May 1st 2017

Introducing Robotics: Robotics and Society (FutureLearn)

Taught by:

How do you feel about robots? Learn how robotics is used today and explore how it might help solve the big issues of our time. Once only found in fiction, robots are being applied in an increasing array of ways in society, from mechanisation of industrial tasks to exploring places humans can’t go. This course starts with your perceptions of robotics, describes different types of robots, and leads into a discussion of the future: knowing we can use robots, should we?

We will use case studies to show how robotics is being applied to help solve key issues facing society today: food production, aging populations, transport, and environmental change.

Get an introduction to robots

What’s your favourite robot? We explore how books, movies and television have influenced our perceptions of robotics and ask you to define a robot. From our shared understanding, we’ll then discuss how and why robotics impacts society and the ethics of using robots.

Learn about different types of robots

You might be surprised to learn where and how robots are used in our society today. You’ll explore examples of real robots – from manufacturing to the military – before considering what the future might hold for humans and robots alike.

Understand how robotics is solving world challengesOur world is facing some serious challenges and the pressures are only increasing as the population grows and ages. You’ll consider the practicalities and ethics of using robotics to address four of these big issues and learn how the usefulness of robots is limited only by the capacity of human intelligence.