How are robots built? How do scientists and engineers measure their intelligence? Are they really capable of independent thought? These are some of the questions Begin Robotics, the free online course by the University of Reading tries to answer. Over the course of 4 weeks, participants are introduced not only to the topic of robotics, but to the numerous ways in which robots are applied in today's world. The aim of the training offer is to provide learners with an understanding of the history and anatomy of robots - and at at the end of the course, even an opportunity to test drive a robot through a simulation.
The course aims to equip participants with an introductory understanding of the fundamentals of robotics, including:
- Key components in robotic design and operational functions.
- Robot anatomy, control and behaviour theories and practices.
- Cybernetics and the specifics of test driving robots using computer simulations.
- History and anatomy of robots, including popular schools of thought and different design approaches.
Upon successful completion of this course, participants will grasp the basics of robotics and will be able to provide examples of robot applications across different industry sectors, such as medicine, engineering, manufacturing, transport, public services and administration, and many others. Learners will also be able to list the robots we encounter on a daily basis - from the ones that perform tasks in our homes, to the ones we see in movies and films, and talk about how the discipline began.
Begin Robotics is self-paced, structured in 4 modules, which require an average of 3 hours of study time on a weekly basis. The course can be completed in 4 weeks, requires no prerequisite knowledge of robotics, coding or programming, and is free of charge via the FutureLearn learning platform. Learners can also choose to purchase a certificate for a fee.