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Introducing the simulation activities in Begin Robotics

Introducing the simulation activities in a free online course, Begin Robotics, by the University of Reading. Professor Richard Mitchell explains more.

We’ve developed a series of simulations, specifically designed for this course. Some of these demonstrate an aspect of robotics and include buttons or check boxes that you can use to start an action or select an option and see the effect. For others, we’ll ask you to enter some values (often speeds of motors) to make the simulated robots perform a specific task.

The simulations use a ‘canvas’ to display robots and related items. Web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome support the canvas – so we recommend you use these. Some modern versions of Internet Explorer support the canvas, but not always in the same way.

These multi-device simulations work on laptops, tablets and mobiles – using a mouse or touchpad/ screen. You can also interact with them via a keyboard. We’ll provide instructions to guide you regarding which keys to use within each simulation. We’ll explain how to activate a box so you can enter a number, for example, toggle a checkbox or press a button.

We hope you enjoy using the simulations and if you get stuck at any point, post a comment in the relevant step as a mentor or another learner may be able to help you.

Please note that we have arranged that all these web pages can be accessed outside the FutureLearn platform – please see Begin Robotics Index. This was done following requests from participants in the first run, many of them teachers, who felt that the pages would be useful for their pupils.

In case you are unable to do the exercises yourself, or you would like to compare what you did with how Richard approaches the task, he has recorded himself doing each simulation in a video every week.

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Begin Robotics

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