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

4.5
stars
2,523 ratings
644 reviews

About the Course

How can we create agile micro aerial vehicles that are able to operate autonomously in cluttered indoor and outdoor environments? You will gain an introduction to the mechanics of flight and the design of quadrotor flying robots and will be able to develop dynamic models, derive controllers, and synthesize planners for operating in three dimensional environments. You will be exposed to the challenges of using noisy sensors for localization and maneuvering in complex, three-dimensional environments. Finally, you will gain insights through seeing real world examples of the possible applications and challenges for the rapidly-growing drone industry. Mathematical prerequisites: Students taking this course are expected to have some familiarity with linear algebra, single variable calculus, and differential equations. Programming prerequisites: Some experience programming with MATLAB or Octave is recommended (we will use MATLAB in this course.) MATLAB will require the use of a 64-bit computer....

Top reviews

IT

Oct 23, 2017

The course is very good.\n\nThe classes are well taught and show general concepts. It is necessary to do research on the internet, to solve the assignments. This is not a bad thing in my point of view

ST

Jun 09, 2018

I think this is very good course of aerial robotics research. Being a student of robotics, I feel that some of stuffs in this course needs a good background in control and mechanical engineering.

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576 - 600 of 625 Reviews for Robotics: Aerial Robotics

By Nishranth S

Jun 06, 2018

I feel the course could have been made more interactive and fun.

By Ari C

Nov 17, 2017

Lectures and materials are inadequate to complete assessments.

By Ravi K

Feb 15, 2016

Please include supplementary materials on controller tuning.

By Mihimo

May 29, 2016

At the end I do not feel that I have learned something.

By Joaquin R

Sep 05, 2018

Complex math, but fair and interesting

By John T

Mar 12, 2016

A tough score, which I have mixed feelings about as there was good stuff in here too. The course material is interesting and moves at a robust pace and I do think they have made an effort despite the fact that much of it appears lifted from one PhD student's dissertation. Realistically I would not recommend this course if you don't have a STEM Bachelor's degree and you will likely find it painful if you have been away from your degree more than three years. None of this is bad, although the material would have benefitted by being spread out by perhaps two more weeks as realistically people who have been in the workplace a long time may need more time, and have less time per week with family commitments. Unfortunately there are a number of areas that need work:

1 - Inconsistencies and errors in the material. Certain unexplained suffixes in equations and worse, changes in the suffixes without indication that they changed or what they are. I don't feel that this was particularly widespread but it did result in some loss of confidence in the course and time being wasted "interpreting"

2 - Tests throughout the course that often provide the relatively limited feedback of "correct well done" or worse I'm sorry to say, the relatively useless feedback "sorry that is not correct", without ANY explanation of why it was correct or more importantly what an incorrect answer should have been and why. I can understand that this will hopefully drive students should do more research, but if they hit a wall, realistically they're going to keep iterating on the answers until you pass and learn nothing because of the time pressure to complete by the end of the week. I wonder if there is a better mechanism that can be used here

3 - TA Support - The lack of TA support coupled with some concern about a history of errors led the students to believe that there was an error in week 3. For 10 days students went back and forth debating which one of the two equations that were supposedly doing the same thing but with missing terms were correct. NOT ONCE did a TA wake up and step in. In the end one of the students flagged the video as "inappropriate" to wake the UPenn organization up. The TA then stepped in and said (I paraphrase) "oh, we just dropped those terms because they're not so important, but we didn't mention that..." If you are not going to adequately support the students, the material had better be bullet-proof and show some linear thinking

