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University of Pennsylvania

Robotics: Aerial Robotics

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


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How can we create agile micro aerial vehicles that are able to operate autonomously in cluttered indoor and outdoor environments? You will gain an introduction to the mechanics of flight and the design of quadrotor flying robots and will be able to develop dynamic models, derive controllers, and synthesize planners for operating in three dimensional environments. You will be exposed to the challenges of using noisy sensors for localization and maneuvering in complex, three-dimensional environments. Finally, you will gain insights through seeing real world examples of the possible applications and challenges for the rapidly-growing drone industry. Mathematical prerequisites: Students taking this course are expected to have some familiarity with linear algebra, single variable calculus, and differential equations. Programming prerequisites: Some experience programming with MATLAB or Octave is recommended (we will use MATLAB in this course.) MATLAB will require the use of a 64-bit computer.


  • Introduction to Aerial Robotics
    • Welcome to Week 1! In this week, you will be introduced to the exciting field of Unmanned Aerial Robotics (UAVs) and quadrotors in particular. You will learn about their basic mechanics and control strategies and realize how careful component selection and design affect the vehicles' performance. This week also provides you with instructions on how to download and install Matlab. This software will be used throughout this course in exercises and assignments, so it is strongly recommended to familiarize yourself with Matlab soon. Tutorials to help you get started are also provided in this week.
  • Geometry and Mechanics
    • Welcome to Week 2 of the Robotics: Aerial Robotics course! We hope you are having a good time and learning a lot already! In this week, we will first focus on the kinematics of quadrotors. Then, you will learn how to derive the dynamic equations of motion for quadrotors. To build a better understanding on these notions, some essential mathematical tools are discussed in supplementary material lectures. In this week, you will also complete your first programming assignment on 1-D quadrotor control. If you have not done so already, please download, install, and learn about Matlab before starting the assignment.
  • Planning and Control
    • Welcome to Week 3! We have developed planar and three-dimensional dynamic models of the quadrotor. This week, you will learn more about how to develop linear controllers for these models. With this knowledge, you will be required to complete the second programming assignment of this course, which focuses on controlling the quadrotor in two dimensions. We encourage you to start working on the assignment soon. This week ends with a discussion on motion planning for quadrotors.
  • Advanced Topics
    • Welcome to Week 4! So far, we have gone over the basics of developing linear controllers for quadrotors and motion planning. In this last week of the course, we will discuss some more advanced material on how to enable quadrotors to perform more agile maneuvers and to operate autonomously in teams. Note that the last programming assignment on quadrotor control in three dimensions uses material from the previous weeks. It is strongly recommended to start the assignment as soon as possible.

Taught by

Vijay Kumar


3.6 rating, based on 11 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at Coursera based on 3054 ratings

Start your review of Robotics: Aerial Robotics

  • Anonymous
    Although this course is a bit short I learned a lot with it. It begins covering an introduction to the mechanics of quadrotors and its dynamical model. After it teaches very basic PD control techniques for a quadrotor hover or follow a trajectory. N…
  • Anonymous
    Guys, anyone has solution for programming assignments for aerial robotics?
    I am not getting the results.
    I would be really thankful If anyone can help me
  • Anonymous
    At the begging of the course, it was effortless to understand and ask questions. After a little while, we were supposed to use a program called Matlab. This program was required to complete the course. I was not able to find this program throughout the course. Due to this, I had to pay for it using out of pocket money. When I would ask questions in the feed, I would get zero responses. That caused me to have to take the course twice to pass it.

    Do not take this course.
  • Anonymous
    From Assignment 1.2 to last assignment Lecture is skipped specially the MATLAB coding. 1.2 assignment he gain tuning quiz says that it is different from what they showed in video, but there is no video about this. This course is for student who pros in MATLAB and drone mechanics (in theory).

    Do not take this course.
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    Alex Ivanov

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