18 Free Robotics Courses That You Can Take Right Away

Technology is evolving at a fast pace and with that is growing our fear of artificial intelligence that may soon take over our lives. Considering how it has already started to replace human workers and beat expert players at games like Chess and Go, our fears are not irrational at all. Many of us believe in singularity, but some of us are working towards it. But whatsoever the case maybe, learning robotics and artificial intelligence is the need of today’s World to keep up with the current demands. So, here we are to help you! If you have an interest in robotics and want to be a part of the world working towards a rather scary world of singularity, here are some free courses that you can take to achieve that.

Introduction to Robotics

If you are starting at the base, here are some of the best resources you can begin with:

Begin Robotics

The University of Reading course offered via FutureLearn will let you explore the history, anatomy, and the intelligence of robots. You can even test drive robots using simulations.

Mobile Robotics

You can discover the world of mobile robots through the Mobile Robotics course on Open2Study. You will learn how they move, how they interact with the world and how you can build them on your own.

Introduction to Robotics

Offered via EdCast, this course from the Queensland University of Technology will introduce you to the world of robotics while teaching you the mathematics and algorithms behind it.

AMRx: Autonomous Mobile Robots

The edX course offered by ETH Zurich will enable you to learn the basic concepts and algorithms behind mobile robots that are capable of working autonomously in complex environments.

Drones and Aerial Robotics

Drones are a new crazy for all the good reasons, and if you are an enthusiast, these courses are sure to help you through your drone building journeys.

Robotics: Aerial Robotics

Coursera offers the University of Pennsylvania course on Aerial Robotics that you can join to learn about mechanics of flight and the design of quad-copter drones.

Unmanned Aerospace Systems (UAS) – Key Concepts for New Users

This course from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Canvas.net covers all the key concepts of unmanned aerospace systems (UAS) or recreational drones. This also includes the National Airspace System (NAS) safety instructions and where you can find the flight planning tools for safe flights.

AUTONAVx: Autonomous Navigation for Flying Robots

The Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich) course on edX is best for learning basic concepts of autonomous quad-copter navigation including 3D geometry, probabilistic state estimation, visual odometry, SLAM, 3D mapping, and linear control. It also teaches you the methods to use sensor readings to navigate the drone along a trajectory and locate its position.

Movement, Sensors & Actuation

Robotics: Mobility

The University of Pennsylvania course at Coursera will teach you how robots use their motors and sensors to move in unstructured environments. You will understand how you can design such robots, which have maximum mobility in the complex and dynamic world.

Robotics: Computational Motion Planning

Another one of University of Pennsylvania courses on Coursera is the Computational Motion planning. It will teach you the three most important components of robotic systems: “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.”

6.302.0x: Introduction to Feedback Control Theory

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology course on Feedback Control Theory via edX will teach you the design strategies behind temperature controllers, quad-copters, and self-balancing scooters.

Internet of Things: Sensing and Actuation From Devices

The IoT course from the University of California, San Diego on Coursera offers information on real world devices that communicate with smartphones. You can learn better about the sampling frequencies, and bit-width requirements for different sensors along with their interfacing methods with the DragonBoard 410c hardware.

6.832x: Underactuated Robotics

This MIT course on edX will teach you how to control non-linear and under-actuated mechanical systems with a focus on computational methods.

Robotic Vision

Robotic Vision course from the Queensland University of Technology offered on EdCast will introduce you to computer vision and the underlying mathematics and algorithms. You will be able to develop systems that interpret images and determine the color, shape, size and the position of the objects within.

SNU446.345.1x: Robot Mechanics and Control, Part I

The course on edX from the Seoul National University is a mathematical introduction to mechanics and control of robots that can be modeled as kinematic chains. It includes 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.

Learning and Cognition

Robotics: Perception

The University of Pennsylvania via Coursera will teach you the understanding of 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.

CNR101x: Cognitive Neuroscience Robotics – Part A

The course from Osaka University via edX offers insight into the inter-disciplinary area of Cognitive Neurosciences Robotics to learn about the development of new robot technology systems based on understanding higher functions of the human brain, with the integration of cognitive science, neurosciences, and robotics.

Robotics: Estimation and Learning

This course is offered by the University of Pennsylvania via Coursera teaches you how to get robots to incorporate uncertainty into estimating and learning from a dynamic and changing world. It includes topics like probabilistic generative models, Bayesian filtering for localization and mapping, and machine learning for planning and decision making.


Applications & Programming

CS 8802, Artificial Intelligence for Robotics: Programming a Robotic Car

This is one of the best online resources for learning artificial intelligence for robots through programming a robotic car. The Udacity course from Stanford University teaches all the major systems of a robotic car all from the Google leader and Stanford’s autonomous driving teams. This includes the basic artificial intelligence methods like probabilistic inference, planning, and search, localization, tracking and control; all with a focus on robotics.

Do you have some other courses in mind that could be added to the list? Let us know in the comments.

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