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"I don't know where to start."

This is perhaps the biggest problem you face when starting to learn Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. ​

In today's day and age there is an abundance of resources made available to each and every one of us. On the click of a button, you can get access to the best video lectures from the top universities in the world. You get access to novel projects and repositories contributed by great content creators and robotics and machine learning engineers and researchers. A variety of different types of courses are available to each and every one of us at a very nominal cost. 

Having looked at this information, it sounds like you are making an excuse. If you were motivated enough, you should have been able to take advantage of the resources and start learning robotics, computer vision or machine learning already, right? 

Well, yes and no!

Although the vast amount of resources makes education accessible to everyone with a decent internet connection, resource abundance is a double-edged sword. Accessibility comes at the cost of overwhelm. Beginners with little-to-no knowledge about robotics find themselves easily overwhelmed as they do not know which resources to refer to. They try out a few arduino projects, take up an online course and watch a few tutorials online, never really finding one specific sub-domain they would want to master to a professional level.​

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If you just want to learn robotics and machine learning to build some fun side projects, it probably does not matter that much. You can take up any course that interests you and start doing any project that you have time, budget and motivation for. 

However, if you are serious about learning robotics and/or AI and want to work professionally as a Robotics Software Engineer, Machine Learning engineer, or Computer Vision engineer, telling you to buy a robotic kit or start tinkering with arduino would be a poor advise.

Arduinos and robotics kits are for hobbyists!

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If you want to work as a professional Software Engineer/ Researcher in the Robotics/ AI domain, you need a broad knowledge of several sub-domains in Robotics and AI and deep expertise in your niche. And you need to have a system to be able to explore different fields such that you can choose a niche in which you want to gain expertise.

And, I can absolutely relate with you when you say, "I don't know where to start."  In fact, when I was working as a Mechanical Design Engineer and wanted to transition to Robotics, I made the same excuse, over and over again. I tried quite a few courses and was certainly making progress. But I lacked direction. And there was no guarantee that I would be able to work professionally in the field of robotics. 

For me the only option was going for a Master's in Robotic Systems Engineering. I did not know any better. 

The number 1 thing that I got from the master's programme was the well-defined structure that the University offered. The programme allowed me to explore several sub-domains in robotics and take up elective subjects of my interest. This was good exposure!

However, I was only able to cultivate the right skill-set that the industry would value by working for the industry. I took up multiple working student and internship roles along with additional projects in research institutes to gain exposure to enough sub-domains in robotics so that I could choose one specific niche, I would like to work in. And this is where a majority of my "real" learning was - Working for startups, bigger companies and research institutes on real-world projects.

And I understand that going for a Master's is not a real possibility for a large proportion of engineering students/ working professionals. There can be time constraints, monetary constraints, social and famial constraints, just to name a few.

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MECHANICAL ENGINEER

ROBOTICIST

I am here to tell you that it is absolutely possible to become a self-taught robotics software engineer. I can say this so confidently because of the following reasons - 

1️⃣ Realize that M.Sc./ M.Tech in Robotics/ Data Science/ Machine Learning are just starting to become

mainstream. This was not widely taught as a specialization even 5 years ago. There were fewer such courses. But the industries still employed Machine Learning Engineers. Most of the people had to learn it on the job because one or more projects at their company required that.

 

2️⃣There are countless examples of people who switched from Mechanical/ Electronics engineering to software engineering. Software engineering is at the core of AI.

 

3️⃣ For a new job, you have to learn new skills anyway. Even if you have prior experience in, let's say, Computer Vision, you have to deal with certain tools and frameworks that are specific to the company.  So, you are learning on-the-job in any case.

 

4️⃣ A candidate who demonstrates their skill-set acquired by doing projects on their own shows self-initiative and that they have the ability to work independently and are disciplined enough. Such a candidate will often even stand out in comparison to other candidates.

