Skip to main content

Syllabus for Robot Mechanics and Control, Part II


This course provides a mathematical introduction to the mechanics and control of robots that can be modeled as kinematic chains. Topics covered include the concept of a robot's configuration space and degrees of freedom, static grasp analysis, the description of rigid body motions, kinematics of open and closed chains, and the basics of robot control. The emphasis is not on the latest research trends and technological innovations in robotics, but on learning the fundamental concepts and core principles that underlie robotics as a scientific discipline. The intent is to help students acquire a unified set of analytical tools for the modeling and control of robots, together with a reliable physical intuition that recognizes the unique and interdisciplinary nature of robotics|in short, content that will serve as a reliable foundation for whatever trends may appear later, and remain relevant to both the practitioner and researcher. This course is the second of two parts of Robot Mechanics and Control. Part I covers the following topics: robot configuration space and degrees of freedom; static grasp analysis; rigid body motions; forward kinematics based on the Denavit-Hartenberg parameters. Part II covers the following topics: screw motions; the product of exponentials formula for forward kinematics; velocity and static analysis; kinematic singularities; inverse kinematics; closed chain kinematics; and the basics of robot control.


This course is intended as a junior-level engineering course, and as such employs concepts from linear algebra and differential equations, and the physics of three-dimensional veloc- ities, forces, and moments that one would normally learn in the first two years of a typical science or engineering undergraduate curriculum. For those who have not taken Part I of the course, an understanding of rigid body motions and forward kinematics as covered in a more traditional robotics course is sufficient for taking Part II of this course.

course Instructor

Frank Chongwoo Park received his B.S. in electrical engineering from MIT in 1985, and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1991. From 1991 to 1995 he was assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Since 1995, he has been professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Seoul National University. His research interests are in robot mechanics, planning and control, vision and image processing, and related areas of applied mathematics. He has served on the editorial boards of the Springer Handbook of Robotics and Advanced Tracts in Robotics (STAR), Robotica, and the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. He has been an IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Lecturer, is a fellow of the IEEE, and the current editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

course text

Lecture notes for the course will be distributed on a weekly basis.


Students will be evaluated based on a midterm and final examination. Weekly homework assignments will also be distributed, with solutions made available a week after assignment.