ENME 489L - Bio-Inspired Robotics

3 Credits



J.J. Craig. Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control. Prentice Hall; 3rd edition, 2003

Supplemental Materials:

  • G. A. Bekey. Autonomous Robots. MIT Press, 2005
  • Karl Williams. Amphibionics: Build Your Own Biologically Inspired Reptilian Robot. McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics, 2003
  • David Cook. Robot Building for Beginners. Apress, 2002
  • Some software to complete assignments is accessible through the Virtual Computing Laboratory (http://eit.umd.edu/vcl)
  • Use of software (such as Matlab or Mathematica) is also permitted to assist in the development of handwritten or word-processed solutions.
  • Students will be provided with the hardware they need for their projects.
  • Students will be able to work with the hardware at home.
  • Students will be able to utilize machine shop resources for their projects.
  • The Advanced Manufacturing Lab (JMP 1110) will also be available at the end of the semester for final debugging of projects.


ENME 351


This is an elective course that teaches engineers about designs discovered in the natural world that can be successfully exploited to create engineered artifacts. Over the last several years, engineers have come up with many new robot designs that are based on biological entities. These new designs offer significant benefits over the traditional robot designs. This course covers the fundamentals and applications of biologically inspired robots.


At the end of this course, students will have the following primary knowledge:
  • Fundamentals of Traditional Robots
  • Fundamentals of Biologically Inspired Robots
  • Design and Fabrication of Biologically Inspired Robots


  • Homogenous Transformations
  • Forward Kinematics
  • Inverse Kinematics
  • Velocities and Jacobians
  • Robot Dynamics
  • Trajectory Generation
  • Legged Locomotion
  • Body Undulation Based Locomotion
  • Actuators and Sensors
  • Robot Programming

Learning Outcomes 

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Class/Laboratory Schedule 

Two 75 min lecture sessions per week.

Last Updated By 
Hugh Bruck, June 2017