Robot Mechanics and Control, Part I

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8/10 stars
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edX online courses
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Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22134 reviews

Course Description

This course 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. The emphasis is not on the latest research trends and technological innovations in robotics, but on learning the fundamental concepts and core principles that underlie robotics as a scientific discipline. The intent is to help students acquire a unified set of analytical tools for the modeling and control of robots, together with a reliable physical intuition that recognizes the unique and interdisciplinary nature of robotics—in short, content that will serve as a reliable foundation for whatever trends may appear later, and remain relevant to both the practitioner and researcher. This ...

This course 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. The emphasis is not on the latest research trends and technological innovations in robotics, but on learning the fundamental concepts and core principles that underlie robotics as a scientific discipline. The intent is to help students acquire a unified set of analytical tools for the modeling and control of robots, together with a reliable physical intuition that recognizes the unique and interdisciplinary nature of robotics—in short, content that will serve as a reliable foundation for whatever trends may appear later, and remain relevant to both the practitioner and researcher. This course is the first of two parts of “Robot Mechanics and Control.” Part II will start shortly after completion of Part I.

Robot Mechanics and Control, Part I course image
Reviews 8/10 stars
5 Reviews for Robot Mechanics and Control, Part I

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8/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 2 months ago
Excellent Course. A must for robotics beginners. An excellent mathematical approach fundamentals of robot dynamics. Little material on controls, however still exciting. Would definitely take Part 2.
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Claudio Felicioli profile image
Claudio Felicioli profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 58 reviews
  • 58 completed
3 years, 9 months ago
Very formal discussion about the mathematics required for movement planning and control of any configuration of robotic actuators. The content is good, but the format of the lessons is very boring: essentially a classical blackboard filling frontal instruction course has been filmed during a live class and the only editing has been the split in (too much big) video chunks.
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Marlon Cajamarca profile image
Marlon Cajamarca profile image

Marlon Cajamarca

8/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
The course, in my opinion, is the best introduction to robot mechanics. The unique shortcoming is that the course don´t cover the topic of dynamics and the topic of control is treated superficially. Although, the geometric formulacion using for the study of the robot kinematics is stately. The book notes provided in the course, in my opinion, is the best material concerned with the introduction to the diferential geometric tools applied to robotics (in contrast with the gradute-level Murray's book). I think that in the future, the robot analysis and study will be carry out using this moderns techniques, then this course is pioneer in the topic. About the instructor Frank Park, the advanced knolewdge about the topic give him the clarity and patience to teach it. The class in english is totally clear. The TA team for the course aswered several questions in the discussion forum and the forum were very active. In conclusion, a must cours... The course, in my opinion, is the best introduction to robot mechanics. The unique shortcoming is that the course don´t cover the topic of dynamics and the topic of control is treated superficially. Although, the geometric formulacion using for the study of the robot kinematics is stately. The book notes provided in the course, in my opinion, is the best material concerned with the introduction to the diferential geometric tools applied to robotics (in contrast with the gradute-level Murray's book). I think that in the future, the robot analysis and study will be carry out using this moderns techniques, then this course is pioneer in the topic. About the instructor Frank Park, the advanced knolewdge about the topic give him the clarity and patience to teach it. The class in english is totally clear. The TA team for the course aswered several questions in the discussion forum and the forum were very active. In conclusion, a must course in robotic.
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Dan Brown profile image
Dan Brown profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
4 years, 12 months ago
I took the course and completed it, with a (barely) passing grade. However, I highly recommend the course, if you can put the time into it. This course is not easy, but is worth the effort. The course is organized as a sequence of topics in robot motion, primarily the issue of expressing the current robot state (position) mathematically. The topics progress from easy (e.g. counting the number of degrees of freedom) to difficult (using matrix algebra to calculate position based on joint angles and link lengths). The professor covers the topics in increasing level of complexity. He explains each concept slowly and carefully in lectures, then when he has explained a topic, he uses the following lecture for a review. In addition, he provides the corresponding chapters of his textbook in PDF. I found that I had to watch the lectures, the reviews, and read the textbook chapters in order to understand each topic. The homework is very well d... I took the course and completed it, with a (barely) passing grade. However, I highly recommend the course, if you can put the time into it. This course is not easy, but is worth the effort. The course is organized as a sequence of topics in robot motion, primarily the issue of expressing the current robot state (position) mathematically. The topics progress from easy (e.g. counting the number of degrees of freedom) to difficult (using matrix algebra to calculate position based on joint angles and link lengths). The professor covers the topics in increasing level of complexity. He explains each concept slowly and carefully in lectures, then when he has explained a topic, he uses the following lecture for a review. In addition, he provides the corresponding chapters of his textbook in PDF. I found that I had to watch the lectures, the reviews, and read the textbook chapters in order to understand each topic. The homework is very well designed, and meshes extremely well with the class material. I always felt as though I was learning the material from doing the homework, I never felt that my time was being wasted. Most homework problems allow many submissions, and worked answers are provided. To learn the material, I found I had to work each problem first myself, which frequently resulted in the wrong answer. Then I would read the worked answer, and see what I had done wrong. Finally, I would work the problem myself, and get the correct answer. The course took much more effort than I had expected. For previous courses, I have been able to watch the lectures and do the homework. In this case, having to read each chapter and work each problem twice added a lot of time each week. For example, as a result, I did not have time to properly work through the final topic, the Denavit-Hardenberg Representation. When it came time for the final exam, I did only enough to be able to pass the course. The class requires a lot of linear algebra on small matricies (up to 4x4), including some tedious symbolic manipulation. I used Sage (the open source symbolic mathematics package, available online) when working on some of the homework, to confirm that my results were correct. In college, I remember the saying that you really learn calculus in physics class. For me, solving the homework on this class taught me the linear algebra that I had previous never quite understood. Even though this class is for an applied subject (robotics), I do not have the feeling after completing part 1 that the material can really be applied. I assume that I will have to complete part 2 to understand how to apply the material. All in all, this class is very worthwhile. Be aware: \- The class is a lot of work. \- The lectures are more variable in length than usual, making it difficult in some cases to schedule when to watch them. I could not decide, for example, to watch the lecture for one topic at a specific time every evening after work, because I could not predict how much lecture time would be required. \- The class seems to be a survey of different representations, I am not certain that they are all equally valuable. If possible, I would have preferred a course with less material (e.g. fewer representations) but more practice with each one.
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Sagar Sachdeva profile image
Sagar Sachdeva profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years ago
Could not complete it due to semester exams but whatever part I did was very well-explained. There was no problem in understanding the accent of the professor. You may have to speed up the video player though. The professor used to first lead us to the common misconceptions and then correct our mistakes, this solidified the concepts. The homework questions were aptly chosen covering the video material. You may consult a book for more questions that is why I have given 8-11 hours per week. In a nutshell, a must course on introductory robotics.
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