• The University of Sheffield

Building a Future with Robots

Explore the everyday roles robots will play in the future, from job automation and medical science to our homes and cars.

22,641 enrolled on this course

Building a Future with Robots

Discover how robots will change every aspect of our lives in the future

“Robots and autonomous systems are set to change our lives in the not-too-distant future; from travel (self-driving cars), to work (job automation), to medicine (biomedical robots), and even domestic life (household robots).

On this course, we’ll look at current and future developments in the field of robotics. You’ll learn how robots sense the world around them, how robotics takes inspiration from nature, and how robots will work with humans.

You’ll build up a picture of the principles and the fundamental challenges of robotic design, and demonstrate how research is working to overcome these.

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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?

“Robots and autonomous systems are set to change our lives in the not-too-distant future; from travel (self-driving cars), to work (job automation), to medicine (biomedical robots), and even domestic life (household robots).

On this course, we’ll look at current and future developments in the field of robotics. You’ll learn how robots sense the world around them, how robotics takes inspiration from nature, and how robots will work with humans.

You’ll build up a picture of the principles and the fundamental challenges of robotic design and learn to demonstrate how research is working to overcome these.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • 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 designed for anyone interested in learning about the role that will be played by robots in the future.

It will be of particular interest to aspiring mechanical, automotive, and robotics engineers, product designers, technicians, and enthusiasts who are keen to explore the role of robots in our everyday, economic, and industrial futures.

What do people say about this course?

Wide in scope of applications and very thought provoking.

"Enjoyable course; wide in scope of applications and very thought provoking, particularly on ethical issues."

It introduced many of the issues surrounding robotics.

"Really enjoyed the course. It introduced many of the issues surrounding robotics, and gave an insight into research and development, and offered a taste of what is yet to come."

Who will you learn with?

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

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

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