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

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge: “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." 
It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:  

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.