In University of Reading of England, a free, 4-week online robotics course is offered for beginners to robotics.
Begin Robotics is targeted, primarily, at 14 – 18 year olds who are interested in robots and/or the possibility of studying robotics at University. It doesn’t assume any prior knowledge and is open to anyone, around the world however, so will no doubt attract a much broader audience. Begin Robotics will also form part of FutureLearn’s offering to support the BBC’s ‘Make it Digital’ campaign, in the UK this year.
Learners will meet a range of ‘Reading’ robots including: ERIC (the mobile robot built specifically for this course), ROVER, BAXTER, Haptic Master (based within our Psychology Department ), a fingertip haptic device, a haptic drum kit and robots designed, programmed and created by our students including Scampi, the mobile, paperclip robot and a soft, robotic rehabilitation device designed to help patients during their recovery after a stroke.
More than 6000 learners have signed up for Begin Robotics so far and the university expects the number to increase to between 8000-10,000 by the end of the course (learners can continue to sign up and get started on Week 1 whilst the course is running).
The current course is underway, which started June 15 , but the University plans to re-run the course again in the autumn this year and then 2-3 times a year, for the next two years (attracting similar kinds of enrolments for each run).
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