Foundations of Robot Motion

This video introduces chapters 2 and 3 on configuration space, degrees of freedom, and rigid-body motions.

In Chapters 2 and 3, on configuration space and rigid-body motions, we'll study the representation of positions, velocities, and forces in three-dimensional space. A firm understanding of this material is arguably the most important foundation for the further study of robotics, since all robots move in the physical world. This material is also typically new to the beginning robotics engineer.

But, in case you were hoping to start programming robots right away, I should warn you, you don't see a lot of robots in Chapters 2 and 3. Instead, we focus on building a strong foundation in spatial motion as quickly as possible, so we can then move on to the material focused more on robots, beginning in chapter 4.

In particular, the material in chapters 2 and 3 will be the basis for understanding how to represent the motion of a quadrotor through space; how some robots use links and joints to form closed loops; how to control a robot's joints to allow it to interact with objects in its environment; how to control robots to simultaneously move and apply forces; how a robot hand can manipulate an object; how to navigate through cluttered environments; how to perform coordinated control of a robot arm mounted on a mobile robot; and how the dynamic equations of motion are used in high-performance motion control.

So, even though you won't see a lot of robots in Chapters 2 and 3, consider it an investment in all the cool things that come next. Also, I think you'll find the concepts interesting in their own right, as they broaden your understanding of spatial motion.

Let's get started with Chapter 2.