 

5️⃣ At the end of the day, a company values the right skill-set in a candidate. Such a skill-set can be developed by taking part in practical projects. If you have a portfolio of projects that you developed, that is demonstration of your work experience. And such experience is in no way less as compared to someone who has a Master's in Robotics/ Data Science/ Artificial Intelligence. Your skill-set is your most valuable asset.

​​

So, get rid of the idea that it is not possible to become a self-taught professional roboticist/ AI engineer. You just need to get rid of this limiting belief and start learning.

 

And, the single biggest reason why you constantly fail to start learning is because you lack a

clear, systematic, step-by-step, practical, project-based, personalized and well-defined

Roadmap!​

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That's it. That's all you need. You need a system - A system that is tailored to your own individual goals and needs, is project-based and gives you the skill-set that would make you employable in the industry.

I have been been thinking about the problem of finding the "best way to learn robotics and AI" for a very long-time now. I started thinking about it when I was working full-time as a Mechanical Design Engineer and started learning robotics on my own with only the internet at my disposal. Throughout my Master's programme, I was taking the good elements of the programme and tailoring those towards my own personal goals, finding my own sub-domain of interest (niche) that I would want to work professionally in.

 

All the internships, working student positions and additional projects that I took were solely to gain enough exposure to understand the vast field of AI and robotics on a broad enough scale to be able to choose a niche, that would not just be of my interest but would also offer enough job opportunities. 

 

I had the following realizations about what an ideal Robotics curriculum should look like -  

✅ A good robotics curriculum must be project-based

✅ A robotics programme should give enough exposure to the overall field to allow students to explore and find their niche

✅ It should offer students exposure to Industry-grade projects.

✅ It should be individualized and tailored to the specific needs of the student. It should be curiosity-driven and personalized.

✅ A good curriculum should also offer you accountability in terms of the right peer-group

✅ Employability and practicality of the course are extremely important, especially if the goal is to get a job by means of the course.

✅ A curriculum or a roadmap should also be dynamic in the sense that it should be updatable

After years of conceptualization of the idea, making use of my practical exposure to Industry and academia, experience of studying in a top-notch conventional Master's programme, and just a lot of trial-and-error, I would like to share with you the exact roadmap that you can use to

become a "Self-taught" Robotics Software Engineer!

The entire roadmap is covered in this video below and if you follow the video till the end, and stick with the plan laid out to you at the end of the video, there is no reason why you cannot become a self-taught Robotics Software Engineer in the industry.

But there is only so much I can share in a single YouTube video. 

Robotics is a complicated domain.

Figuring out a career path in the field is not easy, to say the least. 

You might still not really believe that it is possible to become a self-taught Roboticist by simply following this roadmap. 

Fair enough! Your limiting beliefs cannot be eradicated in a single day. 

You might also be wondering,

❓ "Hey, but which projects should I choose?"

❓ "Will the projects that I create be recognized by the industry?"

❓ "Which job profile should I target within the vast domains of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence?"

❓ "How much time should I spend learning mathematics?"

❓ "Are my programming skills good enough to start applying for jobs?"

❓ "Which career path in robotics should I choose?"

❓ "I am stuck in this project and I don't know how to proceed?"

❓ "How do I start building a project from scratch?"

.... and on goes the list.

The questions are endless. 

The struggle is real. 

And I have first-hand experience of this.

Which is why I have spent several months of my life distilling key lessons and learnings from all of my professional experiences to create a proven system to 

become a self-taught Robotics Software Engineer!

But before I introduce you to my system, let's talk about money.

While money should not be the primary motivator, it undeniably is a very powerful resource! 

And, hence any career decisions need to take monetary ROI (Return on Investment) into account. 

The amount of money you earn is directly proportional to the value you offer to the world.

So, if you want to earn loads of money while doing the things that you love anyway, while at the same time learning and growing continuously and having a significant impact on the world, you need to master the skills that the companies would value.

Money Earned ∝ Value offered ∝ Your skillset

So, if there is one thing you need to become a well-paid professional Robotics Software Engineer, that is: Industry-relevant skillset

And once you make an investment to develop a strong skillset, you unlock a higher pay scale. 

 

Robotics Software Engineers offer immense value to the companies, and hence are one of the highest paid profiles in the industry. 

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A typical Master's Program in the United States would cost you Hundreds of Thousands of dollars. 

To study in such programs, you would most likely need to take a student loan. Student loans are a huge gamble and the likelihood of you getting a return of that investment is actually very low. 

We just do it because everyone else is doing it and hence it seems more trustworthy.

And even if you can afford the tuition fee, a Master's Degree is no guarantee that you will work at your dream Robotics company

You would still have to demonstrate your technical skillset by mastering the right tools and frameworks used in the industry and showcasing company-relevant projects. You would still need to clear technical interviews and coding tests. 

What if you can bypass the entire conventional route of going for a Master's, then building projects and then applying for jobs and directly focus on what is and has always been the most important thing for the industry. 

Your skillset. 

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Skill beats Degree any day!

What if you invested all of that time, energy and money towards cultivation of your technical skillset. 

How much more efficient would that be?

You save time, energy and money and increase your likelihood of having a high-paying career. 

Win-Win-Win!

Also, most university Master's Programs would teach you all the theoretical concepts within all major sub-domains within Robotics and AI such as Computer vision, Kinematics, Dynamics, Machine Learning, Control Theory, Sensor Systems, and Simulation. Now this is generally a good thing ... 

But if your goal is to work as an Academic Researcher. If you want to work in the Academia and publish papers, you need to have a strong technical foundation and hence this is probably an effective (although still not efficient) way to create Robotics and AI Researchers.

This is the reason why there is emphasis on understanding the algorithms deeply and having a strong theoretical foundation. And not too much on the technical skillset - Which the Industry values more.

The primary task of a researcher is not to build robotic systems but to conduct experiments with a goal to discover novel algorithms and solutions to unsolved research problems and then publish papers. 

Researchers publish papers whereas engineers build and program things. 

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The university curriculum is designed for the researchers by the researchers. 

Trust me, I work in Research and I know this very closely. 

However, you probably, like most graduate students want to work in the industry.

Which means that your publications are not the most important thing. 

Your technical skillset is. 

So, why would you spend years learning all the theoretical algorithms within all domains of Robotics and AI?

You would forget most of it anyway because you would never use most of it in the real-world.

If your goal is to become a Robotics Software Engineer, this is a huge waste of time. 

The system that use in this course is not just practical suited for Robotics Software Engineering roles but is also highly efficient. You would get straight to learning the foundation skills, tools and frameworks and building projects without wasting time watching long boring lectures, learning theoretical concepts you would never use anyway.  

By the way, if you are curious about how I personally transitioned from Mechanical Engineering to Robotics, here is a long-form unfiltered video of my own learning journey for you.

If you are ready to take your career seriously and transition to robotics, here are the modules for the course "Become a self-taught Robotics Software Engineer":

0️⃣ Welcome

✅ Module overview​

1️⃣ Mindset Cultivation

✅ Mindset of a self-taught software engineer

✅ Start with Why

✅ Addressing limiting beliefs

✅ Interview with a self-taught AI Engineer

✅ Phases of learning

✅ Define your learning goals

✅ Create a Support System

 

2️⃣ Setting the foundation

✅ Mathematics foundation

✅ System Setup

✅ Linux fundamentals

✅ Git fundamentals

✅ Programming foundation

✅ Tensorflow fundamentals

✅ OpenCV fundamentals

✅ ROS 2 fundamentals​

 

3️⃣ Building projects

✅ Leverage your curiosity

✅ Core robotics domains

✅ Domain-specific projects

✅ Building the project​

 

4️⃣ Finding your niche

✅ Define your strengths and values

✅ Define your niche

✅ Define your purpose statement (life's task)

 

5️⃣ Mastering your niche

✅ Niche-specific projects

✅ Perception Roadmap

✅ Planning Roadmap

✅ Learning Roadmap

✅ Control Roadmap

 

6️⃣ Job application

✅ Prepare your CV

✅ Create your Master CV - Simple Version

✅ Create your Master CV - Customizable Version

✅ Beginner Resume Case Study: Computer Vision CV

✅ Prepare your portfolio

✅ Create your Master portfolio

✅ Job tracking

✅ Apply for jobs

 

The course follows a practical project-based framework designed to transform you into a self-taught Robotics Software Engineer in the smoothest way possible.

 

You DO NOT need any prior engineering experience.

 

By purchasing this course, you will get:

☑️ Lifetime access to the course content

☑️ Free access to new course modules

☑️ Membership to a private accountability group of self-learners

☑️ A curated list to resources* to build foundation in mathematics

☑️ A curated list of resources* to learn python, C++, git, linux, tensorflow, OpenCV, and ROS 2

☑️ Practical framework to define projects based on your own curiosity

☑️ Practical framework to define your own niche

☑️ A curated list of 12 mini-projects in different domains within robotics

☑️ Roadmap to work in Perception domain - list of 6 advanced projects to choose from

☑️ Roadmap to work in Planning domain - list of 6 advanced projects to choose from

☑️ Roadmap to work in Machine Learning domain - list of 6 advanced projects to choose from

☑️ Roadmap to work in Control domain - list of 6 advanced projects to choose from

☑️ Proven job application guide

☑️ Customizable CV templates

☑️ Customizable Portfolio templates

☑️ Customizable Job Tracking templates

 

*The list of resources provided consists of courses, YouTube videos, tutorials, books, etc. and are screened and curated by me personally after several hours of research. However, new study materials for learning these concepts are not provided (nor are any additional materials necessary to become a professional Robotics Software Engineer)

 

By the end of the course, you will have:

☑️ eradicated your learning related limiting beliefs

☑️ gained insane clarity over your passions and interests

☑️ defined your learning goals clearly and practically

☑️ set up your software and hardware system

☑️ built a strong mathematics foundation

☑️ built foundation in professional software tools such as git, linux commands, python, C++, tensorflow, OpenCV and ROS 2

☑️ 10 robotics projects in total within a span of 1 year (depending on how much time you dedicate)

☑️ Have completed 3 projects based on your own curiosity

☑️ Have completed 4 mini-projects in different domains of robotics

☑️ Have completed 3 advanced projects in your chosen niche

☑️ Created a portfolio of your projects

☑️ Applied for jobs in your chosen field of interest

Please note that this is a very intensive course and demands discipline and dedication on a consistent basis. So, only choose to purchase this course, if you are really serious about your learning journey.

This course might not be for you:

❌ If you are expecting to learn concepts passively without putting in the work required to gain the right skills

❌ If you are expecting someone to spoon-feed you

❌ If you are looking for a magic pill that will transform you into a robotics software engineer within a few weeks

❌ If you are looking to build hardware (mechanical/ electronics) projects

 

The course is designed to equip you with the right Robotics Software skills and most projects can be done in a simulation environment without the need to purchase any additional hardware.

By the way, I don't want your money, if I cannot promise you results.

 

The system that I have created is based on years of experience and I strongly trust in the effectiveness of the system. This is why I offer you a 7-day Money-Back Guarantee

Go ahead and have a look at the modules of the course for 7 days. If, by the end, you don't feel like there is enough value, just reach out on learnroboticsandai@gmail.com and I would refund you the entire amount. No questions asked.

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What Industry Experts have to say

Chandandeep starts off by saying there is an “overwhelming amount of resources” for learning, which is a perfect overview for what this course will help you deal with. The materials provide a framework to ask yourself the tough questions that you might otherwise overlook. This includes figuring out your own strengths and values, letting your technical growth be dictated by those strengths and values, and how to work towards building up a project portfolio to validate your learning and demonstrate it to peers and potential employers. The course has some good resources you can take advantage of, such as a comprehensive list of project ideas in several robotics domains, and a group where you can discuss with peers and build a support network. I personally identify with many aspects of this program that I successfully applied in my own career transition from technical writing and marketing to robotics software engineering. For those of you that come from less traditional backgrounds, or simply don’t have the resources to put yourself through a formal educational program, this course provides a great guide for how to focus your efforts towards achieving your career goals.

