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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Robotics: Capstone by University of Pennsylvania

112 ratings

About the Course

In our 6 week Robotics Capstone, we will give you a chance to implement a solution for a real world problem based on the content you learnt from the courses in your robotics specialization. It will also give you a chance to use mathematical and programming methods that researchers use in robotics labs. You will choose from two tracks - In the simulation track, you will use Matlab to simulate a mobile inverted pendulum or MIP. The material required for this capstone track is based on courses in mobility, aerial robotics, and estimation. In the hardware track you will need to purchase and assemble a rover kit, a raspberry pi, a pi camera, and IMU to allow your rover to navigate autonomously through your own environment Hands-on programming experience will demonstrate that you have acquired the foundations of robot movement, planning, and perception, and that you are able to translate them to a variety of practical applications in real world problems. Completion of the capstone will better prepare you to enter the field of Robotics as well as an expansive and growing number of other career paths where robots are changing the landscape of nearly every industry. Please refer to the syllabus below for a week by week breakdown of each track. Week 1 Introduction MIP Track: Using MATLAB for Dynamic Simulations AR Track: Dijkstra's and Purchasing the Kit Quiz: A1.2 Integrating an ODE with MATLAB Programming Assignment: B1.3 Dijkstra's Algorithm in Python Week 2 MIP Track: PD Control for Second-Order Systems AR Track: Assembling the Rover Quiz: A2.2 PD Tracking Quiz: B2.10 Demonstrating your Completed Rover Week 3 MIP Track: Using an EKF to get scalar orientation from an IMU AR Track: Calibration Quiz: A3.2 EKF for Scalar Attitude Estimation Quiz: B3.8 Calibration Week 4 MIP Track: Modeling a Mobile Inverted Pendulum (MIP) AR Track: Designing a Controller for the Rover Quiz: A4.2 Dynamical simulation of a MIP Peer Graded Assignment: B4.2 Programming a Tag Following Algorithm Week 5 MIP Track: Local linearization of a MIP and linearized control AR Track: An Extended Kalman Filter for State Estimation Quiz: A5.2 Balancing Control of a MIP Peer Graded Assignment: B5.2 An Extended Kalman Filter for State Estimation Week 6 MIP Track: Feedback motion planning for the MIP AR Track: Integration Quiz: A6.2 Noise-Robust Control and Planning for the MIP Peer Graded Assignment: B6.2 Completing your Autonomous Rover...

Top reviews


Sep 24, 2016

The capstone is really good.

Too bad it means the end of this specialization... I liked it here.

But it is also the beginning of playing more with ROS, simulation tools and real robots.


Aug 5, 2016

AR track is interesting.

Student should be advised to get the robot earlier before course starts.

It would also be nice to get some introduction to ROS...

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1 - 25 of 27 Reviews for Robotics: Capstone

By Beng K N

Aug 6, 2016

AR track is interesting.

Student should be advised to get the robot earlier before course starts.

It would also be nice to get some introduction to ROS...

By Abhijeet P

Feb 2, 2020

Some codes and material are too old. And no one answers or help questions on discussion forum.

By James T

Jan 1, 2024

(I have left the same comments for each course in the specialization.) There is a lot of good content, but the program is essentially orphaned. The instructors do not engage to any significant degree, and the level of learner engagement in the forums is minimal. If you have difficulties with the assignments, you may find yourself combing through years-old posts, hoping that someone in the past dealt with the same issue that you are having and posted some useful information. The sequence of courses is nonetheless a useful resource for self-study, but expect some frustration in completing the programming assignments, especially in the later courses, since you are unlikely to receive any direct support. Specific to the capstone course, a significant problem is that the parts list and software library have not been updated in years, so some of the specified parts are no longer available, and the library is written in Python 2. I therefore chose to complete the MATLAB simulation option, but hope to return to the autonomous rover project in the future.

By Guillermo C

Dec 18, 2017

Most of the modules are very practical in nature. Some of the modules focused on the research being done at the moment, which can make them look like more abstract, i.e. not so practical, but I think it is good to see what the future will bring. The capstone project helps a lot really fix the concepts in the mind of the student.

Sometimes the grading system could be more friendly, e.g.: provide more clues as to what is not working fine in the assignments.

The communication with the instructors is rather slow. I know that the idea is the interaction with peers should compensate for the virtual presence and the distance between students and instructors, but sometimes the peers have the same questions and concerns, so student might need the help from the instructors in a timely manner.

