University of Florida

ABE 6005
Applied Control for Automation and Robotics

Semester Taught - Spring, odd years

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

Introduction to industrial controls, programmable logic controllers, and manipulator application programming in agricultural and biological engineering. Kinematics, dynamics and control strategies for serial link manipulators in agricultural applications.


EML 5311, equivalent, or consent.

Course Objectives

To introduce students to common industrial control equipment and practices for agriculture, and food production automation applications. To provide students with a solid theoretical background in robot kinematics, dynamics and controls. To provide students with practical laboratory exercises in PLC programming, robot programming, and relay logic based controls.


Dr. Tom Burks
Frazier Rogers Hall, #225
Phone: 352-392-1864 ext. 225

Class Materials Required


  • Robot Modeling and Control, M.W. Spong, S. Hutchinson, and M. Vidyasagar, John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2006.

Recommended Text

  • Robotics for Bioproduction Systems, N. Kondo, and K.C. Ting, ASAE, St. Joseph, MI. 1998.
  • Mastering Simulink, J. B. Dabney, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. 2004.
  • Electrical Motor Controls, G. Rockis, ATP, Homewood, IL. 2001


A 94-100%
A- 90-93%
B+ 87-89%
B 80-86%
C+ 77-79%
C 70-76%
D 60-69%
E <60%
Grading Method Percentage
Homework 40%
Research Presentation I (cover topic in literature) 10%
Research Presentation II (cover topic relevant to student’s research) 10%
Technical Projects 40%

  1.  There will be approximately 8 homework assignments from the text.
  2. Each student will give a 15 to 20 minute class presentation on a controls topic relevant to
    the class.
  3. Each student will give a 15 to 20 minute class presentation on a controls topic relevant to
    their research interest.
  4. The student will work on several potential projects during the semester, such as
    1. Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) application
    2. Fanuc Manipulator programming
    3. Robotics Toolbox Simulation Project
    4. MATLAB & Simulink modeling of Robot control
    5. Robot Pic and Place Problem

Field Trip: An effort will be made to organize a field trip to an industrial facility, where automation technologies have been implemented.

Academic Honesty

All students admitted to the University of Florida have signed a statement of academic honesty committing themselves to be honest in all academic work and understanding that failure to comply with this commitment will result in disciplinary action. This statement is a reminder to uphold your obligation as a UF student and to be honest in all work submitted and exams taken in this course and all others.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide the student with documentation that he/she must provide to the course instructor when requesting accommodation.

Use of Library, Personal References, PC Programs and Electronic Databases

These items are university property and should be utilized with other users in mind. Never remove, mark, modify nor deface resources that do not belong to you. If you're in the habit of underlining text, do it only on your personal copy. It is inconsiderate, costly to others, and dishonest to use common references otherwise.

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

UF Counseling Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

  1. University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling;
  2. Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal counseling;
  3. Center for Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery and Education (CARE), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual assault counseling;
  4. Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.