Assignment: Introduction

This assignment gives an introduction to our course and reviews some basic material you will need.

Please write your answers to be submitted in a PDF format. We reccomend LaTeX or MarkDown, however scanning legible handwriten answers is also acceptable.

When you are done, please email your answers to cs1951rheadtas@lists.brown.edu. The subject of the email shoud be [cs login] Assignment 1. The email should include the attachments

  • [cslogin]_hw1.pdf
  • collab_policy.pdf
  • safety_policy.pdf

Collaboration Policy

Please read and sign the collaboration policy for CS1951R. You must turn in the signed pdf with the assignment if you wish to be graded.

Safety Policy

Please read and sign the safety policy for CS1951R. You must turn in the signed pdf with the assignment if you wish to be graded.

Problem 1 (20 points)

Before you start putting a lot of time into this course, it is important to figure out what you will get out of the course. Think about what you expect to learn from this course and why it is worth investing a lot of time. What do you hope to learn that you can take away for the next ten or twenty years of your career?

I. What is a robot? What is a machine? What is a vehicle?
II. Is a car a robot? How is my drone a robot?
III. If I can fly a drone by remote, what can I get out of programming it?\

Problem 2 (20 points)

For this problem we strongly recommend you do these calculations by hand, because they are warmup questions designed to remind you of some of the prerequisite material for the class.

  1. Multiply the matrix by the following vector: $$\begin{bmatrix}1 & 0 & 1\\0 & 1 & 2\\0 & 0 & 1\end{bmatrix} \times \begin{bmatrix}0\\0\\1\end{bmatrix}$$

  2. Multiply the matrix by the following vector: $$\begin{bmatrix}0\\0\\1\end{bmatrix} \times \begin{bmatrix}1 & 0 & 4\\0 & 1 & 10\\0 & 0 & 1\end{bmatrix} $$



  3. Imagine a robot is at $$(0,0)$$. It uses a sensor to detect an object on a distance of $$10\mbox{m}$$ and a heading of $$45^{\circ}$$. Where is the obstacle relative to the robot? Give coordinates and draw your answer on a map.

Problem 3 (20 points)

Read the FAA website on Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Provide short answers to the following questions.

  1. What class of airspace is the area around the CIT? (You might find it easiest to use the B4UFLY Smartphone App.)
  2. What is the closest airport to the CIT?
  3. Is it okay to fly your drone outside the CIT? Why or why not?
  4. What are some risks of drone flight? How could people get hurt with the robot?

Problem 4 (20 points)

Pick a robot that was used to solve a real-world problem. You might choose the Baxter robot, the NASA Curiosity Rover, the Waymo robot, the iRobot Roomba or another robot of your choice. Answer the following questions about the robot you pick:

  1. What problem is the robot solving? Your answer should not reference the robot at all but talk about the problem that people had, why it was hard, and why it is important to solve it.
  2. How does the robot solve the problem? What changes does the robot make to the physical world to solve the problem?
  3. What sensors does the robot use to solve the problem? What does it need to know about its environment, and how does it find out?
  4. What actuators does the robot use to solve the problem? What does it need to change about its environment, and how does it change it?
  5. How well does the robot work to solve the problem? How is its performance evaluated?
  6. How does the robot fail? What happens when it fails?
  7. How much does the robot cost? For some robots these numbers may not be directly available; do some digging and try to find out. If you cannot find out, try to estimate the cost and explain the reasoning behind your estimate.

Problem 5 (20 points)

Read the The Law of Leaky Abstractions. How might this be especially relevant to robotics?

Think about some ways that implemented systems might not be true to their modeled behavior. How can we plan with abstractions despite these challenges?

Handin

When you are done, please email your answers to cs1951rheadtas@lists.brown.edu. The subject of the email should be [cs login] Assignment 1. The email should include the attachments

  • [cslogin]_hw1.pdf
  • collab_policy.pdf
  • safety_policy.pdf