Robotic Manipulation and Interaction

Robotic Manipulation and Interaction

This course is an introduction to the field of robotics, focusing on dynamics and grasping and manipulation. It covers the fundamentals of kinematics, dynamics, and control of robot manipulators, robotic vision, and sensing. 

Course Content

The course is a sequel to EE 106A/Bioengineering C125 and EE206A which covers kinematics, dynamics and control of a single robot. This course will cover dynamics and control of groups of robotic manipulators coordinating with each other and interacting with the environment including people. Concepts will include an introduction to grasp modeling with friction, grasp planning, and Dex-Net a data driven approach to robust robot grasping and manipulation based on a data set of 3D object models that currently includes over 10,000 3D object models and 2.5 million parallel-jaw grasps.. The course will also cover constrained manipulation, perception guided manipulation, including concepts of holonomy and non-holonomy. Throughout, we will emphasize design and human-robot interactions and applications in manufacturing, service robotics, and locomotion.


This course will be taught in a seminar style, with homework, three small projects/labs, and a final project.  All submissions will go through GradeScope, which you all should have been added to.  A piazza page has been created for students to discuss homeworks and projects.  Note that there will be no exams in this course.

The required text is Richard Murray, Zexiang Li and S. Shankar Sastry: "A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation" (first edition digitally available here). Additional lectures will cover active perception and recent advances in grasping and robotics complete with guest lectures, and may require additional reading.  

If you need disability-related accommodations in this class, if you have emergency medical information you wish to share with us, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please inform us immediately. Please see the professor or GSIs privately after class or in the office.

Course Information


Day Time Instructors Location
TuTh 9:30am-11:00am

Ruzena Bajcsy 

Shankar Sastry

247 Cory



Day Time Instructors Location
Wed 9:00am-10:00am Jeff Mahler 521 Cory
Wed 10:00am-11:00am Jeff Mahler 299 Cory



Role Name email Office Hours
Professor Ruzena Bajcsy bajcsy@eecs.berkeley TuTh 1:00-2:00pm  719 SDH
Professor Shankar Sastry sastry@coe.berkeley By Appointment
GSI Jeff Mahler jeff.b.mahler@gmail Mon 9:30-11:00am  212 Cory

Note that appointments can be made with any of the instructors or GSIs, if needed.


There will be five homeworks with the following tentative due dates:

Assignment Posted Date Due Date
HW 1 01/24/17 02/02/17
HW 2 02/03/17 02/16/17
HW 3 02/17/17 03/02/17
HW 4 03/03/17 03/16/17
HW 5 03/17/17 04/06/17

All late homeworks will be assessed a penalty, 20% per day past the original deadline. 


The lab in 119 Cory is open for use for the mini-labs/projects and the final project. The robots/hardware will be shared.  Reserve time on the calendars below.

Time-share calendars:

Robot Calendar
Baxter link
UR5 link
Hand link


Grading Break Down

Homework  20%
Lab 1 15%
Lab 2 15%
Lab 3 15%
Final Project 35%


Lecture Schedule

Lecturer Key:

  • RB = Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy
  • SS = Prof. Shankar Sastry
  • KG = Prof. Ken Goldberg
  • AD = Prof. Anca Dragan
  • JM = Jeff Mahler
  • SK = Sanjay Krishnan

Most resources such as slides and related papers can be found in the "Files-Lectures" section.

Lecture    Date Topic Lecturer Notes and Additional Resources
1 01/17/17    Introduction RB
2 01/19/17 Review of Rigid Body Motion RB MLS Chapter 2
3 01/24/17 Review of Manipulator Kinematics RB MLS Chapter 3
4 01/26/17 Robot Dynamics RB MLS Chapter 4, Sections 2 & 3
5 01/31/17 PD Control SS
6 02/02/17 Trajectory Tracking SS MLS Chapter 4, Section 5
7 02/07/17 Holonomy vs Non-holonomy RB Vijay Kumar Slides, UPenn
8 02/09/17 Hybrid Position / Force Control RB Asada Slides
9 02/14/17 Constrained Manipulation RB MLS Chapter 4, Section 6
10 02/16/17 Intro to Grasping SS

11 02/21/17 Robust Grasping KG Orienting Polygonal Parts without Sensors, Algorithmica 1993

12 02/23/17 Grasp Quality Metrics JM

MLS Chapter 5, Sections 2 & 3

Carlo Ferrari & John Canny, "Planning Optimal Grasps"

Suarez et al., "Grasp Quality Measures"

Nguyen, "Constructing Force Closure Grasps"

Scribed Lecture Notes

13 02/28/17 Grasp Planning I RB

MLS Chapter 5, Section 4

Springer Handbook of Robotics Chapter 28: Grasping

Antonio Bicchi, "On the Closure Properties of Robotic Grasping"

Prof. Goldberg's Handwritten Lecture Notes

Scribed Lecture Notes

14 03/02/17 Grasp Planning II RB
15 03/07/17 Cooperative Grasping I SS
16 03/09/17 Cooperative Grasping II SS
17 03/14/17 Cooperative Grasping III SS
18 03/16/17 Tactile Perception & Hand Dynamics I AB
19 03/21/17 Tactile Perception & Hand Dynamics II RB
20 03/23/17 Coordinated Lifting of Rigid Objects RB
21 04/04/17 Elasticity I RB
22 04/06/17 Elasticity II RB
23 04/11/17 No Lecture N/A
24 04/13/17 Special Topics: Active Perception RB
25 04/18/17 Special Topics: Dexterity Network JM
26 04/20/17 Special Topics: Algorithmic HRI AD
27 04/25/17 Special Topics: Cloth Cutting SK
28 04/27/17 Final Project Presentations N/A


Course Summary:

Date Details Due