David Feil-Seifer[File-Cypher]
Assistant Professor, Computer Science & Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno
email: dave (at) cse (dot) unr (dot) edu
phone: (775) 784-6469
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CS 791x: Robotics for Humanity

Course Info

Date/Time: TTh 4-5:15pm
Location: SEM 201
Instructor: Dr. David Feil-Seifer (dave@cse.unr.edu)
Office Hours: TWTh 2:30-3:30pm

Objectives: Students who take this class will:

Gain a knowledge of basic robotics fundamentals such as: sensing, navigation, planning, and tele-operation. Understand how basic robotics concepts are applied to understanding Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). Learn and apply research methods commonly used in the HRI field. Read and evaluate scientific literature to determine follow-up areas for research exploration and constructively criticize experiment design. Understand basic robotics programming concepts using a robotics control framework widely used in the field. Complete a group research project extending a current robotics capability or studying a new facet of Human-Robot Interaction.

Course Guidelines:


The final grade will be made up of:


There are no set pre-requisites for this course. However, programming skills will be required for the class projects, so it is not recommended to take this class if you have no programming experience.


The best etiquette, especially for projects, is to plan ahead. Make sure that you have all the resources you need before you start working. Get your code done as quickly as possible and set realistic goals for your project. When you encounter difficulties ask your other group members or other groups before asking the instructor. Remember, there are far fewer instructors than there are groups. However, do not hesitate to ask when you get stuck.
Etiquette for in-class discussions are clear. Try not to interrupt. Do not state the same point over and over again. Speaking more does not necessarily mean a good discussion grade. Speaking well does. Do not interfere with other people adding to the discussion or monopolize the discussion.


Paper Critiques:

At the beginning of each lecture, students will submit a critique of each of the papers discussed during that lecture. This critique must be constructive in nature. If an aspect of an experiment design or analysis is questioned, the critique must include a potential remedy. If there is no questionable aspect of a particular paper, then the critique must provide a unique follow-up question inspired by the results of the paper. Critiques should be 1-2 pages in length for each paper.

Paper Presentations:

Each paper will be presented by the students in class. Students will be assigned papers based on preference and availability.


Each week will feature a classroom discussion regarding the papers. Students are encouraged to discuss issues arising in their critiques of the relevant papers. Participation in this discussion will be graded. Quantity is far less important than quality. As with the critiques, constructive comments will be prized over simply saying “This method is not good.”

Research Project:

Students will submit group research projects. Groups up to 4 people will be allowed. The final milestone of this project is a short (6-8 page) paper summarizing the motivation, approach, and results of the project. Project timeline is as follows:

Academic Honesty Policy

Class Conduct:

A student may be dropped from class at any time for negligence or misconduct, upon recommendation of the instructor and with approval of the college dean. Students may also be dropped for non-attendance upon indication of the instructor.
Academic dishonesty is against university as well as the system community standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:


Unit I - The Science of HRI, Fundamentals:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8 (out of town)

Week 9 - Project Presentations

Week 10 - Spring Break

Week 11 - Project Presentations

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16