Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione
Insegnamento 093217 - ROBOTICS AND DESIGN
Docente Bonarini Andrea
Cfu 5.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento


Robots have been mentioned as the next techological devices we will have in our homes, after PCs and cell phones.
The robotics industry faces many of the same challenges that the personal computer business faced 30 years ago. This is the vision of the future offered by Bill Gates [1] who argues that the robotics industry is on the cusp of a big expansion. “The level of excitement and expectation reminds me so much of that time when Paul Allen and I looked at the convergence of new technologies and dreamed of the day when a computer would be on every desk and in every home… I can envision a future in which robotic devices will become a nearly ubiquitous part of our day-to-day lives.” A robot in every home!
Now, a challenge is enabling robots to quickly sense and react to their environments. Recent decreases in the cost of processing power and sensors are allowing researchers to tackle these problems. Another challenge is to become more and more friendly and useful to the humans. This could be the main opportunity for a new skilled robot designers. The design of a robot plays a key role in its diffusion, and requires a strong interaction among people working on technical aspects (sensors, actuators, programming) and people developing aspects more related to the design tradition, such as: shape, usability, interaction.


This course aims to provide an overview and insight into the many aspects of actually designing and building a robot, including mechanics, electronics, programming, sensors, physical computing and human-computer interaction. Through the collaboration between teachers and students coming from both the Industrial and Information Engineering School and the Design School, this course is aimed at developing interdisciplinary competences to design mobile devices such as robots.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi


By the end of the course, students will have learned to:

  • understand how robots could be designed.
  • combine electronics, mechanics and design in order to create expressive robots.
  • critically investigate the choices of design to arrive at the best solution considering content and context.
  • use electronic sensors, actuators and related software.
  • be fluent in the current issues concerning the design of robots.

Creative & Critical Thinking

By the end of the course, students will have learned to:

  • respond to a design brief by resolving programmatic, formal and functional demands
  • reinforce critical design explorations with ideas/precedents and foundations that build up complexity
  • acquire a firm understanding of the problems and needs of robots design challenges and the manners in which they may be addressed.


By the end of the course, students will have learned to:

  • work in multidisciplinary teams in a time-scheduled context
  • convincingly communicate design concepts
  • engage design-specific knowledge and vocabulary
  • speak about personal design ideas with confidence and present ideas in a structured and convincing way

Argomenti trattati


The course is based on the actual implementation of a robot according to a detailed brief that will be published on the web sites of the course (http://www.phycolab.polimi.it/attivita-didattica/robotics-design-8-ed/ and http://home.deib.polimi.it/bonarini/Didattica/RoboticsAndDesign.html).


The course is mostly based on a learning-by-doing approach and it is organized on a SPECIAL SCHEDULE that includes lessons and periods of supported team activity in the AI and Robotics laboratory (AIRLab) at the Department of Electronics, Information, and Bioengineering and in the Lab Prototypes of teh Department of Design .

  1. 5 FULL DAYS: in these full days (8 hours) theory and practice about theoretical bases of Robotics, human-robot interaction, robot making (including mechanics, sensors, electronics microprocessors (e.g., Arduino)) will be exploited. Each aspect will be presented and then tested on real robots that will be designed and implemented in interdisciplinary groups. Each group will acquire basics needed to design and implement prototypes.
  2. In the mean time and in the following weeks, groups will be free to work in the labs, where teachers and other people will support them in the development of their first full, working prototype, which will be evaluated by the beginning of June.
  3. 1 half day on May: First design of the robots will be presented by each group, together with the results of the first experimentations, and discussed with the tutors.
  4. 1 half day on June: Robots are presented, delivered, and left to the evaluators for the final evaluation with end users.

Each student/group could work autonomously in the periods between these three moments.


All students must include the course in their study plan and ALSO fill the form available from the web site of the course (either http://www.phycolab.polimi.it/attivita-didattica/robotics-design-8-ed/ or http://home.deib.polimi.it/bonarini/Didattica/RoboticsAndDesign.html). Missing anyone of these two actions may prevent the access to the course.


Collaborative work is essential to design aand implement a robot: team work will take place during in this course The number of components will be defined by the staff considering the background of each student and differentiating as much as possible the competences present in the group.


Attendance and participation is an important aspect of the learning process, and you are expected to attend ALL the days, although exceptional motivations to skip some hours could be accepted.


You should expect to spend approhimately 125 hours on this course, corresponding to 5 CFU, including both scheduled class time and independent activity.


Students may have to provide at least some materials and equipment as needed for the completion of required work. The expected contribution from each student may be up to about €50.


Student are responsible for ensuring their work is uploaded to the course web site on time and in the required format, and the working prototype delivered to the teachers.

For further information students may contact the teachers: Andrea Bonarini (andrea.bonarini@polimi.it) or Maximiliano Romero (maximiliano.romero@iuav.it)

The official site of the course, updated with tips, movies and materials is http://www.phycolab.polimi.it/attivita-didattica/robotics-design-8-ed/, and from there are available also the sites of the previous editions of the course.


No specific competence is needed, except the ones expected for students starting either a Design, or Industrial and Information Engineering (Computer Engineering, Automation, Electronics, Telecommunication, Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, ...) master track.

Modalità di valutazione

The final product of each group will be evaluated by considering both the quality of the product, the documentation, and  the input from final users and other members of the group.

The final evaluation of the course will consider both the functional,  aesthetic, and technological results, as well as the behavior of the robot in the final test.

There will be a public presentation of the final products, and the evaluation will take into account the audience opinion.

The assessment will be based on these criteria:

  • The creativity with which the assignment was met
  • The mastery of the technical challenges of the project
  • The coherence of the design concept and realization
  • The degree to which a variety of design concepts were explored to arrive at the result
  • The expressiveness of the final project
  • The quality of the presentation of the project
  • The idea – and the degree to which it engages its audience

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaSlides will be available from the BEEP page of the course together with bibliographic suggestions http://beep.polimi.it

Software utilizzato
Nessun software richiesto

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 50:00 75:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese
schedaincarico v. 1.8.3 / 1.8.3
Area Servizi ICT