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August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Implementing a College Level Robotics Course Jeanine Meyer Purchase College/SUNY.

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Presentation on theme: "August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Implementing a College Level Robotics Course Jeanine Meyer Purchase College/SUNY."— Presentation transcript:

1 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Implementing a College Level Robotics Course Jeanine Meyer Purchase College/SUNY

2 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Overview Background/motivation for course Course description –Upper-level elective: can satisfy requirements for mathematics/computer science and new media majors Reflections Work for you!

3 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Background [ancient] work in robotics at IBM Research

4 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Background, cont. Box frame robot A Manufacturing Language (AML) Software for out-sourced Scara robot Manufacturing systems –Tools for logistics –Robot surgery (….Robodoc)

5 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Why do course Reviewed book on Robotic Sumo by David Perdue –he is working on a Mindstorms book Wanted to return to previous interest Give students introduction [taste] of operating in the physical world –Variability –Continuous phenomena as opposed to discrete –Dangers –Interactions –Time

6 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA And… We are all grand masters at …putting things on top of other things,….assembly, recognizing many patterns, etc. Peter Will, IBM This makes the programming more difficult, not less.

7 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA First day exercise Ways to program robot –Teleoperator –Teach/playback –Program with sensory feedback Data driven automation What are the directions / how do you teach someone to tie shoes?

8 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Problems at my institution Students not engineers, not particularly strong programmers –Mathematics/computer science –New media –Other Wide variety of backgrounds, including –Students who have ‘done robotics’ in middle school or high school Little technical support

9 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Lego Mindstorms Partial solution –Capped enrollment at 15 –Restrict kits to the lab Made exceptions towards the end 2 out of 15 students purchased their own kits –Team work is a goal! –Basic building projects: 5 teams of 3 –Their building projects … were enough –Involved the 2 building computer engineers Encouraged them to build tribot Had them substitute when I was away –Needed to request funds from centralized source: 8 kits

10 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Another problem Given all this robotics activity in k-12, how to make this a college course? Would colleagues and/of students think this was just playing with toys? Note: this may have been unwarranted worry. –We need electives. –I was willing to take on the task for developing a new course. –People know my history….

11 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Approach Lego Mindstorms only part of the course –Students responsible for defining building project Other part –My lectures on robotics plus –Students responsible for Library research assignment Posting and responding to news on on-line discussion board

12 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Course Components Listen & participate in lecture & discussion Propose, get approval and do library research & make presentation on robot topic –Making presentations is a goal by itself –1 page write-up Pay attention to news and make postings & reply to others on robot topics Build the assigned Mindstorm projects: teams Plan and complete original Mindstorm project: teams or individual [or different hardware] Midterm and Final

13 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Lecture topics Levels of language Basic mechanics Very, very basic kinematics & reverse kinematics Types of manufacturing, automation Artificial intelligence Anthropomorphic fallacy (?) 3D CAD (Google Sketchup) Movement in a crowded workspace Locomotion (e.g., walking, crawling) Telepresence Surgery

14 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Lecture & Discussion Board topics Home health care Soccer robotics Prothestics Vacuuming DARPA competitions

15 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Mindstorms projects Tribot –Basics with tribot Using each sensor Creating file data –Mapping a room Bluetooth (2 or 3 NXT bricks, maybe in tribots) Student defined projects

16 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Aside on Bluetooth It took me time and experimentation AND using on-line forums to understand it. This is a lesson for the students I think….

17 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Mapping exercise Assume tribot or tribot like robot with typical sensors (bump, ultrasound, rotation), file capability You define the constraints, for example, room must be square, or polygon. How to generate data to be uploaded to personal computer to draw the [boundaries of] room.

18 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Materials Schedule, lecture notes, midterm and final all online newmedia.purchase.edu/~Jeanine/charts. html newmedia.purchase.edu/~Jeanine/charts. html

19 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Library research reports Locomotion Space Animatronics Muscle wire Toy Cars Healthcare Mars Rover Telepresence Robot surgery MIT leg lab 17 th -18 th century robots Omnicircus Microsoft Robotics Studio Autonomous vehicle

20 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Final Building projects Walking puppy (didn’t work, but…) Cat and mouse Wall follower (not reliable) Maze wall follower sending information to NXT Sumo Crystal & Alexandria's videoCrystal & Alexandria's video Building robot using own hardware Demonstrate toy

21 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Results Success! –[I believe] students understood the difficulties of robotic applications and the wide variety of robot related research & development –Students did well on quizzes and attempted interesting projects –Autonomous survey Limited participation (7/15) but did include the students I expected to be negative, if anyone was, and didn’t include the most enthusiastic. –Informal feedback positive 3 students doing independent studies with me in the Fall. Good, easy-going group of students so teams worked Note: most students knew me and so expected things such as presentations, posting, working in teams, quiz guides

22 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Survey What did you like best…? –Building, lab & lecture time, hands-on, experience of professor with older forms… What would you change in the course? –Less required posting, historical readings, other programming languages, more on servos, NOT MUCH How would you describe the course to others? –Interesting manufacturing.., relaxed, fun, different 71% strongly agreed or agreed that working in teams with the kits was successful in terms of learning 43% neutral (none negative) on on-line discussion.

23 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA General comment I think the course in general was great. I would have liked to have a done a little more work in the labs. I really liked this class as a new media class due to its lack of forcing art on us. I think this let the learning take charge instead of focusing on trying to be creative, which lead to being plenty creative. i thought it was a great course overall wonderful class.. fun working in projectss with peers It would be helpful to some how make the Lego more readily available to assist in learning the program, error corrections and building projects out side of class. I also understand it is difficult, but it would be helpful. To some how create a swipe box where their kits are sorted and available outside of class time. Using the student?s id to access to the lego kit which they are using.

24 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Caution Truth in advertising: –Colleague included robotics in a course on computer organization and had some problems Sometimes teamwork does not go well –May need to define procedure for firing a team member! to defend giving all members the same grade OR specifying a way to allocate credit.

25 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA HELP! Use NXT-G (iconic language) or something else Google Sketchup: stay with basic ‘get to know you’ exercise or less or more Required posting on Blackboard or less or more and/or required participation in nxtasy forums How to improve participation by females or is it okay (4/15, slightly ahead of percentage in math/cs and new media! Sigh… ) Raise standards: is just trying enough? What to do with graduates of k-12 programs?

26 August, 2007 Robotics Educators Conference Butler, PA Thank you Visit: newmedia.purchase.edu/~Jeaninenewmedia.purchase.edu/~Jeanine Fall courses include –Programming Games, an introduction to programming course and –Communicating Quantitative Information, a general education course based on mathematics in news stories


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