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Sebastian Castro

Robotics Software Engineer

  • The AI Institute

  • Ex-Picknik Robotics

  • Ex-Boston Dynamics 

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Testimonials from course students

Here's what the current course students have to say

Private Accountability Group Preview

❓ "But what if I get stuck while doing a project?"

❓ "What if I lose my rhythm?"

❓ "And what if I do not know what next step to take?"

❓ "What if you are unable to debug an obscure problem in my project?" 

Well, I am absolutely sure, you will. In fact, it is only normal to face obstacles when building projects for the first time.  

Which is why you get exclusive access to a Private Accountability Group as part of this course. This group allows you to form accountability groups to discuss topics with, do projects with and keep each other accountable to your learning goals. Moreoever, I, myself, am available 24-7 to answer any of your queries or problems associated with any of the modules within the course.

Course Preview:

Welcome: Module Overview

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 ❓ How long will it take to complete the course?

  • The course is self-paced and depends on your own time availability and your current skill level in fundamentals such as mathematics, programming, git, etc. Ideally, the course can be completed within 1 year, if you are dedicated giving atleast 20-40 hours per week on a consistent basis.

 

 ❓ I paid for the course. But I have not gotten access to the course contents yet. How do I get access?

  • If you have successfully paid for the course, you will get access to the course contents and also the private group as soon as possible. In the worst case, you will manually get access within 24 hours.

 ❓ I got invitation to join the course and the private group. But I am unable to login. How do I join?

  • As you try to access the course content and/or the private group, you will be directed to login to the website www.learnroboticsandai.com. If you are already a member, you can directly log in. If not, you might need to sign up to the website. You will be prompted to do that as soon as you click on the links provided to access the course content and/or the private group. In case the issue persists, feel free to reach out on learnroboticsandai@gmail.com

 ❓ Do you provide study materials in ROS, Python, robotics, mathematics, OpenCV, linux, etc. in this course?

  • This course is fundamentally different from a typical online course. It follows a project-based framework and is based on the philosophy of learning by doing. You will be given comprehensive roadmaps and curated lists of projects along with relevant resources (other YouTube videos, courses, documents, etc.) to really help you gain the practical skill-set to work professionally as a Robotics Software Engineer. I have not created new study materials to learn ROS, OpenCV, Tensorflow, etc. from scratch, as it is totally unncessary. There is no point reinventing the wheel. Instead, I have carefully identified the resources that would give you the right skills to become a professional roboticist and given you a step-by-step process with several practical activities to develop those skills.

 

 ❓ How can I get a discount?

  • There will be certain discounts available on special ocassions such as New Year's, Christmas, etc. ONLY to the members of the website LearnRoboticsandAI.com Join the website www.learnroboticsandai.com by signing up to stay updated.

  ❓I cannot afford the course. It is out of my budget. Is this course even considered relevant by potential employers?

  • The course is charged at a reasonable price as it is a comprehensive system based on my years of experience and conceptualization of the ideal learning system designed to give you the skills to become a professional Robotics Software Engineer. It is only a very small fraction of the cost you would pay for a conventional Master's program. And in a conventional Master's program, there is no guarantee that you would gain the practical skills that the industries would value. On the contrary, I am cutting all the unnecessary steps that one has to go through in a University and giving you the exact system to gain professional skills. This has a much higher probability of you getting a real-world job within the real-world robotics software industry. Think of it as a small investment that would be paid back within a month of your first job in the industry.

 ❓ Will I be assigned accountability partners in this course?

  • You will gain free lifetime access to a private group, where you can collaborate with other students on various projects. As each person will have a different set of projects, you would need to take the initiative to find an accountability partner based on your topic.

