ME132a TA-Instructor Meeting, Winter 2011

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This page is used for facilitating discussion between the instructors and TAs of ME/CS 132a (Winter 2010). Please note that the content of this page is open to the public.

Course Preparation

Course Organization

  • Homework
    • How many: 1/week
    • Due date: 1 week later.
    • How to turn in: Shuo's mail box and/or Andrea's email address
    • Office hours: Instructors -- 303 TOM, TA -- TBD
  • Web page, mailing list
    • Where to set up the web page: Murray Wiki redirected from IMSS
    • Upload: by TA
    • Access: solutions -- Caltech only, others -- open to the public
    • Mailing list:,
  • Honor code
    • Collaboration policy: wait for Larry (cf. CDS_101/110a,_Fall_2008)
    • Use of other materials: other than solutions from past and/or other courses
  • Textbooks/references
  • Prerequisites: check with Richard & Joel, linear algebra, basis prob and stat.
  • Programming skills: TBD


  • Which robots we are going to use (ER-1 from Joel's lab vs Pioneers from JPL)
    • ER-1: there is some maintenance to do. The unit I was using summer had a motor controller failure. We have bought the replacement, but haven't installed yet (it is not a 5 minute thing, as the software driver has changed, so there will be a little tinkering required).
    • New ER-1: new motor control module has player/stage interface?
  • Server for simulation (Joel's?)
    • All students have the same username/password?
    • If yes, directory naming rules?
  • Sensors:
    • SICK: should be enough
    • Stereo cameras: should be enough
  • Laptops
    • Need a Firewire ports
  • Software stack.
    • What interface/drivers do you want people to work with? (player, ROS, ...)
    • What would be the format for data files? (HDF, carmen, ...)
  • Labs organization
    • For example, the first lab assignment: Should I give them a charged robot with installed drivers, and let them write the software to collect the log? Or should I write all the software and let them collect the log? Is this done as a group (all the students together), as many small groups, or once for individual students?
    • First test on a simulator
  • Matlab vs. Python