Robots with vision will play increasingly important roles in society, from health care to marine science and interplanetary exploration. Robotic vision is an area of technology that is growing quickly in both its potential and applications.
The Robotic Vision program from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) comprises three online courses that provide both theory and practice in programming robotic (computer) vision.
You’ll explore the principles of vision: how human vision works; how robotic vision works; and relevant aspects of colour, light and perspective.
You’ll become familiar with the mathematical and programming skills required to process and manipulate images, and develop these skills with hands-on practice using the MATLAB programming environment.
You’ll put your skills into practice by using specialist software to create the code required for a robot to complete a simple visual task. If you have previously competed QUT’s Introducing Robotics program, you may be able to use the robot arm you built in the Build a Robot Arm course to complete an extension activity in the third course of Robotic Vision.
Accessible for free on desktop, tablet or mobile, and delivered in bite-sized chunks, this program provides a flexible and supported way to develop your understanding of robotic vision.
Courses under this program: Course 1: Robotic Vision: Principles of Vision -What is vision? Learn the basics of human and robot vision, the concept of perspective and the constituent parts of an image.
Course 2: Robotic Vision: Processing Images -How do computers process images? Learn about image processing and image features, and how robots can be programmed to see.
Course 3: Robotic Vision: Making Robots See -How does my robot see? Get involved in a vision project by writing the code for a complete vision system.
To be able to programme a robot to see, you must first have an understanding of the principles of vision.
On this three-week course, you’ll build a strong foundation of knowledge as you delve into human vision and aspects of sight.
You’ll explore the human eye and examine light, reflection, and perspective to gain a full understanding of vision before learning how this can be applied to robotics.
Understand the programming skills needed for robot vision
Robot vision relies on the same aspects of human vision but uses cameras and computers instead of eyes and a brain.
You’ll explore how cameras work and how computers see images to understand the functionality of robotic vision.
To apply the principles of vision to robotic function, you need to use mathematical and programming skills. This course will take you through MATLAB programming language and environment, supporting you as you build practical skills in robotics.
Learn robotics from the experts at Queensland University of Technology
Using video demonstrations and other visuals designed by the experts at Queensland University of Technology, you’ll see real-life examples and be able to reflect on the nature of robotic vision for specific tasks.
This course will help you build confidence in robotics and develop skills used to programme a robot to see.
This course is designed for those familiar with concepts from advanced high-school mathematics or undergraduate engineering.
This course contains practice activities in MATLAB. However, you won’t need to download the MATLAB software to complete the course (although if you already have it you are welcome to use it). The MATLAB exercises are embedded within the course, or you can use a version of MATLAB Online for which you’ll be provided a log-in and instructions for importing the Machine Vision Toolbox for MATLAB. You don’t need to own a robot, or have a robot kit, to take this course.
This course contains many practice activities in MATLAB. However, you won’t need to download the MATLAB software to complete the course (although if you already have it you are welcome to use it). The MATLAB exercises are embedded within the course, or you can use a version of MATLAB Online for which you’ll be provided a log-in and instructions for importing the Machine Vision Toolbox for MATLAB. You don’t need to own a robot, or have a robot kit, to take this course.
Learn about the functions you need to program a robotic vision system
This three-week course will guide you through the essential skills needed to make a robot see.
You’ll develop your knowledge of image geometry before learning the programming skills used in robotic vision.
You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of robotics and practical skills as you’re guided by experts at Queensland University of Technology to complete a robotic vision system.
Refine your skills using MATLAB
You’ll cement your understanding of robotic vision by completing MATLAB exercises to see these processes in action.
You’ll learn how to demonstrate basic coding in MATLAB for calibration, shape classification, and workspace coordination.
This will help you build the practical skills to use in robotic programming.
Grow your knowledge of computer vision to create a vision system
You’ll take part in a robotic vision programming project to hone your skills and learn important functions such as improving colour segmentation, detecting shape and size, improving your homography matrix, rectifying your image, and forming a complete vision system.
Along the way, you’ll be able to reflect on your robotic vision systems as well as your peers’ projects to understand what makes a successful system.
As an optional project, if you have built or bought a robot, you’ll also learn the information needed for integrating your vision system.
This course is designed for those with some programming knowledge and concepts from advanced high-school mathematics or undergraduate engineering,
The course requires you to code your robot vision system in MATLAB. You will need to download the full MATLAB software to a computer. With support from MathWorks, free access to MATLAB will be provided for the duration of the course plus 30 days.
Optional robot arm project
The purpose of this course is to program a robotic vision system, and optionally to integrate it with a robot to perform a simple, visual task. If you completed the course Introducing Robotics: Build a Robot Arm, you may already have a working robot arm you can use; or you might choose to purchase a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT or EV3 development kit or something equivalent to it, or to borrow hobby robot components. This course does not run through how to assemble your robot arm, but rather provides all of the task instructions, demonstrations and worksheets for programming the vision system.
There are many ways to integrate the vision system and some of the most common approaches are:
1. Computer vision and robotics control on your computer
An attached web camera is used to acquire images that you process, to display results and to send motion commands to the robot. You will require a 64-bit computer as well as the full MATLAB software. There are many options to control the robot depending on the technology that you use to create it, for example:
a. MINDSTORMS NXT toolbox (NXT kits) or EV3 require custom software toolboxes to control your robot.
b. Arduino or RaspberryPi robot controllers might require a serial, WiFi or Ethernet cable connection to allow the MATLAB code to command it.
2. Computer vision on your computer
An attached web camera is used to acquire images that you process and display results for. You will require a 64-bit computer as well as the full MATLAB software.
3. Computer vision in the cloud
Your image processing works in an offline mode: you capture images of the worksheet using any camera and upload them to MATLAB Online using MATLAB Drive, where it is accessible by your program.
You can discuss your design ideas and options with your peers and the course mentors.