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 Slides | YouTube Topic Optional Readings
Th Aug 29 slides | youtube Course Introduction
Tu Sep 3 slides | youtube MDPs: Exact Methods Sutton and Barto, Reinforcement Learning, Chapters 3 and 4
Th Sep 5 slides | youtube Discretization of Continuous State Space MDPs Moore and Atkeson, 1993, Munos and Moore, MLJ 2001,
Tu Sep 10 slides | youtube Function Approximation / Feature-based Representations Chow and Tsitsiklis, 1991, Gordon, 1995, Tsitsiklis and Van Roy, 1996, Kushner and Dupuis, 1992/2001
Th Sep 12 slides | youtube LQR, iterative LQR / Differential Dynamic Programming
Tu Sep 17 slides | youtube Unconstrained Optimization Boyd and Vandenberghe, Chapters 9-11
Th Sep 19 slides | youtube Constrained Optimization Nocedal and Wright, Chapter 18
Tu Sep 24 No Lecture
Th Sep 26 slides | youtube Optimization-based Control: Collocation, Shooting, MPC (basics/foundations)
Tu Oct 1 slides | youtube Optimization-based Control: Collocation, Shooting, MPC, Contact-Invariant Optimization (advanced) -- Igor Mordatch
Th Oct 3 slides | youtube Motion Planning: RRT, PRM, Trajopt, 3-d poses Steven M. Lavalle, Motion Planning, Chapters 5, 14, RRT*, Karaman and Frazzoli, LQR trees, Tedrake
Tu Oct 8 slides | youtube Probability Review, Bayes Filters, Multivariate Gaussians
Thu Oct 10 slides | youtube Kalman Filtering, EKF, UKF -- Ignasi Clavera From Gauss to Kalman, Julier and Uhlmann, the UKF
Tu Oct 15 slides | youtube Smoother, MAP, Maximum Likelihood, EM, KF parameter estimation
Th Oct 17 slides | youtube Particle Filters -- Wolfram Burgard
Tu Oct 22 slides | youtube POMDPs
Th Oct 24 n/a | n/a INDUSTRY: Ike (self-driving trucks) Jur van den Berg and/or Sachin Patil
Tu Oct 29 slides | youtube Imitation Learning -- Laura Smith
Th Oct 31 slides | youtube RL1: Policy Gradients
Tu Nov 5 slides | youtube RL2: Off-policy RL
Th Nov 7 slides | youtube RL3: Model-based RL
Tu Nov 12 slides | youtube How do simulators work?
Th Nov 14 no lecture (midterm at night)
Tu Nov 19 slides | youtube Sim2Real -- Josh Tobin
Th Nov 21 n/a | n/a INDUSTRY: Waymo: Drago Anguelov
Tu Nov 26 n/a | youtube INDUSTRY: Skydio (drones): Adam Bry/Hayk Martirosyan
Th Nov 28 Happy Thanksgiving!
Tu Dec 3 n/a | youtube Backstories behind how some papers were originated and came together
Th Dec 5 slides | youtube Autonomous Helicopters and Course Wrap-Up Abbeel, Coates, Ng, IJRR 2010, videos and data
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: