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Course Report

100+ Robotics Online Courses that You Can Take for Free

Learn all about robots: from how they sense, to how they move, to their role in the world of tomorrow.

From autonomous cars and drones that promise to disrupt mobility to humanoid and dog-like robots that can dance better and are more nimble than I’ll ever be, the field of robotics has been drawing a lot of attention.

Fortunately for us, there is a flurry of free online courses to learn about robotics. In fact, robotics and the related field of artificial intelligence occupy a very special place in online education, since they were among the subjects covered in some of the early MOOCs that gave rise to the modern online education movement.

Of course, since then, the field has evolved a lot, and to our delight, the offering of robotics courses has grown significantly.

Below, we’ve compiled a wide selection of free online courses dedicated to various branches of robotics — from introductory robotics, to autonomous systems, to robots uses in industry and impact on society.

Subjects

For your convenience, we’ve broken down the list by topic. Click on a subject to jump to the corresponding section:

More Courses

And if you don’t find what you need below, have a look at our other collections of scientific courses:

You can find all our course collections here.


Introduction to Robotics Online Courses

Introduction to Robotics
Stanford University via YouTube
Introduction to Robotics (CS223A) covers topics such as Spatial Descriptions, Forward Kinematics, Inverse Kinematics, Jacobians, Dynamics, Motion Planning and Trajectory Generation, Position and Force Control, and Manipulator Design.

Building a Future with Robots
The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn
Explore the role of robots and autonomous systems in the factories, homes, hospitals, schools and cars of our near future.
★★★★★ (65 ratings)

Modern Robotics
Northwestern University via YouTube
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Begin Robotics
University of Reading via FutureLearn
Explore the history, anatomy and intelligence of robots with this free online course. Test drive robots using exciting simulations
★★★★☆ (8 ratings)

Robotics Foundations I – Robot Modeling
University of Naples Federico II via edX
This course explores the robotics foundations for modelling of robot manipulators.
★★★★☆ (7 ratings)

Robótica
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México via Coursera
¿Te gustaría construir un robot y controlarlo a través de tu celular? ¡Estás en el curso indicado! Aquí podrás armar y animar un robot además de controlarlo con tu teléfono móvil, aún cuando te encuentres lejos de éste. ¿No sabes acerca de mecánica, electrónica o programación? ¡No te preocupes! Éste es un curso en el que aplicarás los conocimientos básicos sobre mecánica, electricidad, electrónica y programación para construir y controlar tu robot.

Introduction to Robotics
NPTEL via YouTube
This course is a bridge course for students from various disciplines to get the basic understanding of robotics. The mechanical, electrical, and computer science aspects of robotics is covered in this introductory course.

Future Robots
University of Naples Federico II via edX
Learn Robots as a new science for the understanding of human beings and the affects of robotics in the real world.

Robotics 101
SparkFun Electronics via YouTube

Explore Robotics
Boston Dynamics via YouTube

Autonomous Systems Online Courses

Introduction to Self-Driving Cars
University of Toronto via Coursera
Welcome to Introduction to Self-Driving Cars, the first course in University of Toronto’s Self-Driving Cars Specialization. This course will introduce you to the terminology, design considerations and safety assessment of self-driving cars.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots
Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich) via edX
You will learn how to infer the position of the quadrotor from its sensor readings and how to navigate it along a trajectory.
★★★★★ (9 ratings)

Autonomous Mobile Robots
ETH Zurich via edX
Basic concepts and algorithms for locomotion, perception, and intelligent navigation.
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

Robotics: Aerial Robotics
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
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.
★★★★☆ (10 ratings)

6.S094: Deep Learning for Self-Driving Cars
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via Independent
This class is an introduction to the practice of deep learning through the applied theme of building a self-driving car. It is open to beginners and is designed for those who are new to machine learning, but it can also benefit advanced researchers in the field looking for a practical overview of deep learning methods and their application.
★★★★☆ (2 ratings)

Self-Driving Cars Teach-Out
University of Michigan via Coursera
In this Teach-Out, you will hear leading experts in technology, law, accessibility and equity, and societal change. The Teach-Out will address the following questions: What is a self-driving car? What is an automated or driverless vehicle? What are the major legal questions? What can we do to prepare? How do we build trust in this new technology? How are we testing this technology and when can we expect to see it on the roads? How is this going to change our modern society? How are people thinking about accessibility and equity?

