
    ECE 520.454 Control System Design* X X X
    CS 600.436 Algorithms for Sensor-Based Robotics X X
    ECE 520.435 Digital Signal Processing X X
    ECE 520.448 Electronics Design Lab* X X
    CS 600.361 Computer Vision* X X X

    A sample Biomedical Engineering Student Robotics Minor:

    Dept Num. Title R S C Sup
    BME 580.471 Principals of Design of Biomedical Instrumentation* X
    ME 530.646 Robot Devices, Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control X X X
    CS 600.361 Computer Vision* X X
    CS 600.445 Computer-Integrated Surgery I* X X X
    BME 580.472 Medical Imaging Systems X
    ECE 520.435 Digital Signal Processing X X
  • Dept. Num. Title Lab R S C Sup
    ECE 520.353 Control Systems     X    
    ECE 520.432 Medical Imaging Sys       X X
    ECE 520.433 Medical Image Analysis     X   X
    ECE 520.454 Control Systems Design X   X   X
    ECE 520.435 Digital Signal Processing     X   X
    ECE 520.414 Image Processing and Analysis I     X X  
    ECE 520.415 Image Processing and Analysis II     X X  
    ECE 520.424/425 FPGA       X X
    ECE 520.448 Electronics Design Lab X     X X
    ME 530.343 Design and Analysis of Dynamic Systems X X X    
    ME 530.420 Robot Sensors & Actuators X X   X  
    ME 530.421 Mechatronics X X   X  
    ME 530.424 Dynamics of Robots and Spacecraft   X     X
    ME 530.603 Applied Optimal Control   X X X X
    ME 530.678 Nonlinear Planning and Control in Robotics   X X X X
    AMS 550.493 Mathematical Image Analysis     X X X
    BME 580.471 Principles of Design of Biomedical Instrumentation (4 credits) X     X  
    BME 580.472 Medical Imaging Systems       X X
    BME 580.571 Honors Instrumentation (2 credits) X     X X
    BME 580.484/684 Ultrasound Imaging-Theory and Application     X X X
    CS 600.436 (was 336)* Algorithms for Sensor-Based Robotics (Undergrad version)   X X X  
    CS 600.636 (was 436)* Algorithms for Sensor-Based Robotics (Grad version)   X X X  
    CS 600.435 Artificial Intelligence       X X
    CS 600.361* Computer Vision X     X X
    CS 600.461* Computer Vision (Grad) X     X X
    CS 600.445 Computer-Integrated Surgery I X X X   X
    CS 600.446/646 Computer-Integrated Surgery II X X   X X
    CS 600.476 Machine Learning: Data to Models       X X
    All various Independent Research or Individual Study         X
    Graduate              
    ME 530.646 Robot Devices, Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control   X X   X
    ME 530.676 Mechanics and Control of Locomotion   X X   X
    BME 580.692 Adv. Topics in Machine Learning     X X X
    CS 600.660 FFT in Graphics and Vision     X X X

     

    (*)Note: To bring CS in parity with most of WSE, as of Fall 2013, CS course numbers are beginning to change. Some CS some courses had dual designations of 600.3xx level (undergrad) and 600.4xx (grad), but this has changed to 600.4xx (undergrad) and 600.6xx (grad). You will receive minor credit according to whether your course was undergrad/grad.

  • The minor is continually monitored by a standing governance/oversight committee, currently comprised of the following faculty:

    • Noah Cowan, Program Coordinator
    • Greg Chirikjian, Program Committee Member
    • Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Program Committee Member
    • Gregory D. Hager, Program Committee Member
    • Russ Taylor, Program Committee Member

    The oversight of this minor, including curricular updates, falls to this committee. The minor is managed by the faculty of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) in collaboration with the academic departments and centers of the Whiting School of Engineering.

 

The minor is managed by faculty of the the LCSR in collaboration with academic departments and centers of the Whiting School of Engineering. If you have suggestions or questions regarding the minor, please direct them to Prof. Noah Cowan.

Laboratory for Computational Sensing + Robotics