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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Modern Robotics, Course 2: Robot Kinematics by Northwestern University

281 ratings

About the 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 2 of the specialization, Robot Kinematics, you will learn to solve the forward kinematics (calculating the configuration of the "hand" of the robot based on the joint values) using the product-of-exponentials formula. Your efforts in Course 1 pay off handsomely, as forward kinematics is a breeze with the tools you've learned. This is followed by velocity kinematics and statics relating joint velocities and forces/torques to end-effector twists and wrenches, inverse kinematics (calculating joint values that achieve a desired "hand" configuration), and kinematics of robots with closed chains. 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


Sep 30, 2018

It is a great start for learning kinematics of open chain robots, i wish i could learn ore about the closed chain robots too, but they have given the boost, now its your turn to learn more and more


Jul 7, 2020

This was very challenging course if you are not already familiar with things like Jacobians and eigenvectors. Thankfully the lectures were great in helping me understand the gaps in my knowledge.

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1 - 25 of 60 Reviews for Modern Robotics, Course 2: Robot Kinematics

By Dmitry P

Jan 18, 2020

The program of course is done brilliant. Once i have tried to read Robotic book on my own and gave up on after 100 pages and gave up being completely confused in the formulas. Now with the Course i am on the 300 s page following the content! Thanks!

By Pau C C

Feb 19, 2019

Very interesting course. It not only covers inverse kinematics but also manipulability and some statics coming from the Jacobian. The Jacobian singularities and its implications are very clear and well explained.

Small drawback is that it's better not to use the library that comes with the course as otherwise you won't learn so much. I implemented my own and learned a lot by implementing it.

Another small drawback is that there is no mention to Conformal Geometric Algebra as something to look at to implemente analytical solutions to inverse kinematics. Neither, iterative FABRIK as alternative to pseudo-Jacobian is mentioned. A mention and a reference would be nice for the learner as presudoinverse jacobian is very limited.

The other drawback, which is major, is that assignments are peer-graded instead of unit tested. It's not ideal at all. Hopefully they will be unit-tested at some point in time so that it's more fair and efficient.

By Lucia C V

Aug 6, 2020

If you have never used MATHLAB or if you don´t have previous knowledge o Robotics, avoid this course. You only get frustration and no assistance at all with your doubts.

By Madhukar T

Jul 12, 2018

As I am looking forward to be expertise in the field of Modern Robotics (Robotic Manipulators), this course sets the perfect platform for the same. After going through this course, I have learned the very crucial part - Robot Kinematics. The way video lectures are made are always engulfing. But, in this course, the peer graded assignment posed some real challenge and gave real time experience of how robotic manipulators/mobile robots perform.

By Arnab C

Jan 3, 2019

Loved the course and the difficulty level of it. The assignment in particular will be good challenge for MATLAB beginners like me as you'll need to figure out how to do it. But its easy enough and if you have some programming experience, you can do it easily. What I love about this course is that it doesn't spoon feed you. You need to work hard to get all the benefits from the course.

By Onur A

Feb 3, 2019

As a graduate student who has taken multiple Robotics courses in university, I can say that it is a very instructive course. However, it may seem tedious for those who are not familiar with Robotics. One last thing, I preferred Denavit Hartenberg method until this course. Now I can see that PoE is much more efficient than DH.

By Rishipal S

Jun 5, 2019

The course has provided me a good insight into forward kinematics and reverse kinematics solutions. Earlier I could think of how to solve open chain forward kinematics problems only but now I have much better idea about the whole subject. A great course!

By sukrita p

May 9, 2020

Great course to understand the kinematics of open chain robots. The topic is very vast and innumerable documentation and resources make it difficult to follow. This specialization has done a good job in breakind down the topics into sequential parts.


Nov 25, 2018

Excellent course.It helped me to improve my programming at much higher level and I got good knowledge.Initially before taking this course I was worried whether I would complete this course but thanks to Kevin sir for such a great teaching

By 李彦霖

Jun 12, 2018

The course is really interesting and the instruction is really good. Thanks for professor Lynch.One advice: since the closed chain is important, I wish that these knowledge and examples could be given more, thanks!

By Natish M

Aug 2, 2023

The course was richly supported with materials and videos. The whole course was easy to learn and good. I thank my course instructors and fellow learners. I thank Coursera without whom this would not be possible !

By Wahyu G

Aug 14, 2018

Very nice and compact explanation. Love the teaching style! You have to read the book to really grasp the material, if you're planning on taking this course, you have to take it seriously. It's pretty though.


Oct 1, 2018

It is a great start for learning kinematics of open chain robots, i wish i could learn ore about the closed chain robots too, but they have given the boost, now its your turn to learn more and more

By Ronald M

Jul 8, 2020

This was very challenging course if you are not already familiar with things like Jacobians and eigenvectors. Thankfully the lectures were great in helping me understand the gaps in my knowledge.

By rashid K

Apr 3, 2020

Fantastic course. Required good amount of reading. Lecture clearly mentioned how to navigate and learn from the book. Overall very good course. Really loved the project.

By Juan S O V

May 27, 2024

I'd like the course to explain everything in a more "intuitive" way, but the exercises and knowledge helped me a great deal to advance in my understanding in robotics

By Ahmed H A A

Sep 11, 2020

The product of exponential method of computing forward kinematics makes alot of sense. The only issue is with the closed-loop kinematics chapter.

By Mahdi B

Nov 18, 2021

Thank you for your awesome course. I personally recommend you to solve more example to make courses more practical and comprehensive


Aug 22, 2020

excellent course, a lot to learn from this course, especially improves programming skills and use of Coppelia sim software

By Marti V R

Mar 13, 2021

Great course, introduces you to robot kinematics well. Week 2 is definitely the most challenging one but well worth it!

By Purnajyoti “ B

Aug 5, 2019

The lessons from this course are great. They help understand the practical applications from Course 1's lessons.

By Ashan W

Nov 20, 2023

I am extremely thankful to Professor Kevin Lynch and his team for putting in the effort to create this course.

By Bruno C F

May 5, 2020

Sou extremamente grato por essa oportunidade. Vocês estão fortalecendo a minha carreira e da minha equipe.


Dec 2, 2020

Awesome course.

Only lacking in the forum support, I hope instructors indulge more actively in the forum

By Kaushal S

Oct 13, 2021

Good mathematical background. Meaningful and thought provoking questions in assignments and project.