Intelligent Systems: An Introduction to Deep Learning and Autonomous Systems
University of York via FutureLearn
Discover the benefits and risks of deep learning and its uses in systems such as assistive technology and facial recognition.

Self-Driving Fundamentals: Featuring Apollo
Baidu via Udacity
Through this course, you will be able to identify key parts of self-driving cars and get to know Apollo architecture. You will be able to utilize Apollo HD Map, localization, perception, prediction, planning and control, and start the learning path of building a self-driving car.

Planning for Autonomous Vehicles: A People-Centred Approach
European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) via FutureLearn
Learn how autonomous vehicles can improve urban mobility, and how good town planning can ensure they do just that.

Self-driving cars with Carla and Python
via YouTube
In this course, you will learn about Carla, an open source autonomous driving simulator. Carla creates a sort of open world with streets, other cars, pedestrians, weather, sensors, and more to help you to write logic to drive self-driving cars, coming with a Python API.

Sensing & Moving Online Courses

Modern Robotics, Course 1: Foundations of Robot Motion
Northwestern University via Coursera
In 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).

Robotics: Perception
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
How can robots perceive the world and their own movements so that they accomplish navigation and manipulation tasks? In this module, we will study how images and videos acquired by cameras mounted on robots are transformed into representations like features and optical flow. Such 2D representations allow us then to extract 3D information about where the camera is and in which direction the robot moves. You will come to understand how grasping objects is facilitated by the computation of 3D posing of objects and navigation can be accomplished by visual odometry and landmark-based localization.

Underactuated Robotics (Spring 2009)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via MIT OpenCourseWare
This course discusses nonlinear dynamics and control of underactuated mechanical systems, with an emphasis on machine learning methods.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Robotics: Mobility
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
How can robots use their motors and sensors to move around in an unstructured environment? You will understand how to design robot bodies and behaviors that recruit limbs and more general appendages to apply physical forces that confer reliable mobility in a complex and dynamic world. We develop an approach to composing simple dynamical abstractions that partially automate the generation of complicated sensorimotor programs. Specific topics that will be covered include: mobility in animals and robots, kinematics and dynamics of legged machines, and design of dynamical behavior via energy landscapes.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

Visual Perception for Self-Driving Cars
University of Toronto via Coursera
This course will introduce you to the main perception tasks in autonomous driving, static and dynamic object detection, and will survey common computer vision methods for robotic perception. By the end of this course, you will be able to work with the pinhole camera model, perform intrinsic and extrinsic camera calibration, detect, describe and match image features and design your own convolutional neural networks. You’ll apply these methods to visual odometry, object detection and tracking, and semantic segmentation for drivable surface estimation.

Sensor Fusion and Non-linear Filtering for Automotive Systems
Chalmers University of Technology via edX
Learn fundamental algorithms for sensor fusion and non-linear filtering with application to automotive perception systems.

Reasoning & Learning Online Courses

Artificial Intelligence for Robotics
Stanford University via Udacity
Learn how to program all the major systems of a robotic car from the leader of Google and Stanford’s autonomous driving teams. This class will teach you basic methods in Artificial Intelligence, including: probabilistic inference, planning and search, localization, tracking and control, all with a focus on robotics. Extensive programming examples and assignments will apply these methods in the context of building self-driving cars.This course is offered as part of the Georgia Tech Masters in Computer Science. The updated course includes a final project, where you must chase a runaway robot that is trying to escape!
★★★★★ (23 ratings)

Robotics: Computational Motion Planning
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
Robotic systems typically include three components: a mechanism which is capable of exerting forces and torques on the environment, a perception system for sensing the world and a decision and control system which modulates the robot’s behavior to achieve the desired ends. In this course we will consider the problem of how a robot decides what to do to achieve its goals. This problem is often referred to as Motion Planning and it has been formulated in various ways to model different situations. You will learn some of the most common approaches to addressing this problem including graph-based methods, randomized planners and artificial potential fields. Throughout the course, we will discuss the aspects of the problem that make planning challenging.
★★★★☆ (4 ratings)

Robotics: Estimation and Learning
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
How can robots determine their state and properties of the surrounding environment from noisy sensor measurements in time? In this module you will learn how to get robots to incorporate uncertainty into estimating and learning from a dynamic and changing world. Specific topics that will be covered include probabilistic generative models, Bayesian filtering for localization and mapping.

