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MRSD Recommended Skill-Set
  • The MRSD program offers a broad exposure into most topics in the area of robotics. Program participants will come from many backgrounds and with different levels of experience / exposure to all the varied fields of engineering and science. As such, we wanted to provide an "ideal" list of all the skill-sets and areas that MRSD students will be exposed to and the associated science / engineering background that is recommended (but not required) for students to be able to handle all aspects of all the courses without concerns as to background and qualification. Note that this list provides a comprehensive list that paints the "ideal" picture. Students are encouraged to at least review the meaning of terminology and be comfortable with the essentials of the relative fields or skills. While it certainly would help, it is not a requirement to be proficient in each. We expect to at least have students be comfortable in areas and topics / skills not associated with their major, so they can take advantage of the multidisciplinary training and nature that is robotics and brought to students through the MRSD program.
  • A summary table of recommended skills and technology / engineering / scientific areas and / or principles, is shown below:
  • MRSD Program
    Recommended Pre-Program Entry Skills

    PROGRAMMING Matlab Familiarity with command-line and external functions using MATLAB library; Import/export of data; graphing/plotting functions & data; rudimentary animation
    Python And / or C / C++ familiarity
    ROS Robot Operating System (ROS) - Optional (Good to know)
    Program Constructs Sequencing, Selection, Iteration & Recursion
    Data Organization Arrays, Lists, Pointers
    COMPUTERS Tools Productivity SW (MS Office - Excel / Word / PowerPoint / Project)
    Operating Systems Windows or Apple-OS - use of personal laptop computer Linux or Ubuntu
    MATHEMATICS Linear Algebra Inversion, Eigenvalues, Null-Space
    Linear Differential Eq. Matrix-Algebra & -Manipulation
    Basic Calculus Derivatives, Gradients, Chain Rule
    Numerical Integration Basic Computational Implementation, e.g. Runge-Kutta 4
    Fourier Analysis NOT how to calculate the coefficients, but the notion that any complicated fct. can be represented as a composite of simpler ones
    CMU Math Fundamentals Course 16-811: Math Fundamentals for Robotics
    PHYSICS Newtonian Physics Newton-Euler Mechanics (Forces, torques, mass / inertia, Equations of motion)
    System State Degrees of Freedom & Constraints to fully describe a system’s behavior mathematically
    CONTROLS Control Systems Controls Fundamentals (transfer functions; bode plots; stability-margin; time-response of LTI systems; PID compensators)
    OTHER Electronics Basic experience with practical circuits (elements, interactions, PCBs)
    Mechanisms Some design and fabrication experience (Concept -> CAD -> Fabrication)
    Documentation Basic skills in document structuring and technical writing
    REFERENCES Courses - College-Level CMU: CS Courses 15-110 and / or 15-112 OR equivalent

    HIGHLY recommend being comfortable with material in 16-811
    Courses - Online Stanford - CS-101
    MIT - Code Academy
    Udacity - . . . choose cs101 or cs373
    Books Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction - David Poole
    Physics - Jay Orear
    Control Systems Engineering - Norman Nise
    The C Programming Language - Kernighan & Ritchie
    The C Programmers Handbook - Thom Hogan
    Programming in C - S. Kochan