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Department of Mechanical Engineering

Fundamentals of Robotics

Facing shortage of skilled workers and relocation of production to high-wage industrial countries, the demand for automation with industrial robots continues to grow. Knowledge of the various kinematic robot types, their advantages and disadvantages, the specific motion behavior of industrial robots and its mathematical description, the components of automation systems and, of course, aspects of safety are crucial for the proper design of robot systems. This course imparts the basic knowledge required to professionally configure robot cells for given tasks or to be able to assess their design.

Organizational Info (Winter term 2023/24)

  Lectures Excercises
Start October 20th 2023 tbd
Time Fridays, 10:15 to 11:45 Wednesdays, 14:15 to 15:45
Room HG 2/ HS 6 tbd
Lecturers / Tutors Jobst Bickendorf  
Moodle Link to the course  
Language English  

Content (according to module description)

This course covers the basics of automation and robotics and starts with different kinematic robot types, their properties and applications. It focuses robot kinematics including computation of rotations, usage of Denavit-Hartenberg-conventions to describe kinematic chains and the mathematical description of robot motions as used for robot simulation and control. It also provides basics of motion control and path planning, the systematic design of general handling systems, robot programming including teach-in, interactive and automatic offline-programming as well as robot hardware, accuracies of robot-based motions, aspects of safe robot-cell-design and safety equipment. These topics are discussed in lectures and trained in theoretical and practical tutorials.

After a successful completion of the module, students are able to describe and discuss the basics of robotics. They are able to solve mathematical problems related to robot motions and controllers. They are able to compare and evaluate different solutions for robot applications.

Some questions to be answered in the course:

  • Which different kinematic types of industrial robots do exist and what are their characteristics?
  • How can the position and path of a robot be calculated?
  • How can robot motions be programmed and controlled (basics)?
  • How can robot programming be improved by Simulation + Offline-Programming?
  • Which hardware components are needed for composing a suitable robot-based automation system for a given task?


J. C. Craig. Introduction to Robotics - Mechanics and Control, 4th Edition, Pearson, 2014.

S. Niku. Introduction to Robotics, Wiley, 2nd Edition, Wiley, 2011.

W. Weber. Industrieroboter, 3rd Edition, Hanser, 2017.

All books are available in the library (see The first and the last even as an E-Book.