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Creating Undergraduate Applied Research Opportunities for Engineering Technology Students in Healthcare Robotics

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Robotics and Automation I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.350.1 - 23.350.9



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Paper Authors


Saeed Khan Kansas State University, Salina

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Saeed Khan is an associate professor with the Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology program at Kansas State University at Salina. Dr. Khan received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, in 1989 and 1994 respectively and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1984. Khan, who joined KSU in 1998, teaches courses in telecommunications and digital systems. His research interests and areas of expertise include antennas and propagation, novel materials for microwave application, and electromagnetic

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Lee J. Gatton Gatton Research and Development

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Lee Gatton is the president and senior research engineer at Gatton Research and Development. He received his Associate of Engineering technology from Kansas State University, Salina Kansas, in 1971, B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas Texas, in 1975, and a Master of Management in Information Systems from Friends University, Wichita, Kansas in 2001. Gatton, who has 39 years of computer engineering experience, started Gatton Research and Development in 2008 to pursue his interest in developing Socially Assistive Robots.

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Beverly Gatton Fidelity Information Services

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Beverly Gatton is the IT project manager at Fidelity Information Services
Beverly Gatton manages software implementations of commercial banking systems across the United States. She received her B.S. in Business from the University Of Texas at Dallas in 1977, her associate's of Engineering Technology from Kansas State University in Salina in 1986, and a master's of Management in Information Systems from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas in 1998. Gatton’s has built her career in the application of Information Technology to the business world.

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Creating Undergraduate Applied Research Opportunities for Engineering Technology Students in Healthcare RoboticsAccording to the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), undergraduate research is aninquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an originalintellectual or creative contribution. If there is a consensus that all undergraduate education canbe enhanced by research opportunities, then it is especially so for engineering technology (ET)majors whose programs are designed to balance theory with practice. While experts agree thatundergraduate research should be incorporated into the curriculum because it enhances studentengagement, recruitment and retention, there is a difference of opinion as to whether anundergraduate research (UR) project should be conceived by student-faculty interest with somereal-world application in mind, or be driven by a real-world need from the start. (Berri et. al.2012). The need to fund UR projects in some way – to obtain necessary equipment, buy outfaculty time, and support undergraduates who participate -- makes real-world drivers particularlycompelling.This paper details how collaborative efforts with entrepreneurs can be made to catalyze researchwhile making it possible to seek external funding from government and non-government entities.As a case in point, the paper will document the early stage of an exciting project that is designedto