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Robotics FAQ

Program Overview

  • Why should I enroll in the Robotics Nanodegree program?

    The field of robotics is growing fast and the demand for engineers with the right skills far exceeds the current supply. This program represents a unique opportunity to develop these in-demand skills. We are partnering with the best companies in the field of robotics to offer in-depth curriculum, expert instructors, and exclusive hiring opportunities. You will come out of this program having completed several hand-on robotics projects, both in simulation and on real hardware, that will serve as portfolio pieces that demonstrate the skills you’ve acquired. This is an ideal program for anyone seeking to launch or advance a career in this incredible field.

  • What kinds of topics will the program cover?

    The program will cover topics including perception, localization, path planning, and control. Computer Vision and machine / deep learning techniques for robot perception will also be covered, as well as the Robot Operating System (ROS) and an introduction to robotic hardware systems.

  • How is the Robotics Nanodegree program different from your Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program or your Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree program?

    The Machine Learning Engineer Nanodegree program is the most general of the three programs. It offers a great foundation, and is an excellent choice for anyone pursuing a career in a field where machine learning techniques are used. However, the curriculum is not as advanced as the other two programs, and it does not specialize to the same extent.

    The Machine Learning Engineer program is not an official prerequisite for either the Self-Driving Car or Robotics programs, though it may be beneficial to some students to complete this program first, depending on your existing knowledge and experience.

    The Robotics program provides an introduction to various aspects of robotics including perception, localization, path planning, and control, as well as the Robot Operating System (ROS). All of the techniques required to complete the projects in the Robotics program (including machine learning) are taught as part of the program.

    The Self-Driving Car Nanodegree is a specialized robotics program; it uses robotics concepts and applies them to a self-driving car. If you are interested in robotics in general beyond the field of self-driving cars, then the Robotics Nanodegree Program is for you.

  • How are you developing the curriculum and who are your partners?

    Udacity is developing the curriculum for the Robotics Nanodegree program in close partnership with Electric Movement, a cutting-edge robotics engineering company in the Bay Area. Electric Movement is a pioneer in the space of rapid prototyping and development of robotics solutions for companies of all sizes. Their work touches every aspect of robotics, from conceptual design to production. They are an ideal partner to help us deliver a comprehensive and world-class experience for our students.

    Udacity is also building content in partnership with Megabots, a company focused on “leveraging deep engineering expertise in the rapidly advancing field of hydraulic robotics in order to empower an entire generation of creators to actually build the robots of science fiction for the first time.”

  • Does this program have hiring partnerships associated with it?

    Yes! We are thrilled to have as hiring partners these leading-edge companies that will fast track graduates for job consideration at their companies: Lockheed Martin, Uber ATG, Kuka, Bosch, Electric Movement, MegaBots, iRobot, and X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory.

  • What jobs will this program prepare me for?

    Our goal with this program is to equip you with the most valuable skills in this field; the skills top companies are looking for as they search for the next generation of robotics talent. Enter the search terms “Robotics Engineer” in Glassdoor, Indeed, or any other major job search engine, and you’ll find thousands of openings all over the world in a diversity of industries. To ensure you’re well-prepared to meet this demand, this program will focus on the software behind robotics systems, while also providing you the opportunity to work with hardware in the second term. You will learn practical application of robotics concepts like perception, localization, path planning and controls using the languages and frameworks that are in demand in the industry (Python, C++, ROS, Gazebo).

  • What are the prerequisites for this program?

    Students should have the following skills coming into the program:

    • Linear algebra and calculus.
    • Probability and statistics.
    • Basic physics (Newtonian Mechanics)
    • Unix / Linux command line familiarity
    • Intermediate-level programming experience in Python or similar language
    • ROS, C++ and machine learning experience are helpful but not required.

    Looking to refresh your skills or prepare now? Get started with the following resources:

  • What frameworks/languages/technologies will this program teach?

    You will learn practical application of robotics concepts like perception, localization, path planning and controls using the languages and frameworks that are in demand in the industry (Python, C++, ROS, Gazebo)

  • Do I need any special equipment to take this program?

    No. Nothing is required to complete the program except for a model of computer capable of running our programs and an internet connection. The minimum computational prerequisite requirements for this Nanodegree Program are the following:

    • 4GB RAM
    • Quad-Core i5 processor or equivalent
    • 50GB free HDD space
    • WiFi capability (802.11x)
  • Is there a hardware component to the program?

    In the second term, in addition to offering students the continued opportunity to work in a software simulation environment, but we will also provide certain hardware equipment to those students able to receive shipments from our global shipping partner.

  • What if I cannot receive equipment shipments? Does that impact my ability to successfully complete the program?

    It does not. The skills and concepts we teach can all be mastered in the simulation environment, and regardless of whether you work on hardware or not, you will still be able to successfully graduate from the program.

  • Are there additional costs associated with the hardware option?

    There are not. Your total tuition payment covers any hardware we provide you for the program.

  • Are there additional advanced hardware requirements for the program?

    No. You may opt to purchase or use additional hardware at your option and certain content may reference such opportunities to learn about advance hardware, but you are not required to do so to successfully graduate from this program.

  • Can you tell me more about the balance of software and hardware in this program?