 ❓ Will each person in the course do the same set of projects?

  • The course is designed to be highly personalized. There are activities to help you identify and define projects based on your interests and also several lists of projects to choose from based on your defined niche. So, each student will have an entirely different set of projects based on their defined career path.

 ❓ My payment process failed. What should I do?

  • In case of any technical difficulties, please reach out to me on learnroboticsandai@gmail.com and I will try to resolve the issue promptly.

 ❓ What are the niche projects that would be given in this course?

  • You will be given multiple project lists - a total of 12 mini-projects within different domains in robotics and lists of 6 projects each in the domains - perception, planning, learning and control, i.e. a total of (12 + 6*4 =) 36 projects.

 ❓ Who is the instructor of the course and what is their experience or background?

  • I am the primary instructor of the course. My name is Chandandeep Singh and I have a M.Sc. degree in Robotic Systems Engineering from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. I currently work as a Robotics Researcher in Germany and have experience working in the top startups and research institutes in Germany. I have a long video where I share my experience in detail here. You can also follow me on LinkedIn here.

 ❓ Is this course suitable for someone with a non-engineering background?

  • Yes, it is. Because I give resources to cover the fundamentals of mathematics that you might have not had because of your non-engineering background. Also, there are no prerequisites to the tools that you would learn. So, whether you have an engineering background or not, is irrelevant. But it is going to require commitment and work to fill in those gaps in knowledge.

 ❓ After learning this course, will I be able to design and invent robots at my own and apply to companies?

  • This is exactly what the course is designed for. I provide lists of projects to choose from and guide on how to approach building them. Note that the course is titled "Become a Self-taught Robotics software engineer" and the emphasis is only on the software side of robotics and you can actually build most of the projects in simulation and learn the algorithms and concepts in robotics while building the projects.

 ❓ How can I learn and study the electrical and mechanical knowledge of robots as a student who is not currently enrolled in a formal engineering school, and will this course help me in achieving that goal ?

  • This course does not cover the mechanical and electronics aspects of robotics. The course is project-based which means you would learn the technical robotics algorithms, principles, and software tools while you are doing the projects.

 ❓ When applying to robotics companies , is there a preference for someone who formally graduated from an engineering school over someone who learnt robotics from scratch online ?

  • While it is true, that companies do prefer candidates who have engineering background, it doesn't necessarily have to be the case. I know multiple people who transitioned to engineering from non-technical domains. It can of course be a bit harder and you have to make a lot of applications, but companies do hire self-taught engineers. 

 ❓ What is the guarantee that this course will make me a roboticist who can compete with graduates of engineering school?

  • The course requires significant dedication on your part. An important emphasis of the course is to teach you how to become a "self-taught" engineer, as you need to cultivate a lifelong learning viewpoint. There is a private group that you would get access to as part of the course, but you would still need to put in several hours every single week consistently. If you put in the work and follow the steps sincerely (which can take anywhere between 8 months to 12 months or more, depending on your time availability), there is no reason why you won't have the skills to become job-ready.

 ❓ What are the core mathematics skills taught in the course?

  • In this course, you will be given a curated list of resources (lecture series, online courses, documents, etc.) and a system to build mathematics skills specific to robotics. The exact topics are part of the course itself and hence cannot be provided beforehand.

 ❓ In what detail is ROS 2 taught?

  • As there are an abundance of ROS 2 resources online, ROS is not taught from scratch in this course. Instead, the students in this course have been given a curated list of resources to learn ROS 2 and a specific step-by-step system with a practical set of activities on "how to learn" ROS 2 and build the skills needed by the industry.

 ❓ And is there any sample material/videos available?

  • No free sample videos are openly available for this course. However, if you want to gain an idea of what to expect within this course - It would be a highly expanded and detailed version of this free video.

Please reach out on learnroboticsandai@gmail.com if you have issues with the payment process or any general queries.

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