12 Awesome Online Robotics Courses

Want to learn robotics? Check out our curated list of 12 awesome online robotics courses that you can take in your spare time.

1. Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots (edX)

The objective of Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots 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. The lectures and exercises of this course introduce several types of robots such as wheeled robots, legged robots and drones.

2. Underactuated Robotics (edX)

Underactuated Robotics is taught by Russ Tedrake, Robin Deits and Twan Koolen. It is comprised of 19 lectures covering algorithms for walking, running, swimming, flying, and manipulation and the prerequisites for this course include basic linear algebra and differential equations.

3. Introduction to Robotics (MIT)

Introduction to Robotics, taught by Harry Asada and John Leonard, provides an overview of robot mechanisms, dynamics, and intelligent controls.

Topics include planar and spatial kinematics, and motion planning; mechanism design for manipulators and mobile robots, multi-rigid-body dynamics, 3D graphic simulation; control design, actuators, and sensors; wireless networking, task modeling, human-machine interface, and embedded software.

4. Control of Mobile Robots (Coursera)

Control of Mobile Robots, taught by Magnus Egerstedt, is a course that focuses on the application of modern control theory to the problem of making robots move around in safe and effective ways.

The structure of this class is somewhat unusual since it involves many moving parts – to do robotics right, one has to go from basic theory all the way to an actual robot moving around in the real world, which is the challenge this course has set out to address.

5. Robot Mechanics and Control, Part I (edX)

Robot Mechanics and Control, Part I provides a mathematical introduction to the mechanics and control of robots that can be modeled as kinematic chains.

Topics covered include the concept of a robot’s configuration space and degrees of freedom, static grasp analysis, the description of rigid body motions, kinematics of open and closed chains, and the basics of robot control.

6. Robot Mechanics and Control, Part II (edX)

Robot Mechanics and Control, Part II covers screw motions and the product of exponentials kinematics formula, inverse kinematics of open chains, velocity kinematics and statics, closed chain kinematics, and basics of robot control.

7. Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots (edX)

Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots introduces the basic concepts for autonomous navigation for quadrotors. The following topics will be covered:

  • 3D geometry,
  • probabilistic state estimation,
  • visual odometry, SLAM, 3D mapping,
  • linear control.

In particular, you will learn how to infer the position of the quadrotor from its sensor readings and how to navigate it along a trajectory.

8. Artificial Intelligence for Robotics (Udacity)

Artificial Intelligence for Robotics teaches you how to program all the major systems of a robotic car from the leader of Google and Stanford’s autonomous driving teams.

You will learn 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.

9. Robotic vision (QUT)

Robotic vision introduces you to the field of computer vision and the mathematics and algorithms that underpin it.

You’ll learn how to interpret images to determine the color, size, shape and position of objects in the scene, and you’ll build an intelligent vision system that can recognize objects of different colors and shapes.

10. Applied Robot Design for Non-Robot-Designers (Stanford)

In Applied Robot Design for Non-Robot-Designers you will learn how to design and build the mechanical hardware of robots. The goal is to take people with no mechanical experience and teach them to build professional-quality robots.

The course consists of weekly labs and a final project, each of which will entail building an interesting robotic device. For example, students will build a pantilt camera turret in the belts lab.

Topics will include: Electric motors, unusual actuators, sensors, mechanical transmissions, rotary and linear motion, counterbalancing, and standard mechanisms.

11. Introduction to Robotics (Stanford)

The purpose of Introduction to Robotics is to introduce you to basics of modeling, design, planning, and control of robot systems.

In essence, the material treated in this course is a brief survey of relevant results from geometry, kinematics, statics, dynamics, and control.

12. Introduction to Robotics Specialization (University of Pennsylvania)

The Introduction to Robotics Specialization introduces you to the concepts of robot flight and movement, how robots perceive their environment, and how they adjust their movements to avoid obstacles, navigate difficult terrains and accomplish complex tasks such as construction and disaster recovery.

You will be exposed to real world examples of how robots have been applied in disaster situations, how they have made advances in human health care and what their future capabilities will be.

The courses build towards a capstone in which you will learn how to program a robot to perform a variety of movements such as flying and grasping objects.

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