Fundamentals Robotics, Specialization
|University:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Structure||6 Courses, Projects|
Robotics, University of Pennsylvania – Overview
What – There can be no doubt that robotics will become an ever more important part of daily life. For those that wish to enter this exciting field, the series of Coursera specialization courses contained in the Learn the Building Blocks for a career in Robotics is the ideal entry portal to this lucrative career path.
Goals – You will learn how robots interact with their environment, how the concepts of flight and movement work and you will be exposed to real-life examples of the vital roles that robots play in the medical field, in disaster management and in the construction industry.
Methodology – The Learn the Building Blocks for a career in Robotics series was developed by a team of highly eminent faculty members of the University of Pennsylvania. The series consists of six courses and you will be expected to complete practical assignments. In these assignments, you will program robots to perform various movements and to grasp objects.
The educational philosophy of Penn University has always been constant. They believe in a solid theoretical background but place a high value on hands-on experience, using the latest tools and technology.
Resources – All the resources necessary to successfully complete this series of courses are included in the course fees. This includes video lectures, practical assignments and the use of MATLAB, available for free from MathWorks. After completion of the series, a certificate is issued.
Schedule – You will be able to study at your own pace. The courses are presented regularly (approximately once a month) and it is possible to complete the entire series within six months. If you are unable to complete a specific course successfully you are allowed to transfer to the next session of that course without losing any credits. Support is available at all times from the instructional team.
Building Blocks in Robotics – Course Topics
The Learn the Building Blocks for a Career in Robotics series is presented during six courses. Each course is presented over a period of one month. This is what you can expect to learn:
Course 1 – Robotics: Aerial Robotics
Presented over four weeks, this course introduces the mechanics of flight and the design of quadrotor flying robots. You will develop dynamic models, derive controllers and synthesize planners for operating in 3D environments. Particular attention is also paid to the rapidly growing world of drones. The course progresses as follows:
Week 1: Introduction to Aerial Robotics. In this week you are introduced to UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Robotics) and quadrotors. There are 16 video lectures, two quizzes and four readings.
Week 2: Geometry and Mechanics. This week focus on the dynamics of kinematics of quadrators. You will be expected to complete a practical assignment. There are 19 video lectures, a quiz and, of course, the practical assignment.
Week 3: Planning and Control. This week you will learn how to develop linear controllers for models. You will also be given your next assignment, focusing on controlling the quadrator in two dimensions. You will attend nine video lectures, complete one quiz and take on one practical assignment.
Week 4: Advanced Topics. During the last week of this course you will learn how to enable quadrotors to perform more agile maneuvers. The topics are covered by four lectures, a quiz and an important practical assignment.
Course 2: Robotics: Computational Motional Planning
During this course the concept of Motion Planning is covered in depth. You will learn various methods of dealing with the problem. The course proceeds as follows:
Week 1: Introduction and Graph-Based Plan Methods.You will be introduced to some algorithms that can enable pats between a start node and a goal node. The Grassfire algorithm, Dijkstra’s algorithm and a Star Procedure is covered. You will complete five lectures, four readings, a quiz and a practical programming assignment.
Week 2: Six video lectures, a quiz, a practical assignment and one reading will introduce you to the concept of configuration space. Matters such as obstacles and other potential problems are also covered.
Week 3: Sample-Based Planning Methods. Now you learn about sample-based path planning techniques. You will learn about Probabilistic Road Maps, Randomly Exploring Rapid Trees and their various applications. Three lectures, a quiz and a practical assignment will ensure successful completion of these objectives.
Week 4: Artificial Potential Field Methods. Learn how artificial potential field methods is used as another way in which to guide the motion of a robot on a gradient. There are only four videos, a quiz and a programming assignment to complete the final week of this course.
Course 3 – Robotics: Mobility
It is now time to learn how robots move within an uncontrolled environment. Look forward to:
Week 1: Introduction: Motivation and Background. Move from the dynamics of animal mobility to the concepts of limbed robotic mobility. Attend eight lectures, participate in four quizzes and complete 3 readings.
Week 2: Behavioral (Templates) and Physical (Bodies). This week focuses on the “compass gait” and proceeds to the sping loaded inverted pendulum. You will complete eight lectures and no less than seven quizzes.
Week 3: Anchors: Embodied Behaviors. This week is all about the geometry of the degrees of freedom. Newton features largely! Six lectures and six helpful quizzes will help you master the content.
Week 4: Composition (Programming Work). Now you learn about reviewing two different types of compositions; in time (sequential), and in space (parallel). You also get a very good look at legged mobility during the 10 lectures and the 10 quizzes.
Course 4 – Robotics: Perception
This course is all about how robots navigate and manipulate tasks. You can look forward to:
Week 1: Geometry of Image Formation. Learn more about the standard camera models used in computer vision. 15 Lectures, one reading and eight quizzes will help you achieve the goals of the week. There is also a practical assignment.
Week 2: Projective Transformations. Now you discover the geometry of perspective projections. There are five lectures in high definition video and four quizzes.
Week 3: Pose Estimation.Look forward to learning all about pose estimation and feature extraction from two different images. Watch eight lectures, complete five quizzes and take on one practical assignment this week.
Week 4: During the last week of the course you will now learn the geometric constraints between point figures in images. You will also compute the projectory of a camera and a map through numerous frames. 14 Lectures and four quizzes will get you there and you will have one assignment to complete.
Course 5 – Robotics: Estimation and Learning
In this course you will learn how to get robots to take uncertainty into account in order to learn from an ever-changing environment. This is how it will go:
Week 1: Gaussian Model Learning. This entire week is all about Gaussian distribution. There are nine video lectures, three readings and, of course, a practical assignment.
Week 2: Bayeasian Estimation – Target Tracking. Learn the intimate details of the Kalman system and explore non-linear filtering systems. There are only five lectures and your usual assignment.
Week 3: Mapping. Now the focus is on a mapping algorithm called Occupancy Grip Mapping. Gripping stuff. This week you have six lectures and one assignment.
Week 4: Bayesian Estimation: Localization. Six lectures and one programming assignment will close this course and teach you how range measurements can help you put a robot on the map.
Course 6 – Robotics: Capstone
The last course in this specialization series is presented over six weeks. You are now given the opportunity to solve a real-world problem. You can choose between a simulation or a hardware track. This is how the six weeks will progress:
Week 1: This is when you will choose between the two tracks available to you. Five video lectures, reading and one quiz will help you to decide.
Week 2: If you choose the MIP track you will learn how to stabilize linear systems. If you opted for the AR track, you will assemble your robot.
Week 3: Those on the MIP track will now focus on interfacing with the noisy and incomplete sensor date. Those on the AR track will perform crucial calibration steps.
Week 4: Those of you on the MIP track will build a model of the mobile inverted pendulum. The AR track guys will design, from scratch a controller that allows the rover to move to any position.
Week 5: Now those on the MIP track learners learn to balance the MIP to use its wheel actuators. Those on the AR track will design an extended Kalman filter.
Week 6: In the AR track, you will now let your rover navigate through an environment that you designed yourself. In the MIP track, you will now allow your MIP to move around in an environment that you designed yourself.
There are no set prerequisites, but a background in mathematics and engineering would be very helpful.
Learn the Building Blocks for a Career in Robotics, Specialization – Conclusion
There are many opportunities in the field of robotics. The series from Penn University, Learn the Building Blocks for a Career in Robotics presents the ideal opportunity to get a foot in the door.