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February 12, 2014

Autonomous mobile robots

Aside from being St. Valentine’s Day, Friday is notable as it marks the beginning of the first ever ETHx class, “AMRx – Autonomous Mobile Robots”. ETHx is the moniker being used by the prestigious technical institution ETH Zurich for the MOOC courses they’re delivering as part of edX. This is exciting: despite the fact I live close enough theoretically to attend classes at ETH Zurich in person, I’m very happy to be able to do so from the comfort of my home.




The topic is itself very interesting… the “environment perception” piece alone looks as though it should cover algorithms for point cloud analysis and (perhaps?) computer vision. It will be interesting to see how “hands on” the session is: presumably it’ll make use of some kind of simulation environment for the practical activities, unless I end up hacking my kids’ Thymio II.

I’m not sure I have the prerequisites for the class – “good basic mathematics, physics, system modeling, and control” – but we’ll see how it goes. I’m fairly I can do “basic”, it’s “good” that worries me more. I also hope I’ll find the time and energy to keep up with 5 hours a week over a 15-week period.

So yes, the robots are definitely attacking. Anyone else joining the fun? :-)

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