Robotics Fundamentals

Robotics Fundamentals


Spring 2012
01/17/2012 - 05/13/2012

Course Information

Section 001
TTh 7:05PM - 9:45PM
RVSS 122
Kurt Nalty
(512) 223.6268

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term.

Course Requirements

Course Evaluation/Grading System

Test #1 - 20%
Test #2 - 20%
Test #3 - 20%
Test #4 (Comprehensive) - 20%
Homework and Laboratory Exercises - %20

Based on the total course score calculation above, your final course grade will be as follows:

A: 90-100
B: 80-89
C: 70-79
D: 60-69
F: Below 60

Spring 2012 Course Class Calendar

Test #1 - February 7
Test #2 - March 7
Test #3 - April 12
Test #4 - May 10


No book is required at this time.

Semester calendar/important dates


      January               February               March        
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa  Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa  Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                                1  2  3  4               1  2  3
                       5  6  7  8  9 10 11   4  5  6  7  8  9 10
      17 18 19 20 21  12 13 14 15 16 17 18  11  Spring Break  17
22 23 24 25 26 27 28  19 20 21 22 23 24 25  18 19 20 21 22 23 24
29 30 31              26 27 28 29           25 26 27 28 29 30 31
       April                  May               
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa  Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa  
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7         1  2  3  4  5                 
 8  9 10 11 12 13 14   6  7  8  9 10   
15 16 17 18 19 20 21  
22 23 24 25 26 27 28  
29 30                 
Classes begin January 17
Drop Deadline April 23
Classes End May 10

Test Dates
February 7
March 7
April 12
May 10


Course Outline/Reading Assignments

Handouts and technical manuals will be provided daily.

Course Subjects

Instructional Methodologies

Lecture and la b exercises will be the primary forms of instruction.

Course Outline/Reading Assignments

Class Day Date Topic Reading
1 T Jan 17 DC motors, Stepper Motors, Gearboxes. HDrive Electronics Scorpion Manual
2 Th Jan 19 Servo Motors, AC motors, Feedback  
3 T Jan 24 RF remote controls. FCC allocations. Crystal Controlled Radio. Spread Spectrum.

Vex manuals.

Spektrum Manuals

4 Th Jan 26 Batteries. Cameras. Suspensions  
5 T Jan 31 Remote control robot construction  
6 Th Feb 2 Remote control robot construction  
7 T Feb 7 Test #1  
8 Th Feb 9 Semi-autonomous Robots and microprocessors  
9 T Feb 14 Rabbit board  
10 Th Feb 16 Rabbit board  
11 T Feb 21 Rabbit board  
12 Th Feb 23 Parallax board of education  
13 T Feb 28 Parallax board of education  
14 Th Mar 1 Arduino  
15 T Mar 6 Arduino  
16 Th Mar 8 Test #2 Spring break follows
17 T Mar 20 Fanuc Industrial Robots
Teach pendant programming
LR-mate manuals
18 Th Mar 22 Linear motion
End of arm tooling
Vacuum system
19 T Mar 27 Joint motion versus linear motion  
20 Th Mar 29 Speeding things up . . .  
21 T Apr 3

Safety interlocks
Program transfer
Network communications

22 Th Apr 5 Palletization Routines
PLC communication and control
23 T Apr 10 HMI - PLC interfacing  
24 Th Apr 12 Test #3  
25 T Apr 17 P5000 Frog Motor control with Arduino  
26 Th Apr 19 P5000 Frog Motor control with Arduino  
27 T Apr 24 Parker Table with Computer Control  
28 Th Apr 26 Parker Table with Computer Control  
29 T May 1 Asyst / Mitsubishi control with Arduino/ PC  
30 Th May 3 Asyst / Mitsubishi control with Arduino/ PC  
31 T May 8 Asyst / Mitsubishi control with Arduino/ PC  
32 Th May 10 Test #4 (Final Exam)  

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

Course Rationale:
This robotics course introduces students to both industrial robots and remote
operated vehicle robots. Technicians working with robots need to understand
robot mechanics, sensing and control methods, and programming, using teach
pendants as well as conventional programming techniques.

Common Course Objectives/Student Outcomes:
Describe the history of robotics and its impact on production and the labor
force; define the term "robot" and describe general characteristics; explain
the physics of robot motion and use different teaching pendants; and describe
the characteristics of different types of robot control systems, and end-of-arm

course policies


Attendance is expected and is considered when determining the final grade for this course.  You cannot develop the proficiency required for this course just studying the textbook.  Lectures may include material not covered in the textbook.  At my discretion, I may withdraw students who have three or more unexcused absences.   If you cannot attend a particular class session, please discuss the conflict with me in advance (in person, via phone or email).



