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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Robotics: Computational Motion Planning by University of Pennsylvania

1,028 ratings

About the Course

Robotic systems typically include three components: a mechanism which is capable of exerting forces and torques on the environment, a perception system for sensing the world and a decision and control system which modulates the robot's behavior to achieve the desired ends. In this course we will consider the problem of how a robot decides what to do to achieve its goals. This problem is often referred to as Motion Planning and it has been formulated in various ways to model different situations. You will learn some of the most common approaches to addressing this problem including graph-based methods, randomized planners and artificial potential fields. Throughout the course, we will discuss the aspects of the problem that make planning challenging....

Top reviews


Nov 27, 2018

The course was challenging, but fulfilling. Thank you Coursera and University of Pennsylvania for giving this wonderful experience and opportunity that I might not experience in our local community!


Oct 14, 2022

I would say beginners will struggle with the contents of this course because it is heavily conceptual and requires you to read other resources to understand fully, In all, it was a splendid course.

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201 - 225 of 259 Reviews for Robotics: Computational Motion Planning

By Emeka E

Mar 11, 2016

I think there is need to provide clearer instructions on how to get the programming assignments done. The course content is good, but doing the programming assignments needs to be more clarified.

By Alex M

Mar 13, 2016

Most of the homework assignments aren't graded correctly out of the box and have errors. Also, only specific solutions are selected. Otherwise it's great material at a good pace.

By Lucas H C S

Sep 22, 2017

Matlab online makes this course activities expensive in time, and some algorithms are not explained on the classe or texts, so you need to search a lot.

By Taimoor D K

Aug 27, 2018

Course content is very good however topics should be covered in much detail. Frequent bugs in programming assignments is also a concern.

By 李晨曦

Jun 24, 2017

Too few details of the algorithms are provided. The assignment are too simplified to help students develop a good grasp of the contents.

By Luke J

Sep 13, 2016

Not much content covered in course, especially compared to Aerial Robotics. No real great sense of achievement on completion.

By Unnat A

Jul 1, 2019

The lectures should cover more in depth theory to better explain the concepts before giving such challenging assignments.

By Rayad K

Mar 9, 2016

In comparison to the first course this one lacks a lot of organization and debugging before sending it to the public

By Marthinus J ( N

Apr 8, 2020

There was not enough examples or supplementary readings. Also the mentors and teachers dont reply on the forum.

By Sathvik D

Sep 24, 2017

Covers the essentials pretty well. But, the programming assignments need a lot of improvement !!!

By Ajay G

Nov 20, 2016

can be much better with little bit of more explanations and more relevant resources for help

By Chris A

Apr 7, 2016

Very interesting material, but also very light instruction. Requires some MATlab intuition.

By Yixuan B

Mar 21, 2016

The materials are not deep enough. And the programming assignments are just so-so.

By Fernando C

Mar 31, 2016

The lectures were good, but many assignments had errors (graders, errors in code)

By Dmitry V

Mar 12, 2016

Great course but programming assignments in MATLAB had too many issues.


Apr 14, 2020

Its good but we need more support in the programming task

By Qiang

Jun 20, 2016

Only for introduction, more materials shoulb be supplied.

By Olivia K

Feb 24, 2016

Feedback is useless, but content is fine.

By Yiming Z

Aug 16, 2017

Could have brought more advanced topics

By Elie S

Nov 6, 2019

should improve the online assignments

By Bakhtiar M

Nov 27, 2019

The grader had quite some issues.

By Ashish T

Mar 15, 2022

Need more explanation and detail


Mar 14, 2016

So I'll start with the positives. The material was appropriate and interesting and well presented. CJ Taylor is an enthusiastic lecturer and the material was presented in an enjoyable easy to understand way and having finished the course, I definitely want to learn more about computational motion planning.

The problems I have with this course though are numerous. This is the second part of the Robotics Specialization and compared to the first part, this course was very weak. There was very little lecture material and the course felt thin - as if it were 2 weeks of material stretched over 4. There were many instances where the lectures could have gone in to much more detail and just didn't, I appreciate that you can't cover everything in lectures, but would it have killed you to provide or at least point to some good additional reading resources?

The assessments were the worst part. The quizzes barely tested what I had learnt and could mostly be solved by common sense. What I find shocking is that there were so few questions with few multiple choice answer that you could easily brute-force these quizzes if you really wanted to. Compare this to the Aerial Robotics course where the quizzes took time and forced me to think and understand what was discussed in lecture.

The programming assignments were shockingly bad. They were hard for completely the wrong reasons. I spent most of my time on them not coding the solution, but trying to figure out what was actually wanted and fixing bugs that were in the provided code that we WEREN'T EVEN SUPPOSED TO EDIT. The autograder would never tell you why you were wrong, just "I'm sorry, your solution didn't pass all of our test cases." This meant that finding the solution was based on guesswork rather than considered thought. This was made even worse by the fact that some simulations took a long time to run which made iterating guesses very slow - and doing this on a time limit is just pointlessly stressful.

One of the assignments had the solution already in the source code as the instructors had forgotten to take it out.

The final assignment wouldn't even run out of the box without fixing bugs in the provided code. This would have taken seconds to check had the person who wrote it bothered to check their work beforehand.

Thing is, the tasks provided in principle weren't that hard, they were actually kind of too easy. Dijkstra's algorithm isn't that difficult to implement from scratch, and yet all that was asked of us was to implement a small 10 line for-loop. That said, I appreciate that as a software engineer, I might find this sort of thing much easier than most, but even so I don't feel as though the programming assignments helped me learn anything.

Overall, regardless of how interesting the material was, this course was very shoddily put together. I appreciate this is the first time the course has been run, but this really felt phoned in and unacceptable. I paid money for this course and the quality of it is notably worse than most free MOOCs I have taken. I feel ripped off and I sincerely hope that the next section is better otherwise I doubt I will bother to continue until the end. I thought Penn University was better than this.

By Ravi T S

Apr 9, 2016

Prof. Taylor's lectures were clear and easy to understand. The course taught the basics of planning pretty well.

The teaching staff, unfortunately, was completely unavailable. The solution checkers for the Matlab assignments were very brittle and wasted a lot of students' time. There were several queries about the assignments on the Discussion forums most of which did not elicit any response from the teaching staff. The students ultimately figured it out by spending several laborious hours figuring out the peculiarities of the solution checkers, and by helping each other. This certainly soured my experience with the course.

By Alejandro G

Jun 6, 2016

The contents and quality of the video lectures are great.

The quality of the supplementary materials (like the quizzes and the Matlab code) provided by TAs for the assignments are very poor. The assignment guides are written with very poor grammar. The Matlab code is written using the worst coding and documenting practices. The automatic evaluation system (the system for grade the submissions), doest't provide useful feedback. As people can read in the course discussion forums, students have been asking for months for improvements to the grading systems.