87251 - Laboratory of Robotics and Mechatronics m

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student will acquire basic knowledge of theoretical and practical issues related to: (i) programming and control of industrial robots, collaborative robots, and non-conventional manipulators; (ii) design, integration, control, and testing of simple mechatronic devices, including drives, control boards, motors, mechanical transmissions, and rapidly-prototyped components. The student will make use of the acquired knowledge by carrying out individual and group laboratory projects.

Course contents

Students are asked to form workgroups (between 3 to 5 people, depending on the number of laboratory participants and hardware availability). Each group will receive a kit of electromechanical components in order to produce experiments about the subjects treated in the course. In the first part of the course, students are asked to build electrical circuits and experiment with the available transducers, thanks to the microprocessor at their disposal. They shall write microprocessor code suitable for the exercises they are assigned. In the second part of the course, stand-alone devices, such as industrial manipulators and cameras, will be programmed with a high-level language (MATLAB).

The subjects treated during the course are:

  • microprocessor systems
  • digital and analog input/output peripherals
  • communication peripherals
  • timers and waveform generation with PWM
  • real-time software programming techniques
  • firmware development for elementary sensors and actuators
  • introduction to artificial vision
  • robot programming with proprietary software
  • robot programming with advanced software components (socket connection and trajectory generation via MATLAB)


Professors will guide students in implementing the practical laboratory experiences and the assigned exercises, with slides and classroom tutorials.

Suggested complementary texts are:

  • Carryer, Ohline, Kenny - Introduction to Mechatronic Desing
  • Monk – Practical Electronics for Inventors
  • Richard Szeliski - Computer Vision: Algorithms and Applications
  • Wilhelm Burger - Zhang's Camera Calibration Algorithm: In-Depth Tutorial and Implementation
  • Dibyendu Mukherjee, Q.M. Jonathan Wu, Guanghui Wang - A Comparative Experimental Study of Image Feature Detectors and Descriptors
  • Universal Robots - Manuale utente
  • Universal Robots – Manuale PolyScope
  • Universal Robot – The URScript Programming Language

Teaching methods

The course is mainly carried out with:

  • interactive laboratory sessions, where professors and tutors will guide the students in the use of the hardware/software at their disposal,
  • individual exercises that each group shall autonomously carry out in the classroom, with the help and assistance of professors and tutors,
  • home assignments.

The course is based on hands-on experiences, thus it is highly recommended to be present in the classroom (virtual participation may also be considered, but this will most certainly limit the student's ability to learn, and interact with his/her group).

Due to the laboratory nature of this course, all students are required to attend Modules 1, 2 and 3 about health and safety in study areas. Modules 1 and 2 can be attended online, wherease Module 3 has to be attended in class. Information about Module 3 schedule is available on the website of your degree programme.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists in preparing a laboratory report, with the procedures and the results of the assigned exercises. For each activity, the relevant code should be included in the report, and video material showing the physical results of the experiments should also be submitted for evaluation. Each group of students will submit a single report. Each student will also undergo an oral interview in order to assess his/her individual contribution to the group work.

Teaching tools

Teaching materials will be distributed through the virtual page of the course.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Marco Carricato

See the website of Edoardo Ida