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Syllabus for

Academic year
FFR125 - Autonomous agents  
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-13 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPCAS
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 42 - APPLIED MECHANICS

The course is closed for further enrolments
Teaching language: English
Maximum participants: 40

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0199 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   3,0 c 4,5 c   15 Mar 2016 pm M,  Contact examiner,  Contact examiner

In programs



Professor  Mattias Wahde


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic mathematical and programming skills are required. It is an advantage, but not absolutely necessary, to be familiar with Matlab. Some background concerning microcontrollers is advantageous, but not a requirement.


The course aims at giving the students an understanding of design principles for autonomous systems, both robots and software agens, and also gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in practice through the construction of a simple autonomous robot.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After successfully completing the course, the student will be able to:

Understand and describe basic properties of robotic hardware, including sensors, actuators and microcontrollers.
Describe the basics of animal behavior (ethology) and its connection to robotic behaviors.
Understand the basics of behavior-based robotics and evolutionary robotics.
Set up and use basic kinematic and dynamic equations for robot motion.
Define and set up computer simulations of wheeled autonomous robots (using a simulator provided by the lecturer).
Define and set up evolutionary simulations for the optimization of robotic control systems (using a simulator provided by the lecturer).
Understand and apply basic methods for behavior generation and behavior selection in autonomous robots.
Understand the basics of utility theory and its application in robotic behavior selection.
Understand and describe the basics of swarm intelligence and agent-based economics.
Construct and use a simple autonomous robot.


The contents of the course are as follows

Theory of autonomous robots: Kinematics and dynamics, behavior-based robotics, Evolutionary robotics,   utility theory, behavioral economics, theory of rational decision-making
behavior selection in autonomous robots, simulation of autonomous robots, robot construction and use.


The course extends over two quarters. In the first part of the course, the theory is covered in 14 lectures. In the second part, a robot construction project is carried out (in groups of 5-6 students). In the final weeks of the course, the constructed robots are applied in a variety of simple tasks.


Lecture notes and handouts


The examination consists of several parts: An exam, two home problems, and a demonstration of the results from the robot construction project.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.