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 CodeBSC116
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement 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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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.
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