EEEN325 (2023) - Robotic Engineering


This course presents the principles of robotic and mechatronic design, construction and control. It covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of integrating mechanical, electronic and software components.

Course learning objectives

Students who pass this course should be able to:

  1. Interface a variety of sensors and actuators to an embedded processor (BE Graduate Attribute 3(b), 3(f)).
  2. Understand and apply mechanical theory and practice in a mechatronic/robotic setting (BE Graduate Attribute 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 3(f)).
  3. Design and implement an integrated robotic system (BE Graduate Attribute 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e), 3(f)).
  4. Use a variety of rapid prototyping techniques to develop a proof-of-concept robotic system (BE Graduate Attribute 3(f)).
  5. Implement a robotic control system using appropriate machine learning techniques (BE Graduate Attribute 3(a), 3(c), 3(e)).

Course content

This course is designed for in-person study, and students are strongly recommended to attend lectures, tutorials and labs on campus. In particular, some assessment items or practical hands-on labs will require in-person attendance, although exceptions can be made under special circumstances.
Queries about any such exceptions can be sent to

Required Academic Background

Students should have microcontroller programming experience and an understanding of second year university electronics.

Withdrawal from Course

Withdrawal dates and process:


Hamish Colenso

Jim Murphy

Teaching Format

This course is a combination of theoretical material and the practical applications of that material.  As such, there is a combination of lectures (two per week), tutorials (approximately one per week) and three-hour laboratory sessions (one per week).  These will be delivered over the duration of a normal trimester.

Dates (trimester, teaching & break dates)

  • Teaching: 27 February 2023 - 02 June 2023
  • Break: 10 April 2023 - 23 April 2023
  • Study period: 05 June 2023 - 08 June 2023
  • Exam period: 09 June 2023 - 24 June 2023

Class Times and Room Numbers

27 February 2023 - 09 April 2023

  • Monday 16:10 - 17:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn
  • Tuesday 16:10 - 17:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn
  • Thursday 16:10 - 17:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn
24 April 2023 - 04 June 2023

  • Monday 16:10 - 17:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn
  • Tuesday 16:10 - 17:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn
  • Thursday 16:10 - 17:00 – 204, New Kirk, Kelburn


There are no required texts for this offering.

Mandatory Course Requirements

In addition to achieving an overall pass mark of at least 50%, students must:

  • Achieve an average grade of at least 40% over the two tests.
  • Achieve at least a D for the project.

If you believe that exceptional circumstances may prevent you from meeting the mandatory course requirements, contact the Course Coordinator for advice as soon as possible.


This course will be assessed through formative quizzes, laboratory exercises, two tests, two written assignments and a final practical design and implementation project.

Assessment ItemDue Date or Test DateCLO(s)Percentage
Test 1 (1 hour).week 8CLO: 1,2,315%
Test 2 (1 hour).week 12CLO: 1,2,315%
Four formative 10-minute quizzes (worth 1.25% each)weeks 3, 5, 7, 9CLO: 1,2,35%
Sensor and electronics assignment (10 hours).week 6CLO: 1,2,315%
Mechanical and robotic assignment (10 hours).week 11CLO: 1,2,315%
Laboratory exercises (30 hours).week 10CLO: 1,3,4,515%
Practical Robotic/Mechatronic design and implementation project (20 hours).week 12CLO: 1,3,520%


A 5% penalty per day an assessment item is late will be applied.


Requests for extensions should be made directly to the course lecturer responsible for that assessment item. The preferred mechanism is by direct email to either or

Submission & Return

It is preferred that assessment is either emailed as a pdf directly to the course lecturer responsible for that assessment item either or Alternatively, hard copies of the assessment may be handed directly to the course lecturer. Due to the small number of students in the course, we will NOT be using the automated submission system.
Normally assessment will be returned within 2 weeks of the hand-in date. However, should there be numerous requests for extensions, or some other mitigating factors, this may be delayed. Students will be informed of any such delays at the earliest opportunity.
Student submitted work may be used during the formal Engineering NZ re-accreditation visit to VUW scheduled for 2024, as part of the evaluation process for the programme.


The student workload for this course is 150 hours.

Teaching Plan

Communication of Additional Information

This course uses Nuku. Course materials and other information will be posted on Nuku. Students should check Nuku regularly.

Offering CRN: 34006

Points: 15
Prerequisites: EEEN 201
Restrictions: ECEN 301
Duration: 27 February 2023 - 25 June 2023
Starts: Trimester 1
Campus: Kelburn