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Robotics: Locomotion Engineering

  • Job DurationedX
  • Job Duration12 weeks long, 8-10 hours a week
  • Job DurationFree Online Course (Audit)

Project detail


How do robots climb stairs, traverse shifting sand and navigate through hilly and rocky terrain?

This course, part of the Robotics MicroMasters program, will teach you how to think about complex mobility challenges that arise when robots are deployed in unstructured human and natural environments.

You will learn how to design and program the sequence of energetic interactions that must occur between sensors and mechanical actuators in order to ensure stable mobility. We will expose you to underlying and still actively developing concepts, while providing you with practical examples and projects.


Week 1: Big-Picture Motivation
Week 2: A Linear Time Invariant Mechanical System
Week 3: A Nonlinear Time Invariant Mechanical System
Week 4: Project #1: A Brachiating Robot
Week 5: Qualitative Theory of Dynamical Systems
Week 6: First Locomotion Model
Week 7: A Vertical Hopping Controller
Week 8: Project #2: From Bouncing Ball to Stable Hopper
Week 9: The Spring Loaded Inverted Pendulum (SLIP)
Week 10: Stepping Control of Fore-aft Speed
Week 11: Project #3: Anchoring SLIP in Multi-Jointed Mechanisms
Week 12: Project #4: A Running Controller for the Jerboa Robot

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