Robotics

Develop a foundation for understanding robotics, and potential applications for robots. Learn about types of robots, their components, how they work, maintenance and applications.

Course Code: BSC116
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn about Robotics and Possible Applications of Robots

A robot is a mechanical or virtual assistant that can simulate some human functions or movements. In the real world, it is an autonomous machine capable of sensing its environment, performing computations to make decisions, and executing actions.

In this course you will develop a foundation for understanding robotics, and learn about different types and possible uses of robots.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Types of Robots
    • A Brief History of Robotics
    • Types of Physical Robots
  2. Robotic Actuators
    • Mechanical Components of Robots
    • Robot Movement
  3. Robotic Sensors
    • Types of Sensors
    • Signal Processing
    • Challenges
  4. Power Supply & Control Systems
    • Power Supply
    • Control Systems
    • Types of Robot Control Techniques
    • Control Systems Used in Robots
  5. Kinematics
    • Configuration and Workspace
    • Structure of Robots
    • Configurations and Configuration Space
  6. Cybernetics
    • Robot Brain
    • Developments in Autonomy
  7. Robot Maintenance
    • Why maintenance
    • Preventative maintenance
    • After breakdown maintenance
    • Maintenance planning
  8. Applications
    • Industrial Robots
    • Logistics
    • Service Robots

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Define a robot and discuss different types of robots.
  • Describe different types of robotic components.
  • Describe a variety of sensors used in robotics.
  • Describe different options for power supply, and different control systems in robots.
  • Explain the application of kinematics to robotics.
  • Discuss cybernetics and its application to robotics.
  • Determine maintenance procedures to be applied with different types of robots.
  • Explain a range of different applications for robots in different industries.

A robot is a mechanical or virtual assistant that can simulate some human functions or movements. In the real world, it is an autonomous machine capable of sensing its environment, performing computations to make decisions, and executing actions.

A robot is usually an electromechanical system, which, by its appearance or actions, gives the impression that it has some abilities on its own.

Robots vary in their size, design, and capabilities. The term ‘robot’ refers to both physical and virtual software tools, but virtual robots are usually called bots. 

Physical robots are generally hardware applications of artificial intelligence (AI). This means they usually have a body with arms, legs, or both to accomplish physical duties in various conditions. 
A popular robot which carries out a mechanical function is a drone. Drones are robots that can fly and are controlled or programmed by humans. Another example is the robotic arms used in factories for assembly lines, automated construction, and other tasks.These are commonly used in the automotive industry.

Virtual robots, or bots, are an application of AI used to automate tasks. There are levels of these bots, from simple (e.g. a Slackbot) through to complex (e.g. a virtual assistant).  A chatbot is a software application that can use AI to communicate with human users to assist them in various applications. 

SIRI, the assistant that comes with Apple technology, is a chatbot (not a mechanical robot). SIRI evolved from a project at SRI Artificial Intelligence Centre that utilised voice recognition software from Nuance communications together with advanced machine learning technology.

Understanding robotics will be critical to work in many, if not most jobs of the future. Understanding robotics is important to your future employ-ability and productivity.
 
If you have not previously studied robotics this is a course you may well need to do. 
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More information is here

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rajy Xavier

An Electrical Engineer with 12 years of experience in Engineering and Education. After completing masters in Telecommunication Engineering, she worked as an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering for 5 years.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Lyn Quirk

Lyn has 35 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Australia's Gold Coast, including The Marriott. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has among her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

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