Self-Paced Robotics MOOC
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 17 June 2015

An intermediate level robotics MOOC in which students discover the underlying principles that allow autonomous robots to navigate through the world started this week on edX. It is self-paced with a deadline for completion of 31st January, 2016.

Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots is based on a lecture course at ETH Zurich and was originally run as a 15-week MOOC on edX. Now it is being re-run over an extended period and all the material, including quizzes and problem sets, is already available.



The objective of this course is to provide the basic concepts and algorithms required to develop mobile robots that act autonomously in complex environments. The main emphasis is put on mobile robot locomotion and kinematics, environment perception, probabilistic map based localization and mapping, and motion planning.

In this video, made for the first presentation of the course in 2014, Roland Siegwart, Professor of Robotics at ETH Zurich explains how the course explores the way in which mobile robots locate themselves and move within a complex environment without being controlled by a user.



The course, which is at intermediate level requires around 75 hours of effort. Prerequisites are good basic mathematics, physics and system modeling and control. It consists of 30 short video lectures with multiple choice questions to check that you've assimilated the content. The material closely follows the textbook Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots by Roland Siegwart, Illah Nourbakhsh, Davide Scaramuzza. All required readings are available within the courseware, courtesy of  MIT Press which is offering enrolled students a special 30% discount on print copies ordered directly through its website. 

A grade of 60% or higher in the course is considered a pass, derived from two quizzes (one mid-way through; the other at the end) each worth 25% of the final score and 10 problem sets worth 50% and with the lowest mark discarded.

There are also six optional ungraded exercises in which students can write perception and planning software for a mobile robot that runs in simulation. The programming part is in Matlab or Octave and the simulation runs in the V-Rep simulator.

You can audit the course for free or earn a Verified Certificate for $50, but for this you need ID with your photograph and signature on the same side.





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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 June 2015 )