4 - The last exam. Keep in mind if you do this course, you had better be comfortable with calculus, linear algebra, vector math/mechanics and it would be helpful to have a head start in Matlab. That said, the last question in the last exam, was an order of magnitude more challenging than everything else set and almost felt like a "shake out" question. I passed the course and had a good understanding of the material, but I suspect that the folks that did, made it through that last question in multiple random fashions. The material itself is relatively academic and the trajectory topic was definitely so. Unfortunately the one example (jerk trajectory) provided appears to have left a lot of students feeling very unsupported based on feedback I saw, and would probably benefit from having an example more fully worked through. As for the final exam, it would be highly desirable for UPenn to provide insight into how they would have solved the last part of the last question as my concern is that there is a whole contingent of people who did this course who didn't come away with as good a grounding on trajectories as they may believe they have

By Antón

Mar 15, 2016

This course successfully covers the mechanics and control topics of quadrotors. The course also points to some resources in order to extend your study on UAVs. However, there are some issues concerning the assignments which I didn't like at all:

1. Big gap in difficulty between assignments of first three weeks compared with the assignment of the fourth week.

2. The difficulty of the assignments of the first three weeks just relied on sweeping (somewhat 'smartly') a 1,2,3, or 6 dimensional parametric space. I guess that real UAVs engineers are not paid for this. In some assignment, I had to edited a file which I was not supposed to edit in order to pass it.

3. The last assignment was quite frustrating for the following reasons

3a. Really long running times to test if the parameters work fine. I would sacrifice the fancy real-time visualization to save some time. Apart from long running times, I guess that UAVs are not solving ODEs in real time on board, so I think is more interesting a more practical/real-time approach.

3b. Search in a 12-dimensional parametric space (some parameters are equal, but still you end up tunning 5,6 independent parameters, which influence each other). Come on, is this useful? I am sure that UAVs engineers don't spend their hours in this kind of crappy search. You could explain at least some existing heuristics when having so many control parameters to tune.

3c. Even though the drone trajectory seems to fit perfectly the planned trajectory, you might not pass the exercise, and you would get some clueless messages telling you the final position/velocity is not correct.

3d. The assignment guide is very unclear in some parts.

3e. A lot of typos in the formulas of the last part of the guide. I decided to completely ignore it and develop my own strategy, which turned out to be far simpler and easier to implement.

3f. The submission program tests the whole exercise regardless you passed some sections or not, which make the waiting times even longer.

By Glenn B

Feb 29, 2016

My feeling is that the course creator(s) did not fully prepare and scope of the course materials (i.e., lectures, supporting artifacts, assignments) required for the available time alloted to each week's topic. No syllubus or suggested reading material was available until the course started, which leaves little time to decide on the value of the course or to acquire the reading materials. The lectures glossed over topics that where only minimally supported by brief supplementary lectures provided by the teaching assistants. At the start of the course the lectures and sparse supporting material were only available in video format; not very conducive for detailed review. The student population had to beg for electronic copies of the materials, which became available around the end of the second week of the four week session. The assignments say they require 3 hours, but I would venture to say that most students have spent way more than 3 hours on the assignments just in researching solutions let alone debugging supplied software along with their portion of the assignment. In summary, the topics were interesting however the organization and supporting materials were lacking making for an unsatisfying learning experience.

By Thadeus R

Mar 14, 2016

This course definitely requires prerequisite knowledge of calculus and matrix math. There is also very little in the way of practical application. The MatLab work is interesting but barely explained. The assignments were nearly impossible without help from other students. Understanding which equations that were shown in the lecture (not necessarily explained) were useful in completing the assignments was not apparent and there was no help from the TAs.

I don't think the assignments were irrelevant but without having a background in academic engineering the course needs to walk through similar exercises with explanations to increase understanding and ability to complete the course.

While I don't think this course was well presented and I can't say I truly learned anything I am glad I was exposed to the material and I will continue with the Specialization.

By Antoine L

Feb 12, 2016

This course feels like a bad news anchorman reading the teleprompter. It gives a lot of formulae without proper explanations. A lot of quiz answers do not come from the video lectures. The course is really just spitting formulae from the dissertation "Trajectory Generation and Control for Quadrotors" by Daniel Warren Mellinger (easily found using search engines). Reading the dissertation before doing the course would probably help understand the formulae they say out of context without the proper explanations. Sorry for the bad review, it's the first time I leave one like that, although I've completed many MOOCs. I hope it will help to improve the course.

