COMPGX02 - Robotic Control Theory and Systems

This database contains the 2017-18 versions of syllabuses.

Note: Whilst every effort is made to keep the syllabus and assessment records correct, the precise details must be checked with the lecturer(s).

Year MSc
Prerequisites None
Term 1
Taught By Stephen Hailes (100%)

The students will gain insight into robotics and autonomous systems control theory and practice, specifically:

  • Control loops. damping, feedback and stability analysis with a working understanding about how these are used for navigating a robot within an environment;
  • Insight into developing a working prototype of a control system for a robot that solves a specific task.
Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module should understand

  1. Control systems for robots 
  2. Control sensitivity and feedback problems
  3. Optimization of controllers
  4. Programming with Matlab or Python or C++ and ROS


The aim of this course is to provide the basic theory required for solving control problems in robotics and autonomous systems from a practitioner's point of view.

The course presents theory and methodology for analysis and modelling of systems and signals, and methods for design and synthesis of feedback controllers. Special emphasis is placed on:

  • Control of systems with multiple inputs and outputs.
    • Fundamental control performance and sensitivity and robustness in feedback systems.
  • Synthesis of controllers through optimization.
    • Predictive control with constraints.

In all cases, a theoretical treatment in lectures will be accompanied by corresponding practical exercises in either simulation or reality, in which students can exercise their skills.

Method of Instruction

The module is delivered through a combination of lectures and lab classes.


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Written Examination (2 hours, 50%);
  • Coursework Section (3,000 words and 1,000 lines of code split into weekly milestones, 50%).

To pass this course, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 50% for all sections combined.


Reading list available via the UCL Library catalogue.