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Free online course

Building a Future with Robots

Explore the role of robots and autonomous systems in the factories, homes, hospitals, schools or cars of our near future

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, starting from when you join
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Building a Future with Robots

Why join the course?

In 2014, robot sales increased by 29%, the highest level ever recorded for one year. The global market for robotic systems in 2014 was worth over $35 billion.

The development of these robots seeks to solve some of our most pressing human problems – they won’t turn us into Iron Man, but they will help us to perform critical, everyday tasks that we otherwise could not.

Prepare to work alongside robots and autonomous systems

In the near future, more of us will be working alongside robots, so knowledge of autonomous systems and robotics will be a helpful skill for a surprising number of today’s careers.

On this free online course, we’ll present some of the major challenges that working with autonomous systems creates, to help you understand how researchers design robotic systems, how these connect to other fields of study, and the potential role of robotics in our everyday future.

Explore the future of robotics in factories, homes, hospitals, schools or cars

We’ll have behind-the-scenes access to some of the most innovative research at Sheffield Robotics as experts demonstrate different robotic solutions for some of the world’s most pressing needs.

We’ll take a look forward into what factories of the future will look like, how we might use robots to help care for an aging population, how robots might be used in classrooms, how driverless cars will change the way we travel and much more.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Analyse the main challenges of working with autonomous systems and the ways in which we might meet these challenges
  • Understand some basic principles of robotic design
  • Apply knowledge of where developments in robotics are heading and their potential effect on our future
  • Explain existing and potential real-life robotic applications

Understanding both the current and future developments in robotics and how and where they are being applied will help us to be able to think about our part in a robotics revolution.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds[A woman strokes toy-like robot animals] [The robot animals respond to the woman's touch] [CAPTION:] 'Will I help you feel better?' [CAPTION:] 'Will I help you learn?' [A surgeon directs robotic arms to perform an operation] [CAPTION:] 'Will I save your life?'

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds[A technician operates a robotic arm lifting objects in a laboratory] [CAPTION:] 'Will I work beside you?' [CAPTION:] 'Will I help you move things?' [A small remote controlled drone flies inside a warehouse] [CAPTION:] 'Will I find you if you're lost?' [A large number of small robot units activate and move together] [CAPTION:] 'Will we repair the oceans?'

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds[CAPTION:] 'See what we can do...' [CAPTION:] 'Building a Future with Robots' [CAPTION:] 'A free online course from the University of Sheffield' [CAPTION:] 'Search 'Future Robots' at www.futurelearn.com. #FLRoboFuture'

What topics will you cover?

This course looked at current and future developments in the field of robotics that could shape different aspects of people’s daily lives. It built an understanding of the principles and fundamental challenges of designing robots including:

  • What a robot needs to be able to sense the world using drones, youBots and autonomous cars as examples.
  • Current and future developments in robotics and how and where they are being applied.
  • How robotics can take inspiration from nature looking at swarm robots and biomimetics.
  • How robots work with others for example, a robot surgeon and a robotic arm.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Describe the main challenges of working with autonomous systems and the ways in which we might meet these challenges
  • Explore some basic principles of robotic design
  • Apply knowledge of where developments in robotics are heading and their potential effect on our future
  • Explain existing and potential real-life robotic applications

Who is the course for?

This course is open to anyone with an interest in robotics. It’ll be of particular interest to engineers, designers, technicians and enthusiasts who are keen to explore the role of robots in our economic and industrial future.

Who will you learn with?

Sandor Veres

Sandor M Veres is professor of Autonomous Control Systems at the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Who developed the course?

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £34.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: