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Investigate the fascinating field of modern robotics in 24 lectures by a brilliant roboticist.
Robotics is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 48.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Right Technology Viewing Lecture 12 ; Baxter owns movement Training. So the Humanoid or the Android should own the same Movement Training - Less software complexity ! Lets assemble the right technology , with the right robotic item. Great Course !!!
Date published: 2024-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not got round to this topic yet, as i'm watching another of the great courses fantastic videos. Yet i can tell that they are well put together and access to them is so easy any time night or day at a touch if a button.
Date published: 2022-12-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Robotics: Friend and Foe? "Robotics" contains a lot of positive constructionist ideas about robotics and is well designed for anyone interested in robotic engineering. Reviewing both the Scope and TOC provides insight to Long's logical approach and introduce his behaviorally autonomous Arduino robot that we create and program. "Robotics" would be an excellent starting course for anyone interested in specializing in the field or understanding its potential. There are at least two ways to view this 2015 course. From the CONSTRUCTIONIST VIEWPOINT, there is much to be praised and much to be feared. Lecture 1 (L1) and L10 described the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. We know (from the Great Course Private Property by Rosen L23), that unlike in Europe our cell phone data does not have "the right to be forgotten". This month Roomba was the center of another major privacy invasion. Market Watch reported Amazon's $1.7 billion purchase of Roomba from iRobot, giving Amazon access to the interior of your home. Added to Amazon's Ring and Alexa, your last privacy sanctuary - your home - is lost. From the ABSTRACT VIEWPOINT: While the course starts with a Disclaimer section (regarding the dangerous experiments demonstrated) and a Safety notice page, the real dangers of misguided economic/political robotic mechanization also deserve abstract (“big picture") consideration. Dr. Long hints at such dangers at least twice. 1.] He cites Isaac Asimov's (L1) "3 Laws of Robotics" which are basically: don't injure humans. However, the mechanized substitution psychology of PARO (L22), Kismet, Pepper, etc. or equilibrating electrically stimulated cardiac rat cells on a rubber squid (L24) with intelligent movement are (from an abstract POV) deceitful mimicry that potentially dehumanize rather than serve. Long admits that when this is pushed too hard, people recognize what is happening and “appeal …plummets to creepy". 2.] Long's second hint at abstract considerations is his L24 difference between a "science fiction generalist robot" that could do all human tasks and the current "specialist robots". Without considering who is going to control autonomy, he immediately “crosses the Rubicon" into constructionist ideas about creating "generalist robotic autonomy" via RoboEarth, IBM's Dr. Watson, etc. As in the Roomba case, the drive for a robotics earth has already had a dangerous turn. Recently, Yuval Harari, a top-level World Economic Forum (WEF) advisor is reported to have said: we "don't need the vast majority of the population" calling them to be replaced by machines as they were no longer "useful" to the global elite agenda. This is a repulsive iteration of (L1) Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon's incorrect 1956 prediction that "machines will be capable, within 20 years, of doing any work a man can do." Unfortunately, such robotic hubris supports Jane Goodall's January 2020 WEF suggestion to reduce the world's population 94%. Should we be concerned? Timothy Taylor in the Great Course "Unexpected Economics” (L18) quotes Arthur Schopenhauer on herd mentality: "Universal opinion…was often originally the result of 2 or 3 people who analyzed the subject and then (it) was just accepted by many others." SUMMARY: From a constructionist POV, the course is excellent, whether you are an aspiring engineer or in Amazon's executive suite. From an abstract POV, robotics has increasingly centralized power and intentionally confused mimicry with its guiding human creators. This is NOT a calculus course and both types of analysis are mandatory.
Date published: 2022-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb Course This is a very interesting and well-organized course with lots of in-lab demonstrations. The instructor is knowledgeable and enthusiastic with a smooth delivery. Video version highly recommended.
Date published: 2022-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Robotics This my very well be the most enjoyable course I have purchased from Great Courses. The lecturer, John Long, was very entertaining, and the information in the course was very worthwhile. I was surprised by the depth of the course. It really covered all aspects of Robotics. I would strongly recommend the course to anyone.
Date published: 2022-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Upbeat, hands-on survey of many kinds of robotics I watched this class at the gym on my iphone while running, over a many weeks. Professor Long is positive, and nice to watch. The breadth of this class was quite surprising. I didn't know there were so many sub-areas of robotics. I feel like I now know what is going on across so many areas. The visual aids and actual robots on his stage were impressive and helpful. I wish he was a bit more worried about where all this might go, but that wasn't his job, and I have learned so much, that I am now worried, but glad I know.
Date published: 2022-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very entertaining I bought the DVD version of this course, along with the Introduction to Nanotechnology, as a Christmas present for a friend. She loves it and, as I have watched the first lecture in my Digital Library, I agree with her. Prof John Long really knows his stuff and presents it in a very entertaining way. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Date published: 2022-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from ROBOTICS The person teaching this course seems to enjoy what he’s doing. A very friendly manner of teaching. He doesn’t go into too much depth about Robotics, but enough to keep you interested in the subject. I believe that it’s important for everyone to have a good overview of Robotics since Robotics affects all of our lives in one way or another.
Date published: 2021-12-26
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Robots are real. They're all around you. And they're transforming your life. The future of civilization depends on collaborative robotics: humans and machines working together. With in-studio robot demonstrations and other amazing visual aids, Robotics demystifies the world of robots and provides a comprehensive introduction to these intelligent machines. This course is your passport to an astonishing new world.


