Automation & Autonomy - Micro-Credentialing Programs - University of Houston
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Why This Course?

The energy industry, particularly offshore, is increasingly turning to remote operations to improve safety, efficiency, and sustainability while reducing costs. Autonomous robots are ideal for supporting remote operations as they can operate in hazardous environments and perform tasks from a distance. However, having an autonomous robot is just the first step – the mission and purpose must be clearly defined before the operation. Essential sensors are needed, and the software controlling the motion and making decisions must be integrated into the robot. Proper task planning and necessary support equipment, such as power and communication systems, are required, and the robot must undergo repeated testing before actual operations to eliminate potential issues. After all this, we can expect robots to perform reliable inspections and deliver quality data.

Understanding the pros and cons of autonomous robots, along with the full ecosystem of autonomous operation, is crucial for minimizing risk and ensuring profitable operations.

The Subsea Systems Institute (SSI), in collaboration with SPRINT Robotics, has developed an Automation and Autonomy course to promote autonomous robots in the energy industry. This course provides a comprehensive overview of autonomous robots, describes how autonomy is realized, and demonstrates how autonomous robots should be implemented. The course highlights include:

  • An overview of autonomous robots and the latest developments in autonomy.
  • Systematic discussion of the essential hardware and software components of an autonomous robot.
  • The principles of autonomous navigation and localization, which are core techniques enabling robots to perform programmed operations without human control and supervision.
  • Hands-on projects to provide participants with a practical understanding and learning experience.

Who should attend?

This course has been designed for energy industry personnel who fit the following:

  • Individuals who are interested in autonomous robot technology but do not have a broad robotics background and specifically do not have a coding background.
  • Engineers wishing to develop a deployment plan for inspection and knowledge-based autonomous robot technology.
  • Technicians implementing and operating autonomous systems or maintaining robotic and other automation systems.

Learning Outcome

After successfully completing this module, participants should be able to:

  • Familiar with the principles of autonomy for autonomous robots, including knowledge of software and hardware across multiple disciplines.
  • Comprehend the resources and skills needed for autonomous robot deployment in the energy sector.
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of autonomous robots and use them correctly and safely.


Contact us for discount information.




Course Overview

  • Location: University of Houston-Clear Lake, Delta Building.
  • Industry lectures from industry leaders or subject matter experts.
  • Ten hours of hands-on activities using real robots. Assemble and control a mobile robot (Arduino robot). Program and test an autonomous robot (Turtlebot 4).
  • Facility visit to see how the course material has been implemented by robots in industry. Facility visit: Nauticus Robotics, 17146 Feather Craft Ln #450, 77598

Day 1

Session 1 - Supervised Autonomy

Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen, NASA JSC

Session 2 - Electrical Foundation

  • Processing unit
  • Sensors & Actuators
  • Communication
  • Embedded system

Dr. Ishaq Unwala, UHCL

Session 3 - Inspection Robot Product Development

Dr. Robbie Edwards, Clearpath Robotics

Session 4 - Robotic Software

  • Programming languages and environment
  • Software architecture
  • Robot Operating System (ROS)
Dr. Luong Nguyen, UHCLMiguel Pagan, UHCL

Session 5 - SLAM Foundation

  • Multi-sensor navigation
  • Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)
  • SLAM Implementation in simulation
Dr. Luong Nguyen, UHCLMiguel Pagan, UHCL

Day 2

Session 6 - Autonomy – Task Coordination

Dr. John Yamokoski, Nauticus Robotics

Session 7 - SLAM Implementation

  • Hands-on practice SLAM using simulation and real robots

Dr. Luong NguyenMiguel Pagan

Session 8 - Principles of Autonomous Control

  • Path planning
  • Control system
  • Algorithms integration
  • Hands-on practice
    • Path tracking
    • Obstacle avoidance
    • Object following

Dr. Luong Nguyen, UHCLDr. Aaron Becker, UHMiguel Pagan, UHCL



  • kimberly-hambuchen_new.jpg

    Dr. Kimberly Hambuchen

    ER Deputy Division Chief, NASA Johnson Space Center

  • john-yamokoski.jpg

    Dr. John Yamokoski

    Chief Technology Officer, Nauticus Robotics

  • robbie-edwards.jpg

    Dr. Robbie Edwards

    Director of Technology, Clearpath Robotics

  • ab.png

    Dr. Aaron Becker

    Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston

  • John Allen

    Industry Liaison, Allen Energy Consultants, LLC (AEC)

  • luong-nguyen.jpg

    Dr. Luong Nguyen

    Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, University of Houston-Clear Lake

  • ishaq-unwala.jpg

    Dr. Ishaq Unwala

    Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, University of Houston-Clear Lake

  • Miguel Pagan

    Lecturer of Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, University of Houston-Clear Lake

Crendentialing Overview

  • A digital badge will be issued after successfully completing this course.
  • Texas professional development hours and continuing education units available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration accepted up to the first day of the course and can be completed online, or you may contact UH Energy ( for course registration and details.

Currently, we accept credit card payments, check, and wire transfer.

Each day will be eight hours long with six sessions, and the program will include lectures and hands-on labs. Please contact us if you need remote access.

In-person attendees will also have exposure to our Laboratories and the University.

*Breakfast and lunch will only be provided to in-person attendees.

If you cannot find the information you need on the webpage or in the above FAQs, please contact:

Yes. You will have quizzes and try to achieve a passing grade. If you do not pass on the first attempt, you can take these quizzes as many times as you wish. You will be issued a micro-credential badge if you achieve a passing grade.

No. The course is in-person only. You cannot make up the classes if you miss any sessions.

Micro-credentials are certifications for mastery of specific topic areas or skillsets. To earn a micro-credential, you typically have to complete a certain number of activities, assessments, or projects related to a topic.