June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
22.271.1 - 22.271.13
Autonomous Vehicles: A Hands-On Interdisciplinary Freshman CourseThe authors have recently developed a new first-‐semester freshman elective, Autonomous Vehicles, as a hands-‐on interdisciplinary introduction to mechanical, chemical, electrical, and computer engineering, computer science, design, controls, and energy. Course goals include exposing students to many facets of engineering and computer science to aid in major choice, developing practical technical skills relevant to subsequent projects, generating enthusiasm for future studies, and developing teamwork, design, presentation, and technical writing skills. Through a series of labs, the students design, build, test, and optimize autonomous robots to compete in a “Capture the Flag” style game. These labs cover C programming, drawing and 3D printing a robot chassis, assembling a customized microcontroller circuit board, building sensor circuits, machining and characterizing hydrogen proton exchange membranes (PEM) fuel cells, and generating and detecting Gold codes. This paper will describe the course structure and content and summarize assessment results from the Fall 2010 pilot course.
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