Automation & Robotics Syllabus

Hampshire Unit School: A School of Applied Science & Natural Resources





COURSE NAME: Automation & Robotics                                                                              

Teacher: Stephen Kelley


Room #: 132                                                                                                                              



COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is a course in the series of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum. For more information, visit the PLTW website at     

After an introduction to the engineering design process students will use the Vex robotics platform to solve problems using automation and programming. The course is divided into five units as follows:

Unit 1.1 Introduction to Engineering

Unit 1.2 The Design Process

Unit 1.3 Automation and Robotics

Unit 1.4. Mechanical Systems

Unit 1.5 Automated Systems

This course builds knowledge and skills related to the following career clusters: 1) Architecture & Construction 2) Information Technology (IT) 3) Manufacturing 4) Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) 5) Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics.  The main software tool we will use, RobotC, is a powerful C-based programming application.  I have laptops in the classroom that will have this program on it for students to use.  Students will have to adapt to storing and moving their work around between different places (classroom laptop, flash drive, and PLTW website). Students are able to download and install the RobotC program at home for free if they wish. 

Standards in this course are aligned with Tennessee State Standards:  


SUPPLIES:                          Loose Leaf paper

                                    Mechanical or Wood Pencils

Blue or Black ink Pen

16 GB Flash drive



  1. All work should be turned in on the assigned due date with a name and title.
  2. Work turned in without a name will likely not receive credit.
  3. Work turned in after due date will be penalized 10 points per day late unless other arrangements are made previous to due date.
  4. Tests and quizzes missed due to absence will be made up within two class periods of absence.Missing class instruction time should be avoided as much as possible.
  5. All students should follow all class and safety rules to prevent injury or illness.
  6. Consequences for breaking these rules will result in immediate corrective action to prevent further violations of this sort.
  7. Behavior and initiative is factored with grades and this is subject to the teacher. Remember that this is your workplace and you are the employee.
  8. Prejudice, Racism, Discrimination or any type of Bullying will never be tolerated at any time. This is non-negotiable.




Learner Responsibilities: Assignments can be accessed through the PLTW website.  This course is basically paperless and all assignments will be turned in on the PLTW website. Depending on the assignment, the required turn-in documents may be a PDF or a photo.  Learners are more than welcome to work with paper pen and pencil, but all assignments will be turned in electronically.

There won’t be much homework in this class because of the specialized software and equipment we will use. But, assignments will have due dates. Please set up a planner section for the course so you can keep track of your work and plan accordingly.






            50%-  PROJECTS

            25%-  EXAM GRADE



PLTW: Automation and Robotics (AR) Course Outline

Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and computer control systems. Students use a robust robotics platform to design, build, and program a solution to solve an existing problem.


Lesson 2.1 What Is Automation and Robotics?... Laboratory Safety

Performance Objectives

  • Describe the purpose of automation and robotics and its effect on society.
  • Summarize ways that robots are used in today’s world and the impact of their use on society.
  • Describe positive and negative effects of automation and robotics on humans in terms of safety and economics.
  • Investigate a career related to automation and robotics and determine the requirements for entering the field.


Lesson 2.2 Mechanical Systems 

Performance Objectives

  • Investigate and understand various mechanisms to determine their purpose and applications.
  • Be able to apply their knowledge of mechanisms to solve a unique problem.


Lesson 2.3 Automated System

Performance Objectives

  • Design, build, wire, and program both open and closed loop systems.
  • Use motors and sensors appropriately to solve robotic problems.
  • Troubleshoot a malfunctioning system using a methodical approach.
  • Experience the responsibility of a mechanical, electrical and computer engineer through completion of robotic problems.



TESTING DATES:   All test dates will be provided to each student ahead of time. This includes Final Exam, Mid-Term and any daily test administered. Students shall make notes and remember these date for future reference.


PROJECT DUE DATES:   Projects will be given due dates related to depth of activity.  These dates and a grading rubric will be given at the beginning of each project.