Chevron Left
Back to Modern Robotics, Course 1: Foundations of Robot Motion

Modern Robotics, Course 1: Foundations of Robot Motion, Northwestern University

77 ratings
22 reviews

About this Course

Do you want to know how robots work? Are you interested in robotics as a career? Are you willing to invest the effort to learn fundamental mathematical modeling techniques that are used in all subfields of robotics? If so, then the "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" specialization may be for you. This specialization, consisting of six short courses, is serious preparation for serious students who hope to work in the field of robotics or to undertake advanced study. It is not a sampler. In Course 1 of the specialization, Foundations of Robot Motion, you will learn fundamental material regarding robot configurations, for both serial robot mechanisms and robots with closed chains. You will learn about configuration space (C-space), degrees of freedom, C-space topology, implicit and explicit representations of configurations, and holonomic and nonholonomic constraints. You will also learn how to represent spatial velocities and forces as twists and wrenches. This material is at the core of the study of anything that moves (e.g., robots). This course follows the textbook "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control" (Lynch and Park, Cambridge University Press 2017). You can purchase the book or use the free preprint pdf. You will build on a library of robotics software in the language of your choice (among Python, Mathematica, and MATLAB) and use the free cross-platform robot simulator V-REP, which allows you to work with state-of-the-art robots in the comfort of your own home and with zero financial investment....

Top reviews


Aug 20, 2018

An excellent introduction to Screw theory and to Parallel manipulators in general for any one who wants to start developing or working on closed chain robots.


Jun 09, 2018

I think building the foundation strong is very much required and the planning of starting it with basic concept of D.O.F could greatly help.

Filter by:

22 Reviews

By John Muth

Dec 06, 2018

Excellent course. I learned a lot. The assignments are challenging.

Of the Coursera offerings I've taken, this one gets the closest to my (admittedly failing) memories of a real undergraduate course with some meat to it. Well done!

By Alexander Olikevich

Nov 26, 2018

This course very accurately and consequently introduces mathematical base of robot position and kinematics. I suggest there was a great work behind to make this complicated things convenient to learn.

By Sivapalanirajan

Nov 23, 2018

it seems like my learning rate increases after this course. wonderful positive experiance


Nov 07, 2018

Could add more material to help with certain mathematical constructs.

By Andrew Marione

Oct 25, 2018

I wish there was a bit more explanation of some of the equations and derivations. Sometimes the textbook just skips to the final equation, and does not show how it got there. It would be nice if the videos showed the derivation, as opposed to just the equations.

By Shawn Joseph Dmello

Oct 22, 2018

Lovely course. Really helpful

By mostafa hamido sayed

Oct 02, 2018

this course very interesting it give you general idea of the robot

thank you


Sep 15, 2018

I thank both NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY and COURSERA for providing such an wonderfull course, please do this if you want to pursue your career in the field of robotics, and also the professors answer your doubts regularly, so do not think you wont have support, they are really sweet and YES 5 starts are less for this course : )

By Ramu Chandra

Sep 03, 2018

This course covers the fundamentals of rigid-body transformations required to make further progress in robotics. It's very well organized and takes the student through the relevant chapters of the textbook co-authored by the instructor. Completing the quizzes, video lectures and reading material should give the student a good background in these areas. In addition, the provided code and simulator exercises add a lot of value.

By Leandro Mayrata

Aug 28, 2018

Exciting and very useful course.