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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5460M Aerial Robotics

15 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Professor Robert Richardson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undergraduate expertise in basic electronics, mechanical design, mechanics and dynamics. Experience of using 3D modeling software such as Solidworks. Experience of simulation and analysis software such as Labview or Matlab

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Aerial robotics is an emerging discipline that uses aerial robots to perform robotic tasks such as picking, placing and manipulating objects. The technology is set to have a profound impact on society from delivering packages to watering crops and inspecting and repairing building structures etc.


This module will introduce the topic of aerial robotics and provide the foundations to be skilled in their design and control, as well as operational aspects such as ethical & legal considerations.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:

1. have a broad understanding of the challenges when developing aerial robots;
2. have experimental experience of the use of drones
3. be practiced in creating feasible concepts for new engineering devices;
4. be practiced in modelling the interaction of system components;
5. be practiced in designing controllers for systems;
6. be practiced in the analysis of systems through simulation;
7. be experienced reading and critically analysing research publications;
8. be experienced in writing in the style of research publications.

Upon successful completion of this module the following Engineering Council Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP) learning outcome descriptors (fourth edition) are satisfied:

9. Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed. (M3)
10. Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems. (M4)
11. Design solutions for complex problems that evidence some originality and meet a combination of societal, user, business and customer needs as appropriate. This will involve consideration of applicable health and safety, diversity, inclusion, cultural, societal, environmental and commercial matters, codes of practice and industry standards. (M5)

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills:
Time management
Planning & organising
Problem solving & analytical skills
Computer aided Design


1. Intro to Kinematics, Dynamics and modelling
2. Sensors and actuators
3. Structures
4. Control design
5. Simulation
6. Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Structures, Loads, Weights (Including Payload)
7. Stability, Control and Handling Qualities
8. Performance and Flight Mechanics
9. Sizing and Trade Studies
10. Autonomy, Path Planning and Motion Planning
11. Design Procedures
12. CAA Rules, Drone rules, Governing Laws, Drone Operation Procedures
13. The Ethics of aerial robotic design & Environmental Impact
14. The impact of UAVs and their application on the environment, economy and society

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours117.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback given during practical sessions and after first summative report.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group Project.40.00
ReportProject Report60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

An individual assignment will be offered as a coursework resit which will cover the group element of the learning outcomes of the module.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:16:42


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