Rapid Robotics: Autonomous Systems with Open Source Software
Date: July 27-31, 2015 | Tuition: $4,400 | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 3.0
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
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Thanks to open source libraries and inexpensive robot platforms, creating advanced robot capabilities has never been more accessible. This course is a hands-on introduction to applied robotics software programming. You will learn to use the popular ROS robotics framework, open source autonomy libraries, and a small ground robot equipped with an RGB-depth sensor to demonstrate behaviors such as person-following, patrolling, exploration, and map-making. Lectures accompanying the laboratory exercises will cover the basics of robotics and autonomy algorithm theory. Participants will work in teams of two on robot systems.
Please note that laptops compatible with VirtualBox or VMWare visualization software are required for this course. Laptops should have 10GB of available hard drive space to install the Virtual Machine. A recent (2009+) laptop with a Core i3, i5, i7, or equivalent processor and 2+ GB of RAM should be sufficient.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (60%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (25%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (15%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (34%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (20%)
Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (46%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (80%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (15%)
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (5%)
The participants of this course will be able to:
- Leverage open source robotics libraries, ROS, to rapidly create autonomous robot behaviors
- Understand the components of an advanced robot software system
- Understand the basic theory underlying robotics and state-of-the-art autonomy algorithms
- Understand autonomous system capabilities and technical challenges from a hands-on perspective
- Interface with off-the-shelf robot hardware
- Acquire and process RGB-depth sensor data
Who Should Attend
This course is intended for novice robotics engineers, educators, experienced roboticists interested in learning open source robot software frameworks, or managers / program managers who would benefit from a hands-on understanding of autonomous systems.
No prior robotics experience is necessary. The course will focus on selecting, integrating, and tuning existing software packages with some software coding to tie components together and modify behavior. Some familiarity with a Linux / UNIX command line and an interest in programming robots in C++ or Python is recommended.
- Course Overview
- History of Robotics
- Technical Introduction: Linux, ROS, TurtleBot
- Moving the Robot: Teleoperation
- Sensing the World: Turtlebot IMU / Odometry, Turtlebot Sensors / I/O Port, RGBD Sensors
- Following: Person-Following, Robot Conga Line
- Navigation: Local Planning, Global Planning
- Mapping: 3D SLAM
- Object Recognition
Course schedule and registration times
View 2014 Course Schedule
Class runs 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday and runs 9:00 am - 4:00 pm on Friday. Lunch is noon - 1:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, and Friday and 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm on Wednesday and Thursday.
Please note that laptops compatible with VirtualBox visualization software are strongly encouraged for this course. Laptops should have 10GB of available hard drive space to install the Virtual Machine. A recent (2012+) laptop with a Core i3, i5, i7, or equivalent processor and 4+ GB of RAM should be sufficient. VirtualBox will be distributed and installed during the class.
deputy manager, ntpc
"First thing is to have interaction with the world class faculty in the robotics area and their experiences had given so much confidence in me to work further. The training provides the platform for interaction with participants from different field which is very unique experience. This course has given insight to work further with more skills acquired during this course."
software engineer, enservio
"The information covered in the course exceeded my expectations. Touring the campus robotics facilities was an unexpected delight for me."
systems engineer, compsis
"I plan to open a robot company in Brazil and the knowledge presented really made me more confident ..."
engineering manager, us navy
"The lectures were delivered with a mastery of the subject matter and passion."
About The Lecturers
H. Harry Asada is Ford Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Brit and Alex d'Arbeloff Laboratory for Information Systems and Technology in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He specializes in robotics, biological engineering, and system dynamics and control. His current robotics research includes wearable robots, cellular PZT actuators, and robot applications to aircraft manufacturing and nuclear power plant monitoring. His research in the bio area focuses on bio-integrated robots, where live cells and tissues are used as components. He received Best Paper Awards at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in 1993, 1997, 1999, and 2010; the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award from the American Control Council in 1985; and another six best paper awards at major journals and conferences. He was the recipient of the Henry Paynter Outstanding Researcher Award form ASME Dynamic Systems and Control in 1998. More recently he received the 2011 Rufus Oldenburger Medal from ASME and the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching from MIT's School of Engineering.
Michael Boulet is a member of the technical staff in the Control Systems Engineering Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. His research interests are centered on autonomous control of unmanned vehicles operating in uncertain and dynamic environments. He has over six years of experience developing advanced autonomous systems with the ROS robotics software ecosystem. While at Lincoln Laboratory, he has developed control and embedded software systems for off-road, airborne, and space-based platforms. Mr. Boulet received a SM degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, both in Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Matthew Walter is an assistant professor at the Toyota Technological Institution (TITC) at Chicago. His expertise is in the areas of estimation, perception, navigation, planning, localization and mapping, and natural language understanding, particularly as they pertain to developing robots that operate autonomously in unstructured environments. Dr. Walter has worked on a number of robots deployed in complex environments, including underwater vehicles, driverless cars, an autonomous forklift that performs logistics operations alongside military personnel, and a voice-commandable wheelchair. Prior to joining the faculty at TTIC, Walter was a research scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mark Donahue is a staff member in the Control Systems Engineering group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Donahue is the team lead for collaborative robotics research and for real-time embedded control system efforts. He is responsible for the development and growth of the Lincoln Laboratory Interactive Virtual Environment, L-LIVE, facility which enables real world human interaction with both real and simulated data from autonomous systems.
Kenneth Cole is a staff member in the Advanced Sensor Systems and Test Beds group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. His research interests include signal processing, control systems, autonomous systems, systems analysis, and advanced sensors for autonomous platforms. Cole has been teaching robotics for four years and has been working in robotics STEM community outreach for eight.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.
links & Resources
- YouTube - Omnidirectional Submersible for Visual Inspection
- YouTube - MIT: Mag-Feet: Bridge-Inspection Robot