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Begin Robotics

University of Reading via FutureLearn


Explore our introduction to robotics

Robots today are roving Mars, hoovering our floors, building cars and entertaining us in films. You may even share Stephen Hawking’s world view that super-intelligent ones may one day bring about the end of the human race.

But what forms do robots take today? How do they achieve particular tasks? And how is our relationship with them evolving? In this introduction to robotics course, you’ll explore answers to these questions and more.

Examine robot anatomy, control and behaviour through a set of simulated tasks

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 key components 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. You’ll command ERIC to explore its environment avoiding obstacles, follow a line, and act like a Braitenberg vehicle.

The course is designed for anyone interested in robotics - you don’t need to own your own robot to take part! If you’ve always wanted to learn about robotics, robot design, or the history of robots, this is the course for you.

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.

Taught by

William Harwin, Tharindu Liyanagunawardena and Richard Mitchell


4.2 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I really enjoyed taking this online course. It was challenging and full of information. I really wish the University of Reading would add more online options in this area. Also, having the opportunity to build mt own ERIC would be awesome!! Hint, Hint.
  • Profile image for Rishi Kumaran.J
    Rishi Kumaran.J

    Rishi Kumaran.J is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    videos are clear. Transcript given are very useful to understand. Glossary are helpful. The lessons will motivate the learners to continue.
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