The Robot Academy: An open online robotics education resource

26 May 2017

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The Robot Academy is a new learning resource from Professor Peter Corke and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the team behind the award-winning Introduction to Robotics and Robotic Vision courses. There are over 200 lessons available, all for free.

Educators are encouraged to use the Academy content to support teaching and learning in class or set them as flipped learning tasks. You can easily create viewing lists with links to lessons or masterclasses. Under Resources, you can download a Robotics Toolbox and Machine Vision Toolbox, which are useful for simulating classical arm-type robotics, such as kinematics, dynamics, and trajectory generation.

The lessons were created in 2015 for the Introduction to Robotics and Robotic Vision courses. We describe our approach to creating the original courses in the article, An Innovative Educational Change: Massive Open Online Courses in Robotics and Robotic Vision. The courses were designed for university undergraduate students but many lessons are suitable for anybody, see the difficulty rating on each lesson.

Under Masterclasses, students can choose a subject and watch a set of videos related to that particular topic. Single lessons can offer a short training segment or a refresher. Three online courses, Introducing Robotics, are also offered.

Below are two examples of a lesson and masterclass. We encourage everyone to take a look at the QUT Robot Academy by visiting our website.

Single Lesson

Out and about with robots

In this video, we look at a diverse range of real-world robots and discuss what they do and how they do it.


Robot joint control: Introduction (Video 1 of 12)

In this video, students learn how we make robot joints move to the angles or positions that are required to achieve the desired end-effector motion. This is the job of the robot’s joint controller. In the lecture, we will take discuss the realms of control theory.

Robot joint control: Architecture (video 2 of 12)

In this lecture, we discuss a robot joint is a mechatronic system comprising motors, sensors, electronics and embedded computing that implements a feedback control system.

Robot joint control: Actuators (video 3 of 12)

Actuators are the components that actually move the robot’s joint. So, let’s look at a few different actuation technologies that are used in robots.

To watch the rest of the video series, visit their website.

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Peter Corke is professor of robotic vision at Queensland University of Technology, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision.
Peter Corke is professor of robotic vision at Queensland University of Technology, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision.

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