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Microcredential

Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control

Northwestern University via Coursera Specialization

Overview

This Specialization provides a rigorous treatment of spatial motion and the dynamics of rigid bodies, employing representations from modern screw theory and the product of exponentials formula. Students with a freshman-level engineering background will quickly learn to apply these tools to analysis, planning, and control of robot motion. Students' understanding of the mathematics of robotics will be solidified by writing robotics software. Students will test their software on a free state-of-the-art cross-platform robot simulator, allowing each student to have an authentic robot programming experience with industrial robot manipulators and mobile robots without purchasing expensive robot hardware. It is highly recommended that Courses 1-6 of the Specialization are taken in order, since the material builds on itself.

Syllabus

Course 1: Modern Robotics, Course 1: Foundations of Robot Motion
- Do you want to know how robots work? Are you interested in robotics as a career? Are you willing to invest the effort to learn fundamental mathematical modeling techniques that are used in all subfields of robotics? If so, then the "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" specialization may be for you. This specialization, consisting of six short courses, is serious preparation for serious students who hope to work in the field of robotics or to undertake advanced study. It is not a sampler. In Course 1 of the specialization, Foundations of Robot Motion, you will learn fundamental material regarding robot configurations, for both serial robot mechanisms and robots with closed chains. You will learn about configuration space (C-space), degrees of freedom, C-space topology, implicit and explicit representations of configurations, and holonomic and nonholonomic constraints. You will also learn how to represent spatial velocities and forces as twists and wrenches. This material is at the core of the study of anything that moves (e.g., robots). This course follows the textbook "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" (Lynch and Park, Cambridge University Press 2017). You can purchase the book or use the free preprint pdf. You will build on a library of robotics software in the language of your choice (among Python, Mathematica, and MATLAB) and use the free cross-platform robot simulator V-REP, which allows you to work with state-of-the-art robots in the comfort of your own home and with zero financial investment.

Course 2: Modern Robotics, Course 2: Robot Kinematics
- Do you want to know how robots work? Are you interested in robotics as a career? Are you willing to invest the effort to learn fundamental mathematical modeling techniques that are used in all subfields of robotics? If so, then the "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" specialization may be for you. This specialization, consisting of six short courses, is serious preparation for serious students who hope to work in the field of robotics or to undertake advanced study. It is not a sampler. In Course 2 of the specialization, Robot Kinematics, you will learn to solve the forward kinematics (calculating the configuration of the "hand" of the robot based on the joint values) using the product-of-exponentials formula. Your efforts in Course 1 pay off handsomely, as forward kinematics is a breeze with the tools you've learned. This is followed by velocity kinematics and statics relating joint velocities and forces/torques to end-effector twists and wrenches, inverse kinematics (calculating joint values that achieve a desired "hand" configuration), and kinematics of robots with closed chains. This course follows the textbook "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" (Lynch and Park, Cambridge University Press 2017). You can purchase the book or use the free preprint pdf. You will build on a library of robotics software in the language of your choice (among Python, Mathematica, and MATLAB) and use the free cross-platform robot simulator V-REP, which allows you to work with state-of-the-art robots in the comfort of your own home and with zero financial investment.

Course 3: Modern Robotics, Course 3: Robot Dynamics
- Do you want to know how robots work? Are you interested in robotics as a career? Are you willing to invest the effort to learn fundamental mathematical modeling techniques that are used in all subfields of robotics? If so, then the "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" specialization may be for you. This specialization, consisting of six short courses, is serious preparation for serious students who hope to work in the field of robotics or to undertake advanced study. It is not a sampler. In Course 3 of the specialization, Robot Dynamics, you will learn efficient numerical algorithms for forward dynamics (calculating the robot's acceleration given its configuration, velocity, and joint forces and torques) and inverse dynamics (calculating the required joint forces and torques given the robot's configuration, velocity, and acceleration). The former is useful for simulation, and the latter is useful for robot control. You will also learn how to plan robot trajectories subject to dynamic constraints. This course follows the textbook "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" (Lynch and Park, Cambridge University Press 2017). You can purchase the book or use the free preprint pdf. You will build on a library of robotics software in the language of your choice (among Python, Mathematica, and MATLAB) and use the free cross-platform robot simulator V-REP, which allows you to work with state-of-the-art robots in the comfort of your own home and with zero financial investment.

