Stark and his colleagues across the University of Applied Sciences Augsburg integrated MathWorks products into interdisciplinary course work in engineering and computer science.
In the Programming with MATLAB course, a prerequisite for robotics courses, students use MATLAB® to complete exercises on arithmetic operations, graphics, program structure, and event-driven software.
The robotics courses are based on MRobot™ Controller software developed by Stark. Written in MATLAB, this software enables students to test their algorithms against a simulation model of a robot. The MRobot Controller software comprises several software components that are integrated by MATLAB, applying the Component Object Model (COM) interface.
In Robotics with MATLAB, a course based on Stark’s book of the same name, students use MATLAB and the MRobot Controller software to program and test robot applications.
Later, they develop kinematic models in MATLAB and implement controller software that plans and interpolates robot motion trajectories. These trajectories are calculated by applying spline interpolation using Curve Fitting Toolbox™.
Students in the Intelligent Robotic Systems course learn how to integrate sensors and implement image processing algorithms for robotic control using MATLAB. In one assignment, they write a MATLAB algorithm that processes data from a 3D camera and detects cuboids, spheres, and cylinders placed in front of the camera. They then use MATLAB plotting capabilities to display a model of the object.
Later in the course, students develop control algorithms for sensor-guided robot motion. Stark uses Simulink® to design and optimize the feedback control systems.
Finally, in the research-oriented lab CIM and Robotics, students use MATLAB to design and implement advanced control systems for robots, in cooperation with industrial partners.
Several of Stark’s advisees are using MATLAB to complete their thesis projects. Two are working on real-time robotic control systems developed entirely in MATLAB, while another is using MATLAB to develop a robot that walks on two legs.