John Long

The field of robotics offers an endlessly exciting way of seeing our world. Almost everything around you - any machine, any electronics component, any animal, anything that humans do - has potential implications for robotics, which has implications for you.


Vassar College

Dr. John Long is a Professor of Biology and a Professor of Cognitive Science on the John Guy Vassar Chair of Natural History at Vassar College. He also serves as the Director of Vassar's Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory, which he helped found in 2003. Professor Long received his Ph.D. in Zoology from Duke University.

Internationally recognized for his work in biorobotics and evolutionary robotics, Professor Long creates autonomous robotic models of animals-both living and extinct-in order to study how the animals work, behave, and evolve. He also designs and builds bioinspired robots in collaboration with computer scientists, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, physicists, and development-stage robotics companies. Professor Long's research currently is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has received previous research funding awards from the NSF, the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Professor Long is the author of Darwin's Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us about the History of Life and the Future of Technology. He and his robots have been featured in the journal Science, in the international press; on numerous news programs; and in science documentaries, including Through the Wormhole, Evolve, and Predator X.

By This Professor



The Arrival of Robot Autonomy

01: The Arrival of Robot Autonomy

Plunge into the world of robots with this engaging introduction. When did we start thinking about robots? What three components are responsible for so many advances in robot design? Why is behavioral autonomy so essential to the development of modern robotics?...

39 min
Robot Bodies and Trade-Offs

02: Robot Bodies and Trade-Offs

Why just watch robots when you can understand how they actually work? Deconstruct a Roomba to learn the five functional categories of parts all robots need. Then, explore a universal lesson about robotics: because robots can't do everything well, trade-offs (such as simplicity versus maneuverability) are always involved....

33 min
Robot Actuators and Movement

03: Robot Actuators and Movement

Investigate robot actuators: the motors and transmissions that underlie all robotic movement. You'll learn about the early use of springs as motors in automata; how electricity spins the magnets that make motors move; how movement defines what a robot is; and different types of motors (including DC and servo motors)....

33 min
Robot Sensors and Simple Communication

04: Robot Sensors and Simple Communication

Intelligent behavior in robots is rooted in the sensors that determine how much robots know about the world around them. Professor Long demonstrates how sensors work to communicate across the electromagnetic spectrum, including through infrared (like in Roombas) and visible light (for underwater robots that communicate using flashing blue lights)....

31 min
Robot Controllers and Programming

05: Robot Controllers and Programming

What turns a remotely controlled machine into an autonomous robot? Self-control. So where does self-control in robots come from? Find out in this lecture on robot controllers: the computer-like part of robots that uses sensory information to decide how the robot should achieve its immediate and long-term goals....

31 min
Human-Inspired Robot Planning

06: Human-Inspired Robot Planning

In robotics, the most important problem mobile robots must solve is how to navigate, or move with purpose, in the world. Here, learn how simultaneous localization and mapping (using internal models, beacons, and dead reckoning navigation) is the key to a robot's autonomy in both structured and exploratory situations....

31 min
Animal-Inspired Robot Behavior

07: Animal-Inspired Robot Behavior

Consider an approach to creating robots that's inspired not by maps but by the simple sense-and-act behavior of animals. You'll learn the benefits of behavior-based robotic architecture (including quicker reactions and stronger sensors), and see how simple animals including ants have inspired roboticists to build fascinating inventions....

30 min
Basic Skills for Making Robots

08: Basic Skills for Making Robots

So you want to make a robot. Where should you start? Learn how to work with tools like multimeters and solid-core wires; how to perform basic tasks including stripping wire and building simple circuits; and how to "hack" into existing robots to get them to perform tasks they weren't intended to do....

34 min
Designing a New Robot

09: Designing a New Robot

Move from kits and hacks into the actual design and construction of more complex robots for research or business. As you explore the iterative decision-making process used by robotics engineers, you'll meet intriguing robots including Madeline, the first transphibian vehicle, and RayBot, an artificial fish used for surveillance....

31 min
A Robot for Every Task?

10: A Robot for Every Task?

