Robotics Education Resources
Long gone are the days where the thought of owning a Robot would seem far off. For the past several years, robots like the iRobot Roomba have been making life easier for homeowners by carrying out simple tasks. With the ability to manufacture small and robust microprocessors, cameras, and gears/joints, the possibility of having your own intelligent autonomous robot seems plausible in the lifetime of a Millennial. Robots are said to become part of an industry of consumer goods in the future, which will require engineers and computer programmers to get us there and to improve the technology.
The list of online resources below can serve as a starting point for students and hobbyists interested in robotics. If you are interested in becoming part of this exciting discipline, or are just curious about learning more, robotics organizations, competitions, and university robotics groups can provide an overview of the field of robotics engineering. To gain more in-depth knowledge the reputable journals and publications are a great source for further research. To understand the hardware and software needed in the construction of a robot, the robot architecture resources are a must read.
If you have recommendations of your own, feel free to let us know so we can keep this list up to date.
General Robotics Resources
- Chronological evolution of the Robot: Time line of the evolution of the robot
- TechLab: Mini lessons on robot building provided by the BBC, great for beginners to learn how robots work.
- Lego Mindstorms: Simple introduction to robots and their programming using LEGO kits. Very popular with school programs.
- IEEE Robotics and Automation Society: The IEEE society is interested in the theoretical and applied issues in designing and implementing robotics.
- Brisbane Robotics Special Interest Group: Amateur robotics group in Australia that focuses on Autonomous Mobile Robots.
- Carnegie Mellon Robotics Club: Undergraduate robotics club at Carnegie Mellon University with a nice list of past projects.
- CRASH: The Computers, Robotics, and Artists Society of Houston brings together enthusiasts from different fields to offer the community hands-on events where participants construct and interact with robots.
- The Robot Group: A group of artists and engineers exploring the use of robots in art.
- The Robotics and Intelligent Systems SIG: Club for individuals interested in competing in the Micromouse Robot Competition based in the United Kingdom.
- Advanced Robotics Innovations Society in Engineering: A club for University of Ottawa Students who are interested in the advancement of autonomous robotics.
- Security Cameras: Network cameras for use in robotics vision.
- Digital Video Recorders: Standalone video recording apparatus to record wireless and wired video signals.
- Security Camera Systems: Compact standalone camera systems adapted for use with unmanned vehicles.
Journals, and other Publications
- International Journal of Robotics Research: First scholarly publication on robotics research that continues to provide information about the latest developments in robotics, and related disciplines.
- Journal of Robotics: An open access journal comprised of original research articles as well as peer-reviewed articles.
- Robotics and Autonomous Systems: Journal and books that focus on the fundamental developments in robotics, with emphasis on autonomous systems.
- International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems: A open access journal of robotics articles covering all aspects of research in robotics.
- Journal of Field Robotics: Publication dealing with practical applications of robotics to the environment, construction, forestry, agriculture, mining, marine, search and rescue, military and space.
- International Journal of Humanoid Robotics: Open access journal covering research related to the advancement of robots that not only imitate human beings, but also serve human beings.
- Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Designs: Peer reviewed articles covering the basics of robotics from theory to prototyping, and final product development and commercialization.
- ROBOT: Robot Magazine is a great way to keep up to date with the news and recent advances in the field of robotics.
- Science Daily: Very popular publication with section focus on the latest research news in Robotics.
- PhysOrg: Current events in the world of Robotic research.
- IEEE Journal of Robotics and Automation: Older journal of peer-reviewed articles published by the IEEE that ceased publication in 1988.
Conferences and Competitions
- First Robotics Competition: Competition part of the non-profit FIRST organization that motivates young people to pursue a career in engineering.
- Botball: Educational robotics program that uses the learn-by-doing style of teaching for middle and high school student based teams that compete in regional tournaments.
- International Aerial Robotics Competition: Collegiate level challenge that is the longest running competition for UAVs.
- Eurobot: An amateur level competition that is open to young students from all around the world.
- Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition: Undergraduate and graduate student level competition involving autonomous ground vehicles.
- Robogames: The most popular robotics competition open to everyone who can compete. Over 50 events ranging from combat robots, to androids that do kung-fu. It is held annually in San Francisco.
- Trinity College Fire fighting Home Robot Contest: An annual contest to build a robot that can detect and put out fires.
- Manitoba Robot Games: Canadian robot competition featuring a variety of events involving autonomous and controlled systems, including robot hockey games.
- Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, Pa: Masters of Science program for students looking to become managers of business robotic environments.
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, MA: One of the best programs in Robotics Engineering that is available at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): MIT engineering students pursue course level work at MIT's Field and Space Robotics Laboratory.
- Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, VA: Offers a mechanical engineering degree with a focus on robotics.
- University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI: UMich has one of the best robotics programs in the county. Engineering students can earn a Masters or PhD degree in Robotics.
- University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA: Recognized as the top Master's program in Robotics.
Robot Architecture resources
- RobotC: C Programming Language for Robotics mostly used in Middle Schools.
- SAPHIRA - Robot Control System: Software system for Autonomous Mobile Robots.
- National Instruments: LabView Robotics Module that allows sensor interface for autonomous systems.
- Dick Cappels' Project Pages: Although not really robotic, the easy to do hardware and software projects are great for learn-by-doing.
- Guerilla Guide to CNC Machining: Home manufacturing tutorials for robot builders.
- Society of Robots: Great tutorials for beginners on How to Build a Robot explaining both hardware and software concepts.
- A Reactive Robot Architecture with Planning on Demand: Research paper describing reactive robot architecture.