Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics

WS 2016 / 2017

Prof. Dr. Katja Mombaur

katja.mombaur (at)


Tuesday & Thursday  9:15 - 10:45
starting Oct 18, 2016
Mathematikon INF 205, Seminar room C, ground floor

Programming exercises

time of exercises t.b.d in first lecture
CIP-Pool, Mathematikon 

Silvan Lindner, silvan.lindner (at)

Objectives of lecture:

  • To give an application oriented introduction to modeling, optimization and control of mechanical systems with a focus on complex multibody systems in robotics and biomechanics.
  • To introduce computational tools to perform these tasks and apply them to examples in the computer exercises.


While the lecture focuses on the theoretical and mathematical foundations of the field, the computer exercises serve to teach the usage of software tools for modeling, visualization, simulation and optimal control treating different example problems.

  • Dynamic process modeling
  • Mechanical basics, kinematics, dynamics
  • Multibody system modeling
  • Simulation of motions
  • Nonlinear optimization
  • Direct methods for optimal control problems
  • Elementary control principles
  • Basics of system dynamics
  • Open-loop and closed loop control of motions
  • Modeling human-like walking and running motions
  • Modeling locomotion of humanoid and bipedall robots
  • Stability of motions

Contents of the computer exercises:

  • Simulation and visualization of mechanical systems
  • Modeling multibody system with RBDL (Rigid Body Dynamics Library)
  • Implementation and solution of optimal control problems with MUSCOD-II for different mechanical example systems.


Lecture topics in WS 2016/17:


Oct.18, 2016Introduction & overview
Oct 20, 2016Research topics in ORB / thesis topics
Oct 25, 2016Dynamic process modeling
Oct 27, 2016Modeling mechanical systems 1
Nov 3, 2016Modeling mechanical systems 2
Nov 8, 2016Multibody kinematics 1
Nov 10, 2016Multibody kinematics 2
Nov 15, 2016Multibody dynamics 1
Nov 17, 2016Multibody dynamics 2



K. Mombaur,
Last Update: 18.10.2016 - 08:55

The photographs in the header of this webpage have been taken at the Musee de l'Automate in Souillac, France