BME 467: Biomedical Robotics

Quarter Offered

Winter : MW 5:00-6:20 ; Mussa-Ivaldi


Purpose: The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with a broad perspective on robotic concepts and technologies applied to (and inspired by) themes of biomedical research and practice. The course is also intended to introduce some of the main specific computational foundations of Robotics technology.

Format: The course is divided in two parts. In the first part there will be a series of formal lectures on the principles of robot planning, dynamics and control followed by a midterm project involving the simulation of a robotic controller in Matlab. The purpose of the lectures is to provide the students with a sufficient mathematical basis for focusing on specific applications. The second part will consist in a series of topic seminars. Each topic will be introduced by the lecture of an expert. Then, students will be divided in groups. Each group will read one or more article and organize brief presentations/discussions

Overview – Foundations of robotics technologies and biomedical applications

Who takes it?

Graduate students in the BME and ME programs and seniors with good mastery of basic algebra and ordinary differential equations.


Lectures in the first part wil be on:
  • Rigid Motions, Homogeneous transformations
  • Forward/Inverse Kinematics
  • Jacobian, redundant motions and singularities
  • Forward/Inverse Dynamics
  • Force/Motion Control
A typical list of subjects to be introduced and discussed in the second part is:
  • Physical human-robot interaction
  • Issues in the Control of Prosthetic Limbs
  • Surgical Robots
  • Biomimetic systems
  • Neuro-Rehabilitation Robotics
  • Simulation of musculoskeletal systems

Required Class Materials

Siciliano, B., Sciavicco, L. Villani, L . and Oriolo, (2009) “Robotics. Modelling, Planning and Control”, Springer. The text is available online for NU students and faculty. Go to The entire text is downloadable

Suggested Class Materials

Topic articles will be distributed in the second part of the course
Evaluation Methods Students will be evaluated based on
a) 4 Homework assignments in the first part of the course (5% each)
a) A midterm project in which they will have to write and comment a computer simulation related to one of the robotics topics presented in the first part of the course (30% )
b) Their active participation to the second part of the courses, where students are request to present research articles on specific robotic applications. (20% of final grade)
c) Final exam. Each student will prepare a final written report and will present/discuss it in the class (30% of final grade)