If circumstances arise such that you cannot complete this course, it is to your advantage to drop the class by the deadline to avoid getting an unsatisfactory grade on your permanent school record. Students or instructors may initiate withdrawals anytime during the semester before the official withdrawal deadline. Please note that the state of Texas limits students to a maximum lifetime count of six (6) withdrawals.

The last day to withdraw is April 23.

Students may be withdrawn from the course by the instructor for non-attendance.  However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to initiate the withdrawal process if they are unable to attend or complete their coursework as required.  Failure to withdraw by the established deadline will result in a grade of A, B, C, D, or F, based on the students recorded performance in the course.

Withdrawal forms are available from campus Admissions and Records offices.

Courses from which you withdraw will appear on your record as a grade of W.



A student may receive a temporary grade of I (incomplete) at the end of the semester only if the following conditions are satisfied:

     The student is unable to complete the course during the semester due
     to circumstances beyond their control.  

     The student must have earned at least half of the grade points needed
     to earn at least a C by the end of the semester.

Arrangement for an incomplete must be made with the instructor.

A Report of Incomplete Grade form must be completed by the instructor and filed with the Program Coordinator.

To convert the incomplete I into a grade, the student must submit for grading all work required to complete the course to the instructor by a date specified by the instructor within the next immediately following semester, but absolutely no later than 2 weeks prior to the end of the semester.  Incompletes not completed by the date specified automatically become a letter grade of F for the course.

Scholastic Dishonesty

Acts prohibited by the College for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work. Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research or self-expression.  Academic work is defined as, but not limited to tests or quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper, projects, either individual or group, classroom presentations, and homework.

Cases of suspected cheating or plagiarism will be reported directly to the Program Coordinators office.  College policies will be strictly followed regarding the investigation of suspected cases and punishments if warranted.  If you are unsure about the line between collaboration and cheating, feel free to talk to me before it is too late.

Student Discipline Statement

Classroom behavior should support and enhance learning. Behavior that disrupts the learning process will be dealt with appropriately, which may include having the student leave class for the rest of that day. In serious cases, disruptive behavior may lead to a student being withdrawn from the class. ACC's policy on student discipline can be found in the Student Handbook, 2002-2003, p. 32.

Academic Freedom

Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class. In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical thinking, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints. These differences enhance the learning experience and create an atmosphere where students and instructors alike will be encouraged to think and learn. On sensitive and volatile topics, students may sometimes disagree not only with each other but also with the instructor. It is expected that faculty and students will respect the views of others when expressed in classroom discussions.

Classroom Conduct

Cellular phones and pagers are disruptive to the class and should be turned off or made inaudible during lecture.

Interpersonal skills are critical to both working with peers and leading others.  It is expected that you will be respectful of the opinions and property of others, be aware of and responsive to the effect of ones behavior on others; and, work with others to resolve problems.

You are encouraged to work together on lab exercises as collaboration and teamwork are important skills to learn.  Working on these exercises, as well as studying together for exams, are good opportunities to develop the ability to collaborate.  Ensuring that others within a group pull their weight is also a skill to be learned.  However, exams, quizzes, laboratory write-ups, and homework assignments are strictly the individuals responsibility.

Office of Students with Disabilities Statement (OSD)

Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities.  Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.

For more information, visit:

Testing Center Policy

This course cannot use the testing center.

wecm/scans/cip information

WECM - Workforce Education Course Manual

Texas WECM Description and Objectives

Course Description:  An introduction to flexible automation. Topics include installation, repair, maintenance, and development of flexible robotic manufacturing systems.

End-of-Course Outcomes:  Describe the history of robotics and its impact on production and the labor force; define the term "robot" and describe general characteristics; explain the physics of robot motion and use different teaching pendants; and describe the characteristics of different types of robot control systems, applications of robots, and end-of-arm tooling.

SCANS - Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills

SCANs Competencies:

Acquires & Evaluates Information
Organizes and Maintains Information
Applies Technology to Task
Maintains & Troubleshoots Technology
Problem Solving
Seeing Things in the Minds Eye

CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity.

CIP CODE Area: 15.0405

departmental addendum

Degree Audit

Students in the electronics department who are seeking a degree or certificate in any speciality, should visit with the electronics student advisor, Vidal Almanza, (RVS Campus, Bldg. G, Student Services, (512) 223-6404; if they haven't already for a degree audit.


All electronics students must check their ACC gmail regularly throught the semester. We will be sending pertinent information about scholarships, the course scheduling needs survey, job opportunities, MSDNA software program, career fairs, special events, and the like through the student GMail system.

Declare Major

All degree and certificate seeking students should declare their major at the Admissions and Records Office if they have not done so already.