By Ataliba M

Jan 02, 2017

Very poor and a complete lack of interaction from Mentors/Tutors. Learners are left behind shooting bullets at the sky hoping to hit a star that might fall over with some hints. The course materials is consistent and very well informed but, as mentioned mentors/tutors since course began never showed up to clarify some frequent issues with Matlab codes and input data.

Felt disappointed!!!

By Jiaming S

Feb 09, 2016

The material this course provided is sufficient for a beginner in robotics. But I have to say that the material the coursed presented is not well prepared. The lectures are not well organized. Some necessary prerequisite should be at least provided as reading materials. Quizs ask some questions that is not clearly mentioned in the lecture and some are with a little ambiguity.

By Georg W

Mar 09, 2016

I think this course does not a good job of explaining the mathematics very well. The supplementary material is very good in that regard, compared to the lectures. However, there are too few to make up for it. I would need a few example calculations of similar problems to what we are expected to solve in the exercises.

As a result, my learning success is not very satisfactory.

By thiago c

Mar 16, 2018

Quizzes and assignments are not tied well to the lectures. The flow and sequence is not good. The subject is very interesting, but needs to be better organized. the last assignment requires an unreasonable amount of knowledge of Matlab. I code in other languages and I am not a big fan of Matlab which make it even harder.

By Hugo d l C

Mar 03, 2016

Not well prepared and not well explained. They throw formulas at you and read it aloud instead of explaining the nature behind those.

They change notations every lecture, sometimes in the same lecture. It's easy but these things made it artificially dificult.

At least it's better than the next one in the specialization

By Bishwajit P

Sep 14, 2016

Much better Courses are available for free on udacity and edx. this is only a money making course. concepts used are very old. nothing new in this course. One can dwell in PID controllers for life, its a huge are and the way its used here is totally ancient. its just some ancient methods in new quadcopters.

By Muhammad S Z

Jun 09, 2020

The course definitely needs pre-requisite requirements which are not mentioned. I had to pause to open youtube videos to understand concepts explaining on a very high level in this course. There are no helpful resources like text books for reference of concepts, or notes mentioned in the course.

By Nikki A

Nov 09, 2019

The program doesn't provide enough information for the quizzes or exercises; it is incomplete, in my opinion.

It could be better if there was more information provided (context). If you are not already an engineer, this program is going to be very difficult.

By Charan T

Feb 01, 2020

not too bad but also not an impressive course. things was given as a fact while not answering the more important questions why ? and how ? . supplementary material for basic stuff were given but for the higher level ones , there is no clear intuition.

By Masahiro S

Nov 08, 2016

I'm sorry, but I felt the week 4 assignment materials is not consistent to lesson videos or the lesson video does not explained enough.

I think that making students think does not mean making explanation indistinct.

By Sibtain M H

Feb 13, 2016

This course is not a beginner level course rather it is an intermediate one. I had to put in more than 10 hours a week to ​ complete this course. A basic knowledge of control theory is a must.

By Yukti S

Apr 21, 2016

Assignments for week 3 and 4 were very tough and a little guidance was provided on how to do the coding part. But since I'm interested in the course i'm re-enrolling to complete it this time.

By Ziming W

Aug 08, 2016

Interesting course. But definitely not for beginners. With a designer background, I could never accomplish this course. I really hope Penn could offer course in such topic for beginners!

By J. D

Feb 16, 2016

Quizzes and Assignments are poorly designed. You will spend most of your time tuning parameters

and deriving matrices that were never discussed in the course. Unfortunate.

By Don Z

Aug 28, 2020

This is not a beginner course in my opinion and it is taking 3 to 4 times longer that the advertised time per week. I'll be dropping it.