Wouldn't it be great to have a robot that took out your trash or put away your books? Explore how robots are designed to perform specific tasks, and the choices roboticists must consider in doing so-including the stability of the workplace and the minute steps of the task itself....

29 min
Robot Arms in the Factory

11: Robot Arms in the Factory

Each year, many tens of thousands of new robots are purchased to help us manufacture cars, medicines, and other everyday materials. And it all started with variations on the robotic arm. Here, examine early prototypes of pick-and-place robots; consider the trade-offs between range and control of motion; and ponder how far we've come with industrial robotics....

31 min
Mobile Robots at Home

12: Mobile Robots at Home

Advancements in modern robotics have made robots useful, safe, reliable, easy to use, and affordable to have in our homes. So how exactly do different home robots-such as vacuum cleaners like Roomba, gutter cleaners like Looj, and lawn mowers like MowBot-adjust to the unique demands of their respective tasks?...

33 min
Hospital Robots and Neuroprosthetics

13: Hospital Robots and Neuroprosthetics

Hospital robots have designs and functions meant to tackle the complexity of the modern medical workplace. First, discover how robots like HelpMate and Da Vinci work in patient wards, surgical theaters, and other settings. Then, delve into the burgeoning field of neuroprosthetics, which use the human nervous system for control of artificial limbs....

28 min
Self-Driving Vehicles

14: Self-Driving Vehicles

Lane changes, off-roading, irregular traffic patterns-how do robotic cars handle it all? Find out in this lecture on the trade-offs (especially between speed and safety) involved in creating self-driving vehicles. Peer into the future of how you're likely to get from place to place, perhaps without having to do a thing....

30 min
Flying Robots: From Autopilots to Drones

15: Flying Robots: From Autopilots to Drones

Take to the air for an eye-opening look at aerial robots, from the autopilot features in commercial airplanes to unmanned drones that can deliver packages. Topics include the role of gyroscopic sensors and recent technological advancements that are extending the functionality and power of flying robots like never before....

32 min
Underwater Robots That Hover and Glide

16: Underwater Robots That Hover and Glide

Some of the most exciting robots on the planet are found underwater. Here, learn how today's roboticists have developed unique solutions to creating autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), like Wave Glider, that have overcome critical challenges involving sensors, power supply, and design to do things like circumnavigate the globe or travel to great depths....

33 min
Space Robots in Orbit and on Other Worlds

17: Space Robots in Orbit and on Other Worlds

Find out how space missions have pushed us to the limits of what autonomous robots can do. Central to this lecture are several fascinating robots, including Robonaut 2 (a humanoid robot working on the International Space Station) and the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, who are helping us better understand the complex geography of Mars....

33 min
Why Military Robots Are Different

18: Why Military Robots Are Different

Explore the tension between semi-autonomous military robots and our need to oversee their safety and control. In looking at military robots such as the Predator unmanned aerial system and the Phalanx weapons system, you'll learn about the unique trade-offs involved in the speed and accuracy of action, and the ability to distinguish friend from foe....

33 min
Extreme Robots

19: Extreme Robots

Walking and running robots, whether they move on four legs or two, offer some of the most extreme physical challenges in all of robotics. What are the advantages of legged robots that make them so attractive to roboticists? How do robots with legs balance themselves and move around in different environments?...

33 min
Swarm Robots

20: Swarm Robots

A huge challenge in robotics is getting robots to work as a team to do things they can't do alone. Enter swarm robots: simple, similar mobile robots that combine to generate complex behaviors. Investigate this area of robotics that's barely in its infancy, but has vast potential for scientific research, military defense, and more....

28 min
Living Robots?

21: Living Robots?

Robots are starting to perform the core features of life, to the point where it may be possible to have a robot that actually "lives." Professor Long introduces you to robots that "eat" by harvesting energy; robots that "grow" by building and improving themselves; and robots that "evolve" by designing themselves autonomously....

29 min
Social Robots

22: Social Robots

Enter the brave new world of social robotics, where robots are built specifically to communicate with humans and other autonomous physical agents. With the help of the robot Baxter, discover how simple signals like spoken words, expressions, and body language can create a dynamic user interface between human and robot....

31 min
Humanoid Robots: Just like Us?

23: Humanoid Robots: Just like Us?

Have we reached the point where robots are becoming just like-if not better than-human beings? Probe this fascinating question by examining recent developments in artificial intelligence, robot bipedalism and dexterity, the concept of the "uncanny valley," and three imitation games (including the classic Turing test) to determine where we stand with humanoid robots....

32 min
The Futures of Robotics

24: The Futures of Robotics

Because it's a multidisciplinary field, there isn't just one future for robotics, but instead multiple futures. What could some of them look like? Consider everything from companion robots that can coordinate our activities to surgical robots that can work autonomously inside our bodies using updates from a "robotic cloud system."...

34 min