    In Term One, you’ll establish the necessary foundation to tackle a wide range of challenges in robotics, and you’ll master core skills and concepts as you work in the simulation environment. In Term Two, more advanced techniques and their implementations will be covered, and the hardware option will be introduced. For those students who receive the hardware equipment, you’ll experience implementing these new techniques on the hardware platform; students continuing on with the simulation environment will master these same cutting-edge skills in simulation.

  • When do we learn details about the hardware being offered?

    All enrolled students receive details about second term curriculum midway through the first term. These details will include specifics about the opportunity to work on a robotics hardware platform, and will cover logistics related to this opportunity.

  • What’s the job market like for Robotics Software Developers?

    Demand is strong for engineers across all aspects of robotics. Enter the search terms “Robotics Engineer” in Glassdoor, Indeed, or any other major job search engine and you’ll find thousands of openings all over the world in a diversity of industries.

  • How Can I Connect with the Udacity Robotics Community?

    To stay informed of the latest program news, events, and to connect with others passionate about Robotics, join the Udacity Robotics Slack Community here.

Application Process

Tuition / Payment

  • How much does the Robotics Nanodegree program cost?

    The program consists of two 3-month long terms. $1200 per term for a total program cost of $2400.

  • Am I required to pay for both terms up front?

    No. You may register and pay for the first term, and then make a decision about the second term at a later date.

  • Is there a free trial period for this program?

    Like all Udacity programs, if within the first seven days of being enrolled in the program, you determine that it would be best to not maintain your enrollment, you will be refunded all tuition paid.

  • Are graduates of this Nanodegree program eligible for the 50% tuition refund offer?

    Graduates of this program are not eligible to receive this tuition refund upon completion of their studies.

  • Are there scholarships or financial aid available?

    We do not currently offer scholarships for the Robotics Nanodegree program.

Program Structure

  • When does the first cohort start and end?

    The first cohort of students will start their first term on May 24, 2017 and complete the term 12 weeks later.

  • How is this Nanodegree program structured?

    The program is comprised of 2 terms (3 months each) with fixed start and end dates. Students must successfully complete all assigned projects by the end date for each term to graduate. There are 3-4 projects per term, which give you an opportunity to apply the skills you’ve learned in the lessons. Each project must be submitted for review by one of the expert project reviewers in the Udacity Robotics network. Your reviewer will give you detailed feedback on your work and let you know where your project needs improvement if necessary. You may submit each project as many times as you like.

  • Will there be a Nanodegree Plus version of this program, with the job guarantee?

    We are not offering Nanodegree Plus for this program. However, our current global hiring partners—which include Bosch, iRobot, Lockheed Martin, X, and more—provide Udacity students direct and preferential exposure to new jobs. We work directly with recruiters and hiring managers at each company to get our students fast-tracked into open opportunities.

  • Will there be Udacity Connect sessions held for this program?

    Due to the singular nature of—and requirements for—this curriculum, we will not be supporting Connect sessions for the Robotics Nanodegree program. While students of this program are welcome to attend Connect sessions, we will not provide curriculum support at the sessions, nor will there be session leads onsite who are equipped to provide specific program guidance and input.

  • Do you offer the opportunity for students to pause their studies for this program?

    The fixed-term nature of the program, and the need for maintaining a consistent and stable student body throughout, doesn’t allow for offering the option to pause your studies.

  • Is this program self-paced?

    The start and end dates of each term are fixed, and you must complete all assigned projects by the end dates, so to that extent, the answer is “no, it is not self-paced.” You must complete the program within a fixed time period. However, projects may be submitted at any time during the term, and individual project deadlines are recommendations, not requirements. So within the boundaries of a given term, there is some opportunity to work at your own pace. But you should plan to follow our recommended timeline, as this will best enable you to keep pace with your peers, and complete the program on time.

Deadline Policy

  • When we use the term "deadline" with regards to Nanodegree Program projects, we use it in one of two ways:

    • To mean a final deadline for submitting all projects

    • To refer to ongoing suggested deadlines for individual projects

    It is very important to understand the distinctions between the two, as your progress in the program is measured against the deadlines we've established. Please see below for an explanation of what each usage means.

  • A final deadline for submitting all projects

    In order to graduate a term, you must submit all projects by the last day of the term and pass all projects once they are reviewed by a Udacity Reviewer (the review may take place after the last day of the term). Passing a project means a Udacity Reviewer has marked a project as "Meets Specifications."

    If you do not submit all projects by the end of the term and also pass all projects once they are reviewed: You will receive a 4-week extension to complete any outstanding projects. You will only receive this extension a maximum of once. Once you submit and pass all projects, you can enroll in the next term, which will potentially be with a later class. If you do not submit and pass all projects within the 4-week extension, you will be removed from the program.

  • Ongoing suggested deadlines for individual projects

    The deadlines you see in your classroom are suggestions for when you should ideally pass each project. They are meant to help keep you on track so that you maintain an appropriate pace throughout the program–one that will see you graduate on time!

    Please note that you can submit your project as many times as you need to. There are no penalties if you miss these deadlines. However, you will be at risk of not passing all projects on time if you miss these deadlines, and fall behind, so it is a recommended best practice to try and meet each suggested deadline.

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