Learn Robotics From Scratch: 5 Free Online Resources That Will Help You Start With A Bang

Robots are undoubtedly one of the coolest and the most useful inventions. Most of us usually get motivated to create a robot either by watching these magnificent things in sci-fi movies or the bot-battles in college fests. But making a homegrown robot needs a solid fundamental understanding of the concepts behind. In this article, we have curated top five free online courses on robotics that will come handy for building a snazzy robot:

1| Introduction To Robotics By QUT Robot Academy

The Robot Academy is an open learning resource and a collaborative project between Professor Peter Corke and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The course contains university level, short video lessons along with fully online courses that will help you understand and prepare for the robotic technology of the future. There are over 200 lessons available for you to access any time and in any order. The courses are divided into master classes, single lessons, and online courses.


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The master classes include visual content courses on the basics of robotics, 2D and 3D geometry, measuring motion, paths and trajectories, robotic arms and forward kinematics, velocity kinematics in 2D and 3D, robot joint control, rigid body dynamics, robotic vision, etc. You can easily create viewing lists with links to lessons. One advantage under the master classes is that you can choose a subject and watch a set of videos related to that specific topic.

Click here to start learning the course.

2| Introduction To Robotics By MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. The course provided by this publication includes an overview of robot mechanisms, dynamics, and intelligent controls and the topics include are planar and spatial kinematics, and motion planning; mechanism design for manipulators and mobile robots, multi-rigid-body dynamics, 3D graphic simulation; control design, actuators, and sensors; wireless networking, task modeling, human-machine interface, and embedded software. There are also projects video where you can learn how to create robots which are capable of searching for hidden metal disks, etc.

Click here to start learning the course.

3| Introduction To Robotics By Stanford University

This course will provide you with the basics of modelling, design, planning, and control of robot systems. The topics include are robotics foundations in kinematics, dynamics, control, motion planning, trajectory generation, programming, and design. The course includes a brief survey of relevant results from geometry, kinematics, statics, dynamics, and control which is presented in a standard format of lectures, readings, and problem sets and it will conclude with a mid-term and final examination. You can download or watch the lecture videos of the courses easily.

Click here to start learning the course.

4| Control Of Mobile Robots By Coursera

This course focuses on the application of modern control theory to the problem of making robots move around in safe and effective ways. You will learn the basics of robots which includes topics such as control of mobile robots, cruise-controllers, control design basics, PID control, etc. The syllabus also includes concepts of mobile robots, linear systems, control design, hybrid system, navigation problem, etc. concluding with practical exercises and assignments. This is a 7-week course which has no flexible deadlines and the suggested learning duration is 5-7 hours per week.

Click here to start learning the course.

5| Robot Mechanics And Control, Part I and II By edX

edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider which is founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012. This open-source platform is providing a course on robot mechanics and control which includes two parts. The total length of this course takes 14 weeks to complete with 5-8 hours per week. The Part I provides a mathematical introduction to the mechanics and control of robots which can be modelled as kinematic chains where the topics covered are the concept of a robot’s configuration space and degrees of freedom, static grasp analysis, the description of rigid body motions, kinematics of open and closed chains, and the basics of robot control. You will learn robot configuration space and degrees of freedom, static grasp analysis, rigid body motions and forward kinematics based on the Denavit-Hartenberg parameters.

The topics of Part II cover the basics of robot control, key concepts in robotics, including screw motions, velocity, and static analysis, kinematic singularities, inverse kinematics, and closed chain kinematics and the product of exponentials formula for forward kinematics.

Click here to start learning Part I.

Click here to start learning Part II.

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Ambika Choudhury
A Technical Journalist who loves writing about Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. A lover of music, writing and learning something out of the box.

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