Design of Electromechanical Robotic Systems

A long slim white hull sits in a cradle, with PVC/Styrofoam pontoons extending to the sides, and a solar panel and periscope assembly sitting on top.

An energy-harvesting autonomous vessel built by students in Fall 2009 to operate in the Charles River. It's based on a Wheeler model sailboat hull, augmented with two pontoons for stability, two thrusters, and a 5W solar panel. Instrumentation includes a sonar range sensor, a camera, GPS, compass, and a computer for control. (Photo by Franz Hover. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number

2.017J / 1.015J

As Taught In

Fall 2009



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

This course covers the design, construction, and testing of field robotic systems, through team projects with each student responsible for a specific subsystem. Projects focus on electronics, instrumentation, and machine elements. Design for operation in uncertain conditions is a focus point, with ocean waves and marine structures as a central theme. Topics include basic statistics, linear systems, Fourier transforms, random processes, spectra, ethics in engineering practice, and extreme events with applications in design.

Franz Hover, and Harrison Chin. 2.017J Design of Electromechanical Robotic Systems, Fall 2009. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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