University of California at Berkeley
Dept of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences

CS 287: Advanced Robotics, Fall 2019

Fall 2015 offering (reasonably similar to current year's offering)
Fall 2013 offering (reasonably similar to current year's offering)
Fall 2012 offering (reasonably similar to current year's offering)
Fall 2011 offering (fairly similar to current year's offering)
Fall 2009 offering (not particularly closely matched to current year's offering)

Professor: Pieter Abbeel
TAs: Ignasi Clavera, Laura Smith, Huazhe (Harry) Xu
Lectures: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am-12:30pm in 306 Soda Hall
Office Hours:
Posted on Piazza: here
Communication: Piazza is our primary digital channel for communication about the course. To sign up, go to the Piazza website and sign up with "UC Berkeley" and "CS287" for your school and class.


Assignments, Midterm, and Final Project Schedule (subject to change)

Assignment policy

Final Project

The final project could be either of the following, where in each case the topic should be closely related to the course: Ideally, the project covers interesting new ground and might be the basis for a future conference paper submission or product. You are encouraged to come up with your own project ideas. Course staff can also help brainstorm and shape ideas in office hours.

Logistics and Timeline


Class Goals


Syllabus and materials

Slides are made available as the semester progresses.

Tentative schedule (subject to change):

Lecture Topic Readings Optional/Additional Readings
Th Aug 29 Course Introduction (slides)
Tu Sep 3 MDPs: Exact Methods (slides) Sutton and Barto, Reinforcement Learning, Chapters 3 and 4
Th Sep 5 Discretization of Continuous State Space MDPs (slides) Moore and Atkeson, 1993, Munos and Moore, MLJ 2001,
Tu Sep 10 Function Approximation / Feature-based Representations (slides) Chow and Tsitsiklis, 1991, Gordon, 1995, Tsitsiklis and Van Roy, 1996, Kushner and Dupuis, 1992/2001,
Th Sep 12 LQR, iterative LQR / Differential Dynamic Programming (slides)
Tu Sep 17 Unconstrained Optimization (slides) Boyd and Vandenberghe, Chapters 9-11
Th Sep 19 Constrained Optimization (slides) Nocedal and Wright, Chapter 18
Tu Sep 24 No Lecture
Th Sep 26 Optimization-based Control: Collocation, Shooting, MPC (basics/foundations) (slides)
Tu Oct 1 Optimization-based Control: Collocation, Shooting, MPC, Contact-Invariant Optimization (advanced) -- Igor Mordatch (slides)
Th Oct 3 Motion Planning: RRT, PRM, Trajopt, 3-d poses (slides) Steven M. Lavalle, Motion Planning, Chapters 5, 14, RRT*, Karaman and Frazzoli, LQR trees, Tedrake
Tu Oct 8 Probability Review, Bayes Filters, Multivariate Gaussians (slides)
Thu Oct 10 Kalman Filtering, EKF, UKF -- Ignasi Clavera (slides) From Gauss to Kalman, Julier and Uhlmann, the UKF
Tu Oct 15 Smoother, MAP, Maximum Likelihood, EM, KF parameter estimation (slides)
Th Oct 17 Particle Filters -- Wolfram Burgard (slides)
Tu Oct 22 POMDPs (slides)
Th Oct 24 INDUSTRY: Jur van den Berg and/or Sachin Patil Ike (no slides)
Tu Oct 29 Imitation Learning -- Laura Smith (slides)
Th Oct 31 RL1: Policy Gradients (slides)
Tu Nov 5 RL2: Off-policy RL (slides)
Th Nov 7 RL3: Model-based RL (slides)
Tu Nov 12 How do simulators work? (slides)
Th Nov 14 no lecture (midterm at night)
Tu Nov 19 Sim2Real -- Josh Tobin (slides)
Th Nov 21 INDUSTRY: Drago Anguelov waymo (no slides)
Tu Nov 26 INDUSTRY: Adam Bry/Hayk Martirosyan (no slides)
Th Nov 28 Happy Thanksgiving!
Tu Dec 3 Backstories behind how some papers came about (no slides)
Th Dec 5 Autonomous Helicopters and Course Wrap-Up (slides)
Week of Dec 9-13 Project Presentations

Related materials

Most relevant book for estimation: There is no direct match for other lectures, but here are some related resources: