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Online course

Introducing Robotics: Build a Robot Arm

Design, build and program a simple robot and share it with other learners.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Introducing Robotics: Build a Robot Arm

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This course is part of the Introducing Robotics program, which will enable you to gain the robotics skills that are needed today and in the future.

Here’s your chance to build a simple robot.

You’ll design, build and program a simple robot, with at least two joints, that can draw a coordinated line through a number of points on a sheet of a paper. There are lots of ways you could actually build such a robot and that will depend on your skill level, your budget, or what equipment you can source. At the end of the course, you’ll be invited to submit a video of your completed robot. A small number of participants will peer review your project and you’ll review a small number of others.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsThe best way to learn anything is to try and do it. Here’s your chance to build your very own robot. In this very practical course, you will build a simple physical robot, and create the software to allow it to perform a useful task. Your challenge is to create a simple robot that can can draw lines on a sheet of paper. You’ll put your knowledge of robotics and mathematics to use, and also exercise your programming skills. You’ll enjoy sharing your robot design and the way your robot works with other learners all around the world. I’m Professor Peter Corke, please join me in this exciting challenge of creating a robot arm.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Apply mathematical, algorithmic and control principles of robot arm manipulators
  • Produce a working robot through physical construction and software development

Who is the course for?

If you wish to build a robot arm, you will need access to robotic kits or components. If you are not able to buy or borrow equipment, you can still learn the build process through this course.

This project is an exciting opportunity to apply mathematical, algorithmic and control principles of robot arm manipulators, so you’ll need to understand these principles before starting. This includes concepts from advanced high-school mathematics or engineering; in particular, analytic geometry and linear algebra. That is, you know about points, vectors, matrices, matrix-vector and matrix-matrix multiplication and linear transformations.

What software or tools do you need?

How you build your robot depends on what resources you have access to. You might choose to purchase a robotics development kit or borrow hobby robot components. All of the task instructions, demonstrations, and worksheets will be provided. You’ll need a 64-bit computer to install the MATLAB software and download a custom software toolbox to control your robot. The software depends on the hardware you choose to use.
Please note that we base our video instructions around the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT kit, which is no longer produced.

Who will you learn with?

Peter Corke

Professor of Robotic Vision at QUT and Director of the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (ACRV). Peter is also an IEEE fellow and on the editorial board of several robotics research journals.

Who developed the course?

QUT is a leading Australian university ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide by the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Located in Brisbane, it attracts 47,000 students.

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Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $79 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.