Course 4: Modern Robotics, Course 4: Robot Motion Planning and Control
- Do you want to know how robots work? Are you interested in robotics as a career? Are you willing to invest the effort to learn fundamental mathematical modeling techniques that are used in all subfields of robotics? If so, then the "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" specialization may be for you. This specialization, consisting of six short courses, is serious preparation for serious students who hope to work in the field of robotics or to undertake advanced study. It is not a sampler. In Course 4 of the specialization, Robot Motion Planning and Control, you will learn key concepts of robot motion generation: planning a motion for a robot in the presence of obstacles, and real-time feedback control to track the planned motion. Chapter 10, Motion Planning, of the "Modern Robotics" textbook covers foundational material like C-space obstacles, graphs and trees, and graph search, as well as classical and modern motion planning techniques, such as grid-based motion planning, randomized sampling-based planners, and virtual potential fields. Chapter 11, Robot Control, covers motion control, force control, and hybrid motion-force control. This course follows the textbook "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" (Lynch and Park, Cambridge University Press 2017). You can purchase the book or use the free preprint pdf. You will build on a library of robotics software in the language of your choice (among Python, Mathematica, and MATLAB) and use the free cross-platform robot simulator V-REP, which allows you to work with state-of-the-art robots in the comfort of your own home and with zero financial investment.

Course 5: Modern Robotics, Course 5: Robot Manipulation and Wheeled Mobile Robots
- Do you want to know how robots work? Are you interested in robotics as a career? Are you willing to invest the effort to learn fundamental mathematical modeling techniques that are used in all subfields of robotics? If so, then the "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" specialization may be for you. This specialization, consisting of six short courses, is serious preparation for serious students who hope to work in the field of robotics or to undertake advanced study. It is not a sampler. In Course 5 of the specialization, Robot Motion Planning and Wheeled Mobile Robots, we delve into advanced topics in robotics. Chapter 12, Grasping and Manipulation, of the "Modern Robotics" textbook covers the modeling of kinematics and forces between rigid bodies in contact, and applies the modeling to analysis and planning of robot grasping and other manipulation tasks. Chapter 13, Wheeled Mobile Robots, covers modeling, motion planning, and feedback control of omnidirectional and nonholonomic wheeled mobile robots, and concludes by addressing control of mobile manipulators consisting of a wheeled mobile base and a robot arm. This course follows the textbook "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" (Lynch and Park, Cambridge University Press 2017). You can purchase the book or use the free preprint pdf. You will build on a library of robotics software in the language of your choice (among Python, Mathematica, and MATLAB) and use the free cross-platform robot simulator V-REP, which allows you to work with state-of-the-art robots in the comfort of your own home and with zero financial investment.

Course 6: Modern Robotics, Course 6: Capstone Project, Mobile Manipulation
- The capstone project of the Modern Robotics specialization is on mobile manipulation: simultaneously controlling the motion of a wheeled mobile base and its robot arm to achieve a manipulation task. This project integrates several topics from the specialization, including trajectory planning, odometry for mobile robots, and feedback control. Beginning from the Modern Robotics software library provided to you (written in Python, Mathematica, and MATLAB), and software you have written for previous courses, you will develop software to plan and control the motion of a mobile manipulator to perform a pick and place task. You will test your software on the KUKA youBot, a mobile manipulator consisting of an omnidirectional mecanum-wheel mobile base, a 5-joint robot arm, and a gripper. The state-of-the-art, cross-platform V-REP robot simulator will be used to simulate the task.

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Taught by

Kevin Lynch

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