Project Humanoid Robot Syllabus

Details of the paper pattern have been updated!
Scroll down to the end of the page.

The test will be held on Sunday 10/2/2013 at M-1-4 (Mechanical Dept.) at 10:00am
MAKE SURE YOU BRING YOUR OWN PAPER TO WRITE THE TEST!

Vision:  
           Our goal is to start a culture in college to apply what we learn in theory to make real life applications. We want the students to be able to understand the practical applications of engineering to develop new innovative products. 
           Humanoids are one of the most versatile and advanced robots you can think of. Being a part of this project you will get a chance to study all the aspects of Robotics including: Robot Design, Fabrication, Control Systems, Image Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks, Embedded Systems, Mechanism Synthesis and anything which you dream of!

Aim:
To develop a universal 2-feet Humanoid Robot to participate in International Robot Olympics Competition: RoboGames 2014 in USA and FIRA 2015 INDIA, continue the development in the coming years to participate with bigger and better robots!

Formation of Team:
This is for all the 2nd Years of VNIT from all branches, who are interested in programming / electronics / machine design / etc. You have a once in a life time opportunity to be a part of the team who will develop the first-of-a-kind humanoid robot and represent the country in International Robot Olympics.

There are following 2 phases of selection:
1. Written Test on 4th February 2013
2. Personal Interview

The test will consist of these 4 sections:
1. Micro-Controller Programming and Basic Electronics
2. Mechanical Design and Kinematics
3. Image Processing
4. Computer Programming and Algorithms

To be a part of the team you can be a Jack of all trades or Master of One! 
It will really help if you have done projects or taken part in competitions/techfests related to your topic.

FAQs:
I am really interested and talented but don’t have experience in Robotics, What do I do?
Don’t worry for people like you; we are declaring specific topics along with the sources from which you can learn about it. So select the topic in which you are interested (can be one of the 4 or more) and start preparing for the test. You can still make it if you start working from now!

What will not been seen?
Marks, Pointer or any academic performance is not required to be a good engineer; all you need is knowledge, dedication and interest!

Syllabus:

No matter which topic(s) you are appearing for, you should read about basics of humanoid robots:
Computer Programming and Algorithms
Refer to Keskar Sir's Notes from computer science dept. (If you are from a different dept. you can borrow them and ask any friend to explain the concepts; wont take more than a day or two). Questions will test your basic ability to develop efficient algorithms. So you can practice on online websites like:
CodeChef/Stack Overflow/etc. 

Image Processing:

Questions will be based on the following:
  • Application of C/C++ programming language 
  • Use of some Matlab Toolbox
  • Basics of Image processing
    • Colour detection
    • Noise Reduction
Some Useful links :
For Image Processing :
For Matlab:
For Opencv :
  • The most amazing blog ever: http://www.aishack.in/ 
  • “OReilly Learning OpenCV “ pdf which contents all basic functions of opencv.
Sample Questions:
 Q1. Suggest the method, to locate the exact position and orientation of your bot in the  frame/Images? Explain briefly about the factors which you considered while developing the logic.
 Q2. Use Computer Vision Toolbox/Image processing toolbox  for real time colour detection ?

Mechanical Design and Kinematics:

  • You need to be familiar with all the concepts learnt in TOM I. Try to read from RATAN or Thorat sir's Notes (Available on DC or from any 3rd/4th year Mech.)
  • The link below contains the online course on Introduction to Robotics by Stanford University. This is basically 3-dimensional TOM. Mechanical Students will have a DE(Elective) on exactly this course in the 5th SEM. So it will really help you to learn from these lectures. For the purpose of the test the questions will only be asked on Frame Allocation and Forward Kinematics. Which is covered in the First 5 Lectures on:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yD3uBshJB0You can also refer to the book Introduction to Robotics by Mittal and Nagrath.
  • Read and Search about the methods used to balance humanoid robots. Questions will be asked on Static/Dynamic Balancing using ZMP/Linear Inverted Pendulum. Search google for the same. Here is a source I found useful:
    Tutorial on Basics of Bipeds by Kirill Van Heerden
  • (You should do this only if you have already learnt all the above things) It will benefit if you know any CAD modelling software because you will be working on development and simulations of various types of design. For this you can download solidworks form DC++ in college and look at the tutorials on www.solidworks.com
Basic Electronics:
A humanoid robot robot uses a lot of sensors such as FSRs, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer (All under IMU), Ultrasonic sensors, etc. You should have the basics knowledge about what protocol these sensors give output in; Like UART/PWM/Analog/etc. You should read about all the sensors required for the humanoids (study Darwin-op and Nao properly). 
Lastly you should learn how to integrate these sensors to a micro-controller. 
Here is a good link to learn the basics of an accelerometer:

Details of the Paper:

  • The test will be open-book you can carry any test books/notes to the examination. But no laptops or cellphones will be allowed.
  • The question will be logical and not theoretical. You wont be asked to write programs. Focus on the algorithms and pseudo code.
  • Make sure you read about humanoid robots (such as Darwin-op, Nao Robot) Remember this is a test for the humanoid robotics team and not to test your theory so your focus should be on how the topic applies on humanoid robots. Eg. if you are preparing for micro-controllers you should read where and how MCUs are used in humanoids ie. servo control, ADC for sensors, etc.
  • Tips for "Mechanical Design and Kinematics Section":
    • One question will be asked on various methods of balancing. About the pros and cons of each.
    • In one question a robot will be given and you will be asked to do the frame allocation calculate the 0TTransformation matrix so bring your calculators.
    • One sum may be asked on systhesis of fourbar mechanism.
    • Basic questions of TOM.


If you have any doubts, leave a comment below or mail me.
All the best!

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