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 (old ctrl module): being kept by Pete (can fail in the middle of the course, not the current best bet)
    • ER-1 (new ctrl module): need to write drivers for the new motor control module (seems more trouble than worth)
    • Richard's Pioneer? (Pete will use it for thesis work. Shouldn't plan on using it.)
    • JPL's Pioneer? (wait for Larry and Rob)
  • Server for simulation
    • Need to set up one in Richard's lab (check with Scott about current lab network conf)
  • 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