Robotics BSC116

Learn About Robotics

Robots are a part of our lives and have many uses from education to exploration, and diffusing bombs to potting crop plants. With advances in technology, robotics is an ever-expanding field and there are opportunities for people to be involved in the design, construction, and operation of robots. This course provides a solid foundation into this intriguing field.

Course Content 

There are 8 lessons in this course, each requiring approximately 12 hours of work including reading, additional research, completing the set tasks and assignments. 

The content of each of the eight lessons is as outlined below:

Lesson 1. Types of Robots

  • A Brief History of Robotics
  • Types of Physical Robots
  • Components - body frame, drivetrain, manipulators, controls, sensors, end effects
  • Key principles of robotics
  • Classifying robots -Cartesian, cylindrical, SCARA, Delta, Articulated
  • Mode of operation -re programmed, autonomous, teleoperated, augmenting, humanoid
  • Application type -Manufacturing, other industrial, domestic, toy/entertainment
  • Movement type - fixed, mobile

Lesson 2. Robotic Actuators 

  • Actuator type - hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, synchronous
  • Mechanical Components of Robots - power supply, actuators, sensors, drivetrain, motors, levers, gears, pulleys, etc
  • Robot links and joints
  • Linear joints
  • Orthogonal joints
  • Rotational joints
  • Twisting joints
  • Revolving joints.
  • Robot Movement - PTP, CP and circular movements

Lesson 3.  Robotic Sensors 

  • Types of Sensors
  • Light sensors
  • Sound sensors
  • Proximity sensors
  • Temperature Sensors
  • Tactile sensors
  • Acceleration sensors
  • Navigation and Positioning sensors
  • Sensing distance, pressure, tilt, humidity, gas, etc
  • Devices used in sensing - gyroscope, IMU, 
  • Signal Processing
  • Challenges - safety, digital infrastructure changes,

Lesson 4. Power Supply & Control Systems

  • Power Supply - mains or mobile
  • Generator systems, hybrid. batteries
  • Battery types for robots - alkaline, lithium ion, lithium polymer, Nickel metal hydride
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Control Systems
  • Types of Robot Control Techniques
  • Control Systems Used in Robots- open loop, closed loop
  • Types of robot control 
  • ON-OFF control
  • Proportional control
  • Integral control
  • Proportional-Integral control (P-I)
  • Proportional-Derivative control (P-D)
  • Proportional-Integral-Derivative control (P-I-D)
  • Linear Time-invariant control (LTI)

Lesson 5. Kinematics

  • Forward kinematics
  • Reverse/Inverse kinematics
  • Configuration and Workspace
  • Structure of Robots - based on joints, topology or position
  • Configurations and Configuration Space
  • Degrees of freedom
  • Kinematic pairs

Lesson 6. Cybernetics

  • Robot Brain
  • Structure of human nervous system
  • Cybernetics
  • Artificial brain cells
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Artificial neural networks
  • Applications
  • Developments in Autonomy 

Lesson 7. Robot Maintenance

  • Why maintenance
  • Components of a robot - electrical, resistors, capacitators, inductors, transformers, etc
  • Active components - diodes, transistor
  • Integrated circuits
  • Switches, Fuses, Circuit breakers, Relays
  • Preventative maintenance 
  • After breakdown maintenance
  • Maintenance planning

Lesson 8. Applications

  • Industrial Robots
  • Logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Service Robots - health care, telepresence, surgical, rehabilitation
  • Bionics and exoskeletons
  • Sanitation and disinfection
  • Home Robots - vacuum, pool cleaning, personal assistant, lawn mowing
  • Educational robots

The Study of Robotics

Although we often think about robots as being a new thing, modern robots have been with us since the 1950s. We can go back much farther into history to find the first mechanical robots. The Greek scientist and philosopher, Archytas of Tartentum, is credited with developing a steam-powered robot called “the pigeon” which dates to the 4th century BC. 

In recent times robots many robots are still mechanical, but they are combined with artificial intelligence to make them capable of much more sophisticated tasks. Robotics has drawn together the fields of engineering and computer science. Robots have been put to a multitude of uses and there are may applications where it is impossible for humans to undertake the tasks (e.g. exploring craters), too expensive (e.g. space exploration) or too dangerous (e.g. looking for landmines).   

Robots have become more common in our daily lives and are going to play an even bigger role in the future. Although the thought of an unmanned robot that can hold a conversation with a human can seem a little otherworldly, if you understand the basics of robotics it is really not that much of a stretch to make sense of this fascinating field of enquiry. 

What You Will Learn

This course takes you through robotics to familiarise you with:

  • Classification of robot types – benefits, drawbacks & applications
  • Components of robots
  • Types of actuators which convert energy into movement - benefits, drawbacks & applications
  • Types of sensors used to trigger robot actions
  • Ways to power robots and different control systems
  • Movement of robots and configuration in space
  • Artificial intelligence and robot autonomy
  • Maintenance including repair and replacement of parts
  • Different types of applications – logistics, manufacturing, transport, healthcare, defence, space, education, around the home

This course provides students with a thorough introduction to robotics to help in jobs where a deeper understanding of robotics is beneficial or to stimulate further study and research.

Who Will Benefit from this Course?

Robots are not here to take away jobs but to make jobs easier and our lives more fulfilling. Anyone who works in environments alongside robots or who relies on robots in some way or another can benefit from learning more about them.   

This course is intended to appeal to people in different industries such as – robotics, mechanical engineering, computer science, IT, space science, industrial design, machinery design, manufacturing, agriculture, other industries where there is considerable reliance on robots.    

It may also appeal to enthusiasts who just wish to know more about the function and use of robots in the modern world.

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Fee Information (S3)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $834.96  1 x $759.05
B 2 x $451.44  2 x $410.40

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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