Describe different forms of robot and applications where they may be used
Determine the appropriate commands to allow a robot to achieve particular tasks using information from sensors
Appreciate how aspects of robotics can be applied in many different scenarios
Explore robot anatomy, control and behaviour through a set of simulated tasks
Robots today are roving Mars, hoovering our floors, building cars and entertaining us in films. And, if you share Stephen Hawking’s world view, the super intelligent ones may one day bring about the end of the human race.
If you’d like to find out more, but don’t have Hawking’s brain or an advanced qualification in cybernetics, this course is for you. You won’t require a soldering iron, but you’ll explore the basics of robot design, control and behaviour through a series of simulations that will have you test driving an ERIC – our very own University of Reading mobile robot.
An introduction to robotics from a cybernetic perspective
Overview of different types of robots and their application
History of robotics
Introduction to the robot simulations used in the course
Problem solving: commanding a mobile robot to move
A description of the components of a robot – sensors, actuators, ’brain’ and power supply
An understanding of different sensors, their operation and application
A description of motors, and how their velocity is set, and other robotic actuators
Problem solving: commanding a robot to achieve tasks on the basis of sensor information
Feedback for control and human-machine interaction
An explanation of feedback control of steering and speed in robots and in other applications such as balance, temperature and damping oscillations
Simple mathematical modelling of robots and different forms of control strategies
Human-Computer Interaction: feedback, including haptics
Problem solving: commanding a robot to follow a path
Feedback for Learning and robot: robot interaction
An appreciation of neuron based brains through Braitenburg vehicles
Robot learning by trial and error
Multiple robots and artificial life, relating to biological processes
Problem solving: commanding a robot to traverse a maze
This course explores the basics of robotics. It doesn’t assume any prior knowledge and you don’t need to own your own robot to take part.
This course includes video content and other visual teaching methods. As such, blind and visually impaired students may need a helper.
Please be aware that this course contains video clips that include sequences of flickering/flashing lights which might affect learners who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.
Scampi (pictured above) is a 28 gram walking robot created by Robotics student Rory Mangles and is mostly made of paperclips.