We’ve all heard about them, but how many of us know what makes a robot a robot? And can anyone get a robot to do a particular task?
Begin Robotics will introduce you to the basics of robot design through a series of simulations that will have you test driving an Eric – our very own University of Reading mobile robot.
If you’d like to find out more, but are worried that you don’t have Hawking’s brain or an advanced qualification in cybernetics, this four week, free online course is for you.
- This course does not assume any prior knowledge and you don’t need to own your own robot to take part.
- The exercise steps in this course will work using Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox browsers. They will also work on Internet Explore 9, 10 and 11.
- This course includes video content and other visual teaching methods. As such, blind and visually impaired students may need a helper.
- This course contains video clips that include sequences of flickering/flashing lights which might affect learners who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.
Begin Robotics Course Content
This course explores the history, anatomy and intelligence of robots. It includes the following topics:
- A look at some of the earliest, real and fictional robots ever invented: from musical automata in 13th century Iraq to Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical lion; from the early 20th century science fiction of “Metropolis” and Asimov to the first Mars lander in 1996;
- Look inside a mobile robot – using a combination of videos, animations, screencasts, articles, discussions and quizzes;
- The individual components of robot anatomy (the mechanics, electronics and computer “brain”) and how they relate to one another and to the sensors;
- Controlling a robot to help it avoid obstacles, head in the right direction and travel at an optimum speed;
- What can we learn about developing robots based on what we know about living systems?
- If we introduce a simple “brain”, what influence does this have on the robot’s behavior?
- How is a robot’s movement specified by what it perceives?
- Can we create robots with basic instincts, and the ability to learn and co-operate with one another?
This course is taken from the Make it Digital collection – part of the BBC’s major initiative to inspire digital creativity.
Summary of the Main Course Features
- Educators: Richard Mitchell, Timothy Threadgold and William Harwin
- Publisher: University of Reading
- Duration: 4 weeks x 3 hours per week
- Starts: 20 June, 2016
- Certificates available