Robotics: Aerial Robotics

The Introduction to Robotics Specialization introduces you to the concepts of robot flight and movement, how robots perceive their environment, and how they adjust their movements to avoid obstacles, navigate difficult terrains and accomplish complex tasks such as construction and disaster recovery. You will be exposed to real world examples of how robots have been applied in disaster situations, how they have made advances in human health care and what their future capabilities will be. The courses build towards a capstone in which you will learn how to program a robot to perform a variety of

Created by: Vijay Kumar

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Overall Score : 88 / 100

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Course Description

How can we create agile micro aerial vehicles that are able to operate autonomously in cluttered indoor and outdoor environments? You will gain an introduction to the mechanics of flight and the design of quadrotor flying robots and will be able to develop dynamic models, derive controllers, and synthesize planners for operating in three dimensional environments. You will be exposed to the challenges of using noisy sensors for localization and maneuvering in complex, three-dimensional environments. Finally, you will gain insights through seeing real world examples of the possible applications and challenges for the rapidly-growing drone industry.Mathematical prerequisites: Students taking this course are expected to have some familiarity with linear algebra, single variable calculus, and differential equations.Programming prerequisites: Some experience programming with MATLAB or Octave is recommended (we will use MATLAB in this course.) MATLAB will require the use of a 64-bit computer.

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Instructor Details

Vijay Kumar

Vijay studies collective behaviors in biological and robotic systems. He and his group design novel architectures, create abstractions for systems of interacting individuals, and develop new algorithms for cooperating robots. The overarching themes in his research include modeling nature and developing bio-inspired architectures and algorithms, understanding group/individual dynamics, and the design and composition of controllers for robust, scalable autonomous systems. Vijay's key challenges include operation in unstructured, dynamic environments, integration of control, communication and perception, and scaling down to smaller sizes with limited actuation, sensing, and computational resources.

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Reviews

4.4

471 total reviews

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By Zachary H on 20-Feb-16

So close but yet so far ...Course concepts are interesting and the programming assignments are fun but the presentation can be greatly improved. Criticisms include: (i) The course isn't self contained. Physical concepts like 'resultant moment', 'inertial and body-fixed frame' and 'torque' are used without definition. Mechanics is not listed as a prerequisite but it should be.(ii) Lectures are very mathematical but proofs, intuition and good problem sets are all missing. Listening to a math lecture without doing challenging problems or deriving mathematical results to build intuition can be a waste of time. Check out John Cochrane's Asset Pricing 1 and 2 or Tim Roughgarden's Algo 1 and 2 for great examples of thoughtful problem sets and intuitive derivations. (iii) Way too much powerpoint! Speed reading a static powerpoint slide overloaded with dense mathematical formulas without using pointers or animations to focus the students attention is a recipe for confusion and frustration. I find hand written derivations, even when the handwriting is a little sloppy, much easier to follow than a static page of formulas plus a sound track. Hand written derivations impose a natural pace and focal point to the content. Check out Gilbert Strang's Linear Algebra, Sebastian Thrun's Artificial Intelligence for Robotics and Andrew Ng's Machine Learning for examples of good derivations of mathematically sophisticated material.(iv) The programming assignments while fun were somewhat ad hoc and disconnected from the lecture material, specifically, the main task of every single assignment was to hand tune a pd controller. No systematic approach was ever described for performing this task.

By Sathivada C K S on 25-Nov-18

Firstly. I thank Mr Vijay Kumar and his team to take time & efforts on preparing the material which is structure perfectly for a beginner like me. Secondly for giving us explicit videos and materials for the research carried out on drones especially quadrotors at Penn State University, this not only helped me with the course for which I had liking, but has also opened up options for master program in your prestigious university. Lastly, I thank all the students who have been active on the forum to respond on issues faced in programming assignments. Thank you all, happy learning.

By Eric B on 27-Apr-19

I've learned a lot in 4 short weeks. This is a great course, especially for someone with an academic background in controls, but little practical experience.

By Matthew R on 7-Aug-16

The video lectures provide an introduction to quadrotor flight dynamics and path planning. The lectures are ok.Unfortunately:At least one of the coding assignments has a significant bug in the termination condition. The mentors will ignore any help requests that deal with the bug in their code.The assignments involve a lot of hand tuning of PD controllers. That's a reasonable task to perform once or twice, but it rapidly becomes extremely tedious and detracts from the other materials that are being taught. The final assignment doesn't do a particularly good job evaluating the required test condition. If you do take the course I'd want you to know:You should expect to modify the provided code to fix their bugs.There are no "gotcha" quiz questions. If you are confused by getting a question wrong you might want to re-try your answer. There seems to be a bug in the way at least one quiz question is set up.On the final assignment you can modify the simulation step where it makes things run in "real time". Removing that step makes the simulation run much more quickly and allows for faster iteration.To conclude:This is a course with a lot of potential, but unless Coursera makes an effort to improve the course I would not recommend it.

By Nandakumar L on 27-Dec-18

Right course to understand the science behind quad-rotors.

By SAIKAT B on 14-Mar-19

best

By Lunghao L on 30-Jun-18

This is quite a good course, since I am a student who had learn control theory before, this class teach me something really practical. Believe me I don't think it is easy, although I have some basic knowledge about matlab and control, I still struggle in some part of class. What best is! The class show me what quad really do in real world, in the way I didn't imagine before. Thanks U Penn and professor and everyone in forum!

By Md. S H on 27-Jun-19

It was a awesome course. As a novice, I somehow completed it, however with great effort

By Ivan T on 23-Oct-17

The course is very good. The classes are well taught and show general concepts. It is necessary to do research on the internet, to solve the assignments. This is not a bad thing in my point of view

By utkarsh m on 8-Apr-19

The course is very good and is designed such that even beginners can get a good grasp on the content that is made available. The discussion forums are great and help in making life easier.

By Cristina G on 12-Feb-16

Well balanced mix of theory and practical applicability. Explanation of the material is also very good.The assignments are nicely built on the taught material to stimulate understanding.

By Abdelrahman A on 16-Sep-18

It needs more programming in depth and it will be perfect.