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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC1406 Communications for Robotics

10 creditsClass Size: 140

Module manager: Dr. S.A. Zaidi

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2021-22. In particular, if conditions allow for alternative formats of delivery, we may amend the timetable and schedule appropriate classes in addition to (or in place of) any online activities/sessions. Where learning activities are scheduled to take place on campus, it may be possible and/or necessary for some students to join these sessions remotely. Some of the listed contact hours may also be optional surgeries. Students will be provided with full information about the arrangements for all of these activities by the module staff at the beginning of the teaching semester.‘Independent online learning’ may involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or mini-projects, etc. Students will be expected to fully engage with all of these activities. The time commitment for independent online learning, and also the frequency and duration of online sessions are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.Where assessments are shown as Online Time-Limited Assessments, the durations shown are indicative only. The actual time permitted for individual assessments will be confirmed prior to the assessments taking place.


Communications is an essential element of robotics systems. This module covers the underpinning principles of communications and their application to robotics, as appropriate for students in the first year of a programme of study with a focus on robotics. The module gives students an introduction to the basic building blocks of modern communication systems. It introduces familiarity with the technical concepts of both wired and wireless communication networks and their application to remote control of robotic systems.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Describe the operating principles of a limited range of communication systems and networks, including communication channels (wired and wireless), analogue and digital signals, the radio spectrum, basic modulation and coding techniques.
2. Identify the basic modules of a typical communications system and classify the performance of various communications systems.
3. Apply mathematical and computational methods to analyse communications signals and functions.
4. Implement a simple digital communications link and apply test and measurement equipment to analyse the system performance.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Fundamentals of communications: information and the basic properties and classification of signals, continuous and discrete systems, analogue and digital signals, sampling and quantisation, advantages/disadvantages of digital communication
Introduction to signal processing concepts, amplifiers and filters
Communication paradigms, and their application to robotics and the Internet-of-Things
Fundamentals of signal transmission: concept of the physical layer, bits and symbols, binary and m-ary transmission, basic line codes, compression and error correction
Networks and the Internet: protocol stack overview, local area vs wide area, application layer, publish/subscribe protocols, streaming protocols, communication transport protocols, medium access protocols, random access vs scheduled access
Fundamentals of radio propagation and spectrum management, principles of modulation, bandwith, channel capacity, introduction to frequency, time and code-division multiplexing

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning51.005.00
Independent online learning hours11.00
Private study hours72.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate their understanding of course materials, to undertake preparatory work for seminars, workshops, tutorials, examples classes and practical classes, and also to prepare for in-course and summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students studying ELEC modules will receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, including the use of self-test quizzes on Minerva, practice questions/worked examples and (where appropriate) through verbal interaction with teaching staff and/or post-graduate demonstrators.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins20.00
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/06/2021 16:47:29


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