Have you ever driven a car? If not, have you ever sat in a car? Tried to avoid getting hit by a car while walking across the street? Tried to design a car?

This course will explore some of the issues around this classic and familiar example. (although this material and the underlying theory can be applied to many domains, including medical devices, aerospace engineering, biologicial systems, and others)

It is not your typical course on automatic controls. While we will achieve a high level of rigour in the theory and analysis of classical and modern feedback control, we will focus on design issues centered around the interaction between humans and autonomy and/or the interactions between autonomous systems and other autonomous systems. The development of, for instance, linear quadratic regulation (or estimation) will be grounded in familiar case studies.

Intended Learning Objectives

  1. Design controllers using state-space methods and analyze using classical tools.

    1. Indicate the robustness of your control design

    2. Linearize a nonlinear system, and analyze stability

  2. Design automated planning and perception systems

    1. Centralized planning

    2. Decentralized planning

    3. Sharing of information

  3. Understand impact of implementation issues

    1. nonlinearity, delay, noise

    2. human usage and interactions

    3. interactions with physical systems and other autonomy

Expectations and Policies

  • Graduate students will do all the work of the undergraduates,

    • plus additional problems on homework sets and

    • short class project due at the end of the semester

  • Honor code; some assignments may be collaborative


Class Date Topic Lecture Notes
1 17 Jan Controls & Introduction
2 22 Jan Automation Feedback and Control
3 24 Jan Dynamic Systems
4 29 Feb Stability and Performance
5 31 Feb Optimal Control
6 5 Feb Motion Planning 1
7 7 Feb Motion Planning 2
8 12 Feb Workshop Day
9 14 Feb Perception
10 19 Feb Inference and Prediction
11 21 Feb Games
14 26 Feb Review
15 28 Feb Exam
5, 7 Mar Spring Recess
16 12 Mar Humans & Autonomy Motivating Examples
17 14 Mar Human-Automation Interaction
18 19 Mar Humans as Transfer Functions
19 21 Mar Human Supervisory Control
20 26 Mar Human Supervisory Control
21 28 Mar Interactive Robotics
22 2 Apr Humans as Disturbance
23 4 Apr Presentation 1
24 9 Apr Interactions in Autonomy Motivating Examples
25 11 Apr Stability
26 16 Apr Inference and Prediction
27 18 Apr Hierarchical Control
28 23 Apr Decentralized Control
29 25 Apr Robot Swarms
30 30 Apr Presentation 2
TBD Final Exam