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.
The robot we will do most work with, in simulation and in reality is the iRobot Create:
which we will equip rather like this:
with an EeePC, which you will program to control the Create. The Create is the educational version of the Roomba vaccum cleaner: