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Assessing Senior Student Experiences With A Novel Mobile Robotics Learning Platform In A Computer And Electronics Engineering Program

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Computer Education Innovations I

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.205.1 - 15.205.17

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Paper Authors


Alisa Gilmore University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Alisa N. Gilmore, M.S.E.C.E., P.E. is a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Ms. Gilmore has extensive industrial experience in telecommunications and manufacturing, and has used her industry background to foster industrial partnerships in robotics at the university and to develop and teach courses in circuits, telecommunications, and robotics. She has served as senior staff for two NSF grants in the ITEST and Discovery K-12 programs associated with using robotics in the K-12 arena to motivate student achievement in STEM subjects.

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Herbert Detloff University of Nebraska, Lincoln at Omaha

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Herbert E. Detloff received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska in 1990 and 1992 respectively. He also received the B.S.E.T. degree in electronics engineering technology from the University of Nebraska in 1994. Since 1994 he has been a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After twenty years of industrial experience with DOD sub-contracts and start-ups he teaches undergraduate courses on microprocessors, electronics, and the senior design capstone.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

• Prototype circuit board useful to college and advanced K-12 students

Attributes of the CEENBoT developed by the University of Nebraska (CEEN): 6” by 8” footprint

• Stepper motors for precision control • Full independent wheel suspension for traversing uneven indoor or outdoor terrain • Larger capacity, quick-change power supply • Interchangeable rubber drive tires • Remotely controllable using a Sony PlayStation® wired or wireless remote controller • Large prototype board for projects and more reliable connectors • Serial-to-peripheral interface (SPI) to allow communication between multiple multiprocessors • Flexible for K-16 educational applications to meet needs at multiple levels • Graphical Programming Interface (GPI) under development for K-16 users (IBM and MAC compatibility) • Platform will accommodate GPS, on-board video camera, robotic arm, and various sensors, wireless technologies, and microprocessor platforms • Available in a number of configurations from unassembled kits to completed modules

In 2009, CEENBoT, INC., a small start-up from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln department of Computer and Electronics Engineering, was created to oversee the technical development, manufacturing, and distribution of the CEENBoT™ platform. With input from CEEN professors and feedback from educational field tests, CEENBoT, INC. took the original student-developed platform and developed a more cost-effective, robust, energy efficient platform, while maintaining the platform’s prominent features listed above. The updated CEENBoT™ Version 2.2 included improved power management, longer battery life, and a streamlined microcontroller board. The new board contained a single primary ATmega324P microcontroller and a secondary ATtiny48 microcontroller, to replace three ATmega48 microcontrollers that contained limited programming space. This change increased user access to program the robot in C to achieve autonomous control applications. Other new features included a 128 x 32 programmable graphical LCD display, 5 servo motor control ports, I/O expandability for additional sensors, a programmable speaker, 3 programmable LEDs, and 3 programmable control switches. CEENBoT ™ Version 2.2 was completed in November 2009 and introduced to the Introduction to Robotics course as a Beta release. Photos and a schematic of Version 2.2 are shown below:

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