The resources given in this page aim at providing supplementary study materials in the fields of robotics. The articles are substantiated with codes in Mathematica, a symbolic computation tool, wherever possible. Most of the articles are part of the courses taught at IIT Madras, in particular ED5260, which is a course in kinematics, dynamics, and control of serial manipulators.

Additional links to other valuable resources have also been provided for further reference.

Note: Mathematica is required to view the notebook code files (.nb). However, some codes have been converted to computational document format (.cdf), which is free to use. CDF player can be downloaded from




1. The Concept of Degrees of Freedom

The article shows how the DoF of a mechanical system can be described starting from a system of points.



2. Introduction to the Inverse Kinematics of Serial Manipulators

The article gives a basic introduction to position analysis of serial manipulators. Emphasis is laid on the inverse kinematics. Simple examples, such as a planar 2-R and a spatial 3-R serial robot, are discussed in detail. Related concepts, including the number of solutions to the inverse kinematics problem, condition(s) for coincidence of the solution branches leading to singularities, the workspace boundaries as the loci of singular configurations etc. are presented. Multiple approaches to the same problem are included.

PDF (Notes on inverse kinematics of serial manipulators)        

2-R planar Mathematica notebook file (.nb)  

2-R planar demonstration CDF file (.cdf)

Please note: Mathematica is required to view .nb files. However, .cdf files can be viewed using CDF player, which is free to use.


Books and References


Text Books


Introduction to Robotics: mechanics and Control, 3rd. Edition, by John J. Craig
ISBN-13 9788131718360


Published first in 1985, this book remains one of the most popular globally at the under-graduate level. It is a good book for a beginner, with a nice coverage of all the fundamentals required as this level.


Robotics: Fundamental Concepts and Analysis, 1st. Edition, by Ashitava Ghosal
ISBN-13 9780195673913


This book is very good for those who are looking for building a sound foundation in the mechanical aspects of robotics. It also has some introductory materials on mobile robots, flexible manipulators. It is among very few books which introduce parallel manipulators at a senior under-graduate/graduate level, and it strongly recommended for anyone willing to pursue a research career in robotics.


Introduction to Robotics, 1st. Edition, by Subir Kumar Saha
ISBN-13 9780070669000


This is also a good book for the under-graduate students, with graduate-level materials on selected topics, mostly in the area of dynamics. The book also covers some topics related to robotics projects, such as sensors and actuators, and has a number of sample codes on various topics.




Online References


NPTEL course "Robotics: Advanced Concepts and Analysis", by Prof. Ashitava Ghosal.


The lecture notes complement the book by the same author nicely.




Software developed by a team in IIT Delhi under the guidance of Prof. Subir Kumar Saha. It is a free tool, which is excellent for the visualisation of motions of a number of serial robots, and for learning some important concepts, such as the physical meaning of Denavit-Hartenberg parameters. One can also perform forward and inverse kinematic and dynamic simulations in this tool.


MIT's open courseware


MIT's "Open Courseware" site offers a number of courses on robotics. It also includes a simple search bar to locate such courses.


An IEEE-sponsored initiative for aiding distance-learning of robotics- has materials posted by a number of faculty members across the globe.




A site dedicated to parallel manipulators!


Dr. Jean-Pierre Merlet's website


Dr. Jean-Pierre Merlet's website in INRIA is a treasure-trove of extremely valuable information, including a searchable bibliographic database having more than 15,000 reference.