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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds [BEEPING] So now, we’ve got a couple of obstacles in the way. And can the robot work to that? He is pushing that one out of the way because it can’t see it. It’s pushing that one as well. [BEEPING] So we’ve now got three ERICs in here where we’ve added a bit more stabilisation. And he’s lost a wheel. Hey! [LAUGHING] Now, you can see how you can easily reassemble your ERIC. [BEEPING] Gave that a little bit of extra stabilisation in the form of a little bit of cardboard, which works quite well until one rams into another and knocks it over.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds [BEEPING] Here, we have the ERICs using their infrared sensors to work out how close– [LAUGHING] [BEEPING] Is he going to see the gap? Yay! It’s going– [LAUGHING] [BEEPING] And here, I do my Animal impression. [LAUGHING] [BEEPING] So watch this. [SNAPPING SOUND] [LAUGHING] [BEEPING] In some ways, R2 is more sophisticated than our robots. For instance– R2-D2. [LAUGHING] [BEEPING] [ELECTRONIC BEEPING] It makes a noise. [ELECTRONIC BEEPING] [ROLLING] Woah! [LAUGHING] [WHEELS TURNING] [BEEPING] [WHEELS TURNING] [LAUGHING] He’s still going. He’s still going. [BEEPING] In some ways, R-2 is more sophisticated than our robots. [ELECTRONIC BEEPING] Because it responds– [LAUGHING] You got it. Keep going. Keep going. [BEEPING] [ELECTRONIC BEEPING] Oh! [LAUGHING] [BEEPING] And earlier, we filmed him in the laboratory obeying our commands.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 seconds [ELECTRONIC BEEPING] Yes, we did. [LAUGHING] [ELECTRONIC BEEPING] [BEEPING] And Baxter is designed to interact with humans, and we shall show in this little demonstration. If I get close enough, Baxter will see me using his ultrasonic sensors. And we’ll work from there. Go close enough. [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING] Holds out his hand. I take his and shake. And I’m Richard. Nice to meet you, Baxter. [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING] Get it once more. [LAUGHING] Right. [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING] I’m not there. [LAUGHING] Go back. [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING]

Skip to 2 minutes and 47 seconds All right. OK. [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING] [LAUGHING] [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING]

Skip to 3 minutes and 1 second All right.

Skip to 3 minutes and 3 seconds OK. OK.

Skip to 3 minutes and 8 seconds And Baxter has been designed to interact directly with– [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING] [CHUCKLING] [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING] you can stop the filming. All right? [ELECTRONIC WHIRRING] I can– [BEEPING] And as we can see here, one of them is trying to follow a bin that’s not moving, which doesn’t work very well. [BEEPING] So if I press the button, we will see the wheel spinning.

Skip to 3 minutes and 38 seconds [LAUGHING] Repeat.

Thank you and hope to see you again soon

Robots Behaving Badly

No matter how hard we try, things don’t always go the way we plan. Whoever said, ‘never work with children or pets’ clearly hadn’t tried filming with robots.

Please be aware that this video (as with other previous videos in the course), contains brief sequences of flashing/flickering lights which might affect learners who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.

Looking Ahead

Whatever direction you plan to take in the future, we hope Begin Robotics has encouraged you to take your studies further.

You may be interested in signing up for more great FutureLearn courses or alternatively perhaps you’re trying to decide what subject to study at University and where? Carry on reading for suggestions for where you might like to head next and develop your skills further.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get more from your experience and take the opportunity to gain extra benefits by upgrading the course.

These benefits will include unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn, as well as a Certificate of Achievement or Statement of Participation to help you demonstrate your learning.

As a personalised certificate and transcript detailing the syllabus and learning outcomes from the course, the Certificate of Achievement is a great way to demonstrate what you have learned on the course. It comes as a printed certificate as well as a digital version which you can add to your LinkedIn profile. Click here to find out more.

At the University of Reading

If you’re interested in going beyond online study, we would love to hear from you. We offer courses that can be studied on a full-time and part-time basis:

  • For example, our undergraduate degree in Computer Science, and our new degrees in Biomedical Engineering which include the option of an industrial placement, providing you with valuable experience. If you’re interested in finding out more about the BSc Computer Science or BSc Computer Science with Industrial Year at the University of Reading, take a look at our website.

  • Our Masters programmes (MSc) and Postgraduate Programmes include taught and research-based masters degrees, and PhDs, which allow you to explore your interests.

  • Due to current government advice regarding the coronavirus pandemic, we are sadly unable to run on-campus Open Days but please do book a place on one of our Virtual Open Days (Saturday 3rd October and Saturday 10th October).

The simulations and demonstrations

In previous runs we have been delighted to see lots of Learners commenting on the interactive robot simulations – thank you for those – and as some of you suggested, we have made them available outside the platform. You can find a complete list of the simulations in Begin Robotics index.


From all of us here at the University of Reading, we want to say a big thank you for joining us on the course.

We hope to see you soon!

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Begin Robotics

University of Reading

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