Have you ever driven a car? If not, have you ever sat in a car? Tried to avoid getting hit by a car while walking across the street? Tried to design a car?

This course will explore some of the issues around this classic and familiar example. (although this material and the underlying theory can be applied to many domains, including medical devices, aerospace engineering, biologicial systems, and others)

It is not your typical course on automatic controls. While we will achieve a high level of rigour in the theory and analysis of classical and modern feedback control, we will focus on design issues centered around the interaction between humans and autonomy and/or the interactions between autonomous systems and other autonomous systems. The development of, for instance, linear quadratic regulation (or estimation) will be grounded in familiar case studies.

Intended Learning Objectives

  1. Design controllers using state-space methods and analyze using classical tools.

  2. Indicate the robustness of your control design

  3. Linearize a nonlinear system, and analyze stability

  4. Understand impact of implementation issues

    1. nonlinearity, delay, noise

    2. human usage and interactions

    3. interactions with physical systems and other autonomy

Expectations and Policies

  • Graduate students will do all the work of the undergraduates,

    • plus additional problems on homework sets and

    • short class project due at the end of the semester

  • Honor code; some assignments may be collaborative


Class Date Topic Lecture Notes
1 21 Jan Controls Introduction
2 26 Jan Feedback and Control
3 28 Jan Dynamic Systems 1
4 2 Feb Dynamic Systems 2
5 4 Feb Linear Time-Invariant Models
6 9 Feb Stability
7 11 Feb Performance
8 16 Feb Workshop Day
9 18 Feb State Space Methods
10 23 Feb Linear Quadratic Regulator
11 25 Feb Linear Quadratic Estimator
14 1 Mar LQG, Robust Stability
15 3 Mar Exam
8,10 Mar Spring Recess
16 15 Mar Humans & Autonomy Motivating Examples
17 17 Mar Human-Automation Interaction
18 22 Mar Humans as Transfer Functions
19 24 Mar Human Supervisory Control
20 29 Mar Human Supervisory Control
21 31 Mar Interactive Robotics
22 5 Apr Humans as Disturbance
23 7 Apr Presentation 1
24 12 Apr Interactions in Autonomy Motivating Examples
25 14 Apr Stability
26 19 Apr Inference and Prediction
27 21 Apr Hierarchical Control
28 26 Apr Decentralized Control
29 28 Apr Robot Swarms
30 3 May Presentation 2
TBD Final Exam