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Creating Research Opportunities with Robotics Across the Undergraduate STEM Curricula

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Software Engineering Constituent Committee Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.333.1 - 24.333.16



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Paper Authors


Janusz Zalewski Florida Gulf Coast University

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Janusz Zalewski, Ph.D., is a professor of computer science and software engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. Prior to an academic appointment, he worked for various nuclear research institutions, including the Data Acquisition Group of Superconducting Super Collider and Computer Safety and Reliability Center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He also worked on projects and consulted for a number of private companies, including Lockheed Martin, Harris, and Boeing. Zalewski served as a chairman of the International Federation for Information Processing Working Group 5.4 on Industrial Software Quality, and of an International Federation of Automatic Control Technical Committee on Safety of Computer Control Systems.His major research interests include safety related, real-time embedded and cyberphysical computer systems, and computing education.

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Fernando Garcia Gonzalez Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Fernando Gonzalez joined FGCU as an Assistant Professor in the Computer Engineering Program in the fall of 2013. Previously he was an Assistant Professor within the Engineering, Math, and Physics Department at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. Prior to that he was a Technical Staff Member (researcher) for the U.S. Department of Energy at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Dr. Gonzalez was also a faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Central Florida. Dr. Gonzalez graduated from the University of Illinois in 1997 with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. He received his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Florida International University in 1992 and 1989. Dr. Gonzalez research interest includes the intelligent control of large scale autonomous systems, autonomous vehicles, discrete-event modeling and simulation and human signature verification.

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Creating Research Opportunities with Robotics across the Undergraduate STEM CurriculaThere is a recognized nationwide need to educate next generations of students in Science,Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines. In response to this challenge,the authors’ institution, College of Engineering, has developed over recent years asophisticated undergraduate software engineering and robotics laboratory for use inembedded systems and related project courses. As a result, a number of teachingmodules have been put in place, with emphasis on complex systems and web-basedaccess. The modules are used to prepare undergrads to develop robotics applications thatcan be used across the undergraduate STEM curricula to encourage students of variousdisciplines to do related research. The projects have a potential impact on advancingteaching in STEM disciplines by connecting the lab and research to multiple STEMrelated courses, including: • Sciences – remote control of experiments in biology, chemistry and physics • Technology – training teachers to do research in robotics education • Engineering – research in software for remote robot operation, and • Math – research in robotics control algorithms.With the robotic equipment currently available in the college’s Software Engineering andRobotics Lab: • CoroBot CL2 robot on wheels (equipped with Kinect sensors), from CoroWare • NAO humanoid robot from Aldebaran Robotics • Three AL5A robotic arms from Lynxmotion • Multiple IntelliBrain bots from RidgeSoft (small robotic vehicles) • Multiple Lego MindStorms NXT2.0 robotic vehicles • Three older generation SCARA robotic armsstudents develop specific skills first, at multiple levels of sophistication, including demos,exercises and assignments, to ensure that the learning process and the acquisition ofknowledge correspond to each student’s respective background. Then, in the researchpart they conduct experiments and full-scale research projects, which result in extensivereports documenting the knowledge acquisition and learning process.

Zalewski, J., & Gonzalez, F. G. (2014, June), Creating Research Opportunities with Robotics Across the Undergraduate STEM Curricula Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20224

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