Robot Development
University of Naples Federico II via edX
This course offers in-depth learning of developmental cognitive robotics, taking direct inspiration from child psychologyused to develop sensorimotor and cognitive skills in robots.

Decision-Making for Autonomous Systems
Chalmers University of Technology via edX
Learn effective tactics for making key decisions when working with autonomous, self-driving vehicles.

Foundations of Cognitive Robotics
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur via Swayam
With the rapidly advancing process of inclusion of robots from Industry to the Social Arena, the functional requirement of the robots and corresponding human expectations have increased tremendously. However, in order to fully comprehend the complexities of such robot design, one needs to possess an over-all idea of the field. The objective of this course is to introduce students, researchers to this new field of robotics with the help of illustrative models, facts and relevant theories. The course has been designed by carefully maintaining a balance between biology, engineering and control system design so that it can attract a broad group of people interested in the interdisciplinary field.

Motion Planning for Self-Driving Cars
University of Toronto via Coursera
This course will introduce you to the main planning tasks in autonomous driving, including mission planning, behavior planning and local planning. By the end of this course, you will be able to find the shortest path over a graph or road network using Dijkstra’s and the A* algorithm, use finite state machines to select safe behaviors to execute, and design optimal, smooth paths and velocity profiles to navigate safely around obstacles while obeying traffic laws. You’ll also build occupancy grid maps of static elements in the environment and learn how to use them for efficient collision checking.

Robot Motion Planning
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur via Swayam
The course would cover the fundamental concepts and mathematics required to understand, analyze, and design algorithms required for motion planning of serial robotic arms and mobile robots.

MIT 16.412J Cognitive Robotics, Spring 2016
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via YouTube
This is an advanced lecture series from MIT 16.412 Cognitive Robotics of Spring 2016, led by MIT students.

Industry & Society Online Courses

MedTech: AI and Medical Robots
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
Using case studies, you will learn why regulations are essential for the safe use of robots and AI in healthcare, and understand the process of bringing a successful product to market. You will also explore how artificial intelligence is used in surgical procedures, to improve precision diagnostics, in exoskeleton technology, and even for patient care.
★★★★★ (9 ratings)

Diseña, fabrica y programa tu propio robot
Universitat Politècnica de València via edX
Aprenderás a diseñar, fabricar y programar tu propio robot (DYOR: Do Your Own Robot) con Arduino y te iniciarás en el mundo Maker.
★★★★★ (7 ratings)

Robotics Education: MATLAB and Simulink Robotics Arena
Matlab via YouTube
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

The Mechatronics Revolution: Fundamentals and Core Concepts
Georgia Institute of Technology via edX
In this course, students will learn to harness the power of microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators to build useful and interesting robotic devices.

Hello (Real) World with ROS – Robot Operating System
Delft University of Technology via edX
Learn the fundamentals of ROS, Robot Operating System, to create advanced robotic systems.

Le robot Thymio comme outil de découverte des sciences du numérique
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX
Ce cours permet d’aborder la compréhension des mécanismes de base d’un robot tel que Thymio, sa programmation avec différents langages, son utilisation en classe avec les éléments pédagogiques associés

AI and Robotics: A blessing or a curse?
Delft University of Technology via edX
Learn about the societal impact of artificially intelligent robots and what you can do about it.

Drones for Agriculture: Prepare and Design Your Drone (UAV) Mission
Wageningen University via edX
Take a dive and expand your knowledge about drones en drone technology. Learn how to prepare and execute a flight mission with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and how to use, process and understand the collected drone data for your own applications.

Robotics With Raspberry Pi: Build and Program Your First Robot Buggy
Raspberry Pi Foundation via FutureLearn
Build and program your first robot buggy using a Raspberry Pi, learning how to connect motors, add sensors and write algorithms.

Bobby Brady Profile Image

Bobby Brady

Bobby has successfully utilized MOOCs in his professional career twice, transitioning from the service industry to IT support and then again to Development. He now works full time as an edtech consultant and contractor helping students from all over the world learn React and JavaScript.
Manoel Cortes Mendez Profile Image

Manoel Cortes Mendez

Software engineer and online graduate student in computer science passionate about education, technology, and their intersection.

Comments 1

  1. Nguyen Trong Tung

    Nothing new, still

    Reply

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