A lot of those lessons can be learnt using a good robot simulator, and we'll be using one of those. We will use the Player/Stage suite.
I'll provide computers with all the necessary software installed. If you want to set up your own machine (either to bring to class or to work on the projects at home), then here are some instructions.
Two robots that we will use, at least in simulation, and hopefully also in reality, are the Roomba:
and the Pioneer: