Introduction to Basic and Advanced Robotics

Want to learn about robotics and make your own projects?

Don't know what engineering field you may be interested in and want to specialize in?

This week long, 10 hour course, covers topics important to mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and software engineering in the field of robotics. Robotics is a promising field with many advancements such as high efficiency servo motors, advancement of neural networks, and new materials making things not possible 10 years ago a reality. We hope to make it easier for students to figure out what area of robotics and engineering they would like to focus on by offering a detailed overview of hardware systems, software systems, manufacturing, and the design methodology. We not only cover the overlying systems, but how the work through a mathematical and physical standpoint.

Some exciting topics we cover are:

  • Computer Vision
  • Neural Networks
  • Control Theory
  • Holonomic Drivetrains
  • Design Process
  • Derivation of Odometry Formulas
  • PID (Proportional, Integral, Derivative)
  • Robot Swarms
  • State Machines
  • Computer Aided Design
Time: 1:30-3:30pm, 7/15-7/19, Monday to Friday
Address: 20432 Silverado Ave, Ste 5, Cupertino, CA 95014
Recommended Prerequisite: Algebra 1
Fee: $200. Free for Low Income Families and Families from KAFPA.

If there is high demand for other weeks, they can be scheduled after the first initial week.

This class is taught by members of a robotics team with over 12 years of combined robotics experience.

Course Syllabus

Day 1 - Introduction to Robotics

  • The Design Process
      • What constitutes a good design 
    • How computers are used in robotics
      • Control Systems
        • Microprocessors
        • Computers
      • Operation Systems
        • None
        • Complex/Custom
    • Hardware
  • Locomotive Devices
    • Sensors
  • Interfacing with devices through hardware and software

Day 2 - Control Systems

  • Deeper look into locomotion control
  • PWM, Sinusoidal control scheme for brushless motors, Stepper Motor Control
  • PID (Position, Integral, Derivative) control systems
  • Motion Profiling, Feed Forward
      • Derivation of simple kinematics equations
        • Move into creating simple trapezoidal slope and other curves to reduce stress on system
  • Look past single motors and devices and generalize control systems to other fields
    • Industrial automation
    • Devices at home

Day 3 - Movement

  • Simple drive train - 2 wheels
    • Using dimensional analysis to interpret sensors
    • Using odometry system
      • Derivation of Tank Drive Odometry
      • Showing Odometry Modules for more accurate control
  • Derivation of 3 wheel odometry for holonomic drive trains
  • Movement into discussion of types of holonomic drive train and force vectors
  • Legs/Hybrid Robots
    • Dynamic / Static Stability
  • Aquatic Robotics
  • Flying Robots
  • Robots in Space
  • Collaborative Robotics

Day 4 - Deeper into Software

  • Software in the professional world of robotics
    • Programming embedded systems
  • Importance of subdivision in coding a robot
  • State Machines
  • Path Planning
    • Static vs Dynamic
  • Debugging robotics code
  • Computer Vision

Day 5 - Construction and Manufacturing 

  • Types of materials
  • Introduction to robot construction methods
    • Hobby/prototyping
    • Fabrication of materials
    • More advanced, precise manufacturing techniques
      • CNC 
      • Laser Cutting
  • Improving Materials
    • Anodizing
    • Electroplating
  • Large Scale Manufacturing Techniques
  • Further discussions of robotics in the professional world