By Thoalfaqqar S S

Jul 24, 2023

The course provided me the opportunity to deal with onsite experiments and data gathering procedure to fulfil the requirements of this capstone project. The guidance were clear to follow and helpful to use. I recommend students to not quit and try their best in this last course. Good luck!

By Lokesh B

Nov 29, 2018

Very Very Very tough and mind blasting. A lot of learning. I will have to go through this course again and again and again. Thanks everyone. Thanks a ton.

By Eduardo K d S

Jan 19, 2017

This is it! This was the last course in the Robotics Specialization. I must say this was the most interesting course in this specialization, there are 2 tracks available to choose from: a software one and a hardware one. Needless to say I chose the latter. I think pretty much anyone doing a robotics specialization should opt for this one if they have the means. It is nice to simulate different scenarios and learn different concepts through them, however, nothing beats the joy of building something by yourself and witnessing the fruits of your hard work, it is really rewarding!

My main and only complaint about this course is related to the grading system for the hardware track. It relies on a system of peer reviews by 3 other students. Sometimes the results might not be fair, and you will need to resubmit your work because of that.

By Deleted A

Mar 24, 2020

Controller tuning is the hard part in the MIP track. All rest is manageable. But It teaches you how real projects can become challenging.

By Abhi S

May 13, 2019

Its a good course and I learnt a lot. However, the TAs are totally not responsive and there is absolutely no help from the mentors and TAs. Also, there are some bugs in the code provided which makes it hard to debug errors. Also, DO NOT take a AR track. The grade for AR track depends on how many are currently enrolled in the course which is not in your control. The grade is provided when the fellow students grade your submissions and vice-versa. This can be frustrating if you are the only one in the course. I finished the AR track and then waited for 1 month anticipating a grade. I finally started the MIP track and finished it to get my certificate.

By Joaquin R

Nov 4, 2018

Very few information available. This is just easier to complete because is a review of the other courses.

By David A

Apr 9, 2021

I really enjoyed this capstone. It was the most challenging especially since I took the AR track but it was also the most rewarding. The forums were very helpful and the staff responded well to my queries. However, I think this course is due for an upgrade. The raspberry pi image still incorporates Python 2.7 and a dated ROS version. The IMU recommended by the course is quite out of fashion and more modern and precise IMUs are not supported by the course codes and this presented a huge challenge to me. In summary, the course is awesome and I am glad I completed this specialization.

By Enrico A

Aug 8, 2017

This module combines elements from the previous 5 courses for the creation of a practical project. It is possible to choose between the modelling and control of a two-dimensional Segway in Matlab or the creation and control of a robot rover. I picked the first module and it proved to be very interesting. The lectures are few and very clear, with most of the time dedicated to the development of the project. For once, the assignments were also clear! Excellent course!

By Ramachandran S

Jun 13, 2017

I followed the MIP track since the AR track required me to purchase a kit and it was quite expensive.

I would like to make the bot with custom parts once i have acquired the needed ones.

The MIP track was good involving all that we learnt from previous courses and building up our ability to code.

By Erick A M D

Mar 11, 2021

It is a very good end for the program. With an integration of all the adquired knowledge.

The hardest part for me was the Kalman Filter lessons. I think you can leave a lot more information about this topic that became very important in the last phase of the project.

By Abhilash

May 24, 2017

This specialization is a great overwiew of robotics.You will not be a master but youwill definitely be able to get familiar with many robotics terms and you can hold your own in a conversation with a roboticist.

By Cédric P

Sep 24, 2016

The capstone is really good.

Too bad it means the end of this specialization... I liked it here.

But it is also the beginning of playing more with ROS, simulation tools and real robots.

By Niju M N

Dec 7, 2016

Worthy every effort put into the capstone project. This gives a practical example of almost every concepts we studied in the specialization

By Ran C

Jan 25, 2017

Very challenging, yet more interesting. I like these capstones, learned way more than I expected. Great course, recommend strongly.

By nrraajan n

May 31, 2020

Excellent course i completed too earlier only bcos of this LOCKDOWN i really thank CORONA to make this course fast and clear

By Fabio B

Aug 21, 2017

Excellent exercises, straight to the point and just with a simple review from previous courses.

By Adi S

Dec 4, 2019

Really helpful and practically applicable course.

By Luis A D R

Mar 22, 2019

Great class!!!

By Anoop S

Jun 29, 2016

The best!!!!

By 陈鹏

Mar 10, 2017


By Vu N M

Sep 25, 2018

It is quite good but I need something more challenge