After dabbling in Machine Learning and Deep Learning for a few months, I’ve decided to dip my toes into the field of Robotics. My favorite pastime is to learn about new things and to explore the uncharted territory. For now, my heart is set on learning about the Robots, getting a general overview as to how they perform their functions and how to train and build a robot.
I’m not very enthusiastic about the hardware side of the robots but the software, the soul that drives them. In order to create better software for the robots, having a broad overview of their workings is imperative. For that purpose, I decided to take a few introductory courses on robotics.
After checking out several courses on Class Central, I chose Begin Robotics because it seemed to be perfect for me, just the right amount of information. It wasn’t focused on just a single aspect, hardware or software, but how different pieces interact with one another. No prior knowledge was required and no hardware or software was necessary to complete the course. Furthermore, the quality of the course also seemed to be better than some other MOOCs.
After completing the first week, I’m happy that I chose this course. The quality of the content is remarkable without being too technical and hard to understand. Their teaching methodology is incredible, some well thought-out video lectures to lure you in, a few articles to whet your appetite, and to top it off the interactive exercises work wonders.
These interactive exercises are very beneficial in order to understand the concepts taught in the lectures. By tweaking some variables and observing how it affects the performance and behavior of the robots, one gets a good understanding of the underlying principles. Besides a few UX problems, I’ve been content with these exercises, loving them even.
Another thing that I find helpful is the community there. Most of the discussions there are very insightful and have a positive vibe which encourages participation. This is my first MOOC from FutureLearn and I find their site design to be more user-friendly than Coursera and EdX, especially their discussion forum feature. Unlike Coursera, where we have to go to separate discussion form and search in separate threads, all the discussions related to a certain video or article are right there on the same page in FutureLearn. The Coursera discussion forms also have their own importance and their organization structure is also good but I find the FutureLearn’s discussion forms structure to be easier and more helpful.
I am quite optimistic that this MOOC will be an amazing experience for me. I’ll learn a lot of new things and have a lot of fun along the way.