• Length:
    12 Weeks
  • Effort:
    8–10 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $349 USD

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  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time


  • Good understanding of multivariable calculus and some prior exposure to linear algebra and ordinary differential equations.
  • We will be making specific use of the kinematics and dynamics ideas developed in the ROBO3x, certain linear algebra techniques in the ROBO1x, and various ideas and techniques presented in the ROBO2x.

About this course

Skip About this course

How do robots climb stairs, traverse shifting sand and navigate through hilly and rocky terrain?

This course, part of the Robotics MicroMasters program, will teach you how to think about complex mobility challenges that arise when robots are deployed in unstructured human and natural environments.

You will learn how to design and program the sequence of energetic interactions that must occur between sensors and mechanical actuators in order to ensure stable mobility. We will expose you to underlying and still actively developing concepts, while providing you with practical examples and projects.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • The design and analysis of agile, bioinspired, sensorimotor systems
  • How to develop simplified models of complex dynamic systems
  • Ways to utilize simplified models to achieve dynamical mobility tasks

Week 1: Big-Picture Motivation
Week 2: A Linear Time Invariant Mechanical System
Week 3: A Nonlinear Time Invariant Mechanical System
Week 4: Project #1: A Brachiating Robot
Week 5: Qualitative Theory of Dynamical Systems
Week 6: First Locomotion Model
Week 7: A Vertical Hopping Controller
Week 8: Project #2: From Bouncing Ball to Stable Hopper
Week 9: The Spring Loaded Inverted Pendulum (SLIP)
Week 10: Stepping Control of Fore-aft Speed
Week 11: Project #3: Anchoring SLIP in Multi-Jointed Mechanisms
Week 12: Project #4: A Running Controller for the Jerboa Robot

Meet your instructors

Dan Koditschek
Alfred Fitler Moore Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Pennsylvania

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Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.