Explore robot anatomy, control and behaviour through a set of simulated tasks
Robots today are roving Mars, hoovering our floors, building cars and entertaining us in films. And, if you share Stephen Hawking’s world view, the super intelligent ones may one day bring about the end of the human race.
If you’d like to find out more, but don’t have Hawking’s brain or an advanced qualification in cybernetics, this course is for you. You won’t require a soldering iron, but you’ll explore the basics of robot design, control and behaviour through a series of simulations that will have you test driving an ERIC – our very own University of Reading mobile robot.
What topics will you cover?
- An introduction to robotics from a cybernetic perspective
- Overview of different types of robots and their application
- History of robotics
- Introduction to the robot simulations used in the course
- Problem solving: commanding a mobile robot to move
- A description of the components of a robot – sensors, actuators, ’brain’ and power supply
- An understanding of different sensors, their operation and application
- A description of motors, and how their velocity is set, and other robotic actuators
- Problem solving: commanding a robot to achieve tasks on the basis of sensor information
- Feedback for control and human-machine interaction
- An explanation of feedback control of steering and speed in robots and in other applications such as balance, temperature and damping oscillations
- Simple mathematical modelling of robots and different forms of control strategies
- Human-Computer Interaction: feedback, including haptics
- Problem solving: commanding a robot to follow a path
- Feedback for Learning and robot: robot interaction
- An appreciation of neuron based brains through Braitenburg vehicles
- Robot learning by trial and error
- Multiple robots and artificial life, relating to biological processes
- Problem solving: commanding a robot to traverse a maze
When would you like to start?
Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more
Who is the course for?
This course explores the basics of robotics. It doesn’t assume any prior knowledge and you don’t need to own your own robot to take part.
This course includes video content and other visual teaching methods. As such, blind and visually impaired students may need a helper.
Please be aware that this course contains video clips that include sequences of flickering/flashing lights which might affect learners who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.
Scampi (pictured above) is a 28 gram walking robot created by Robotics student Rory Mangles and is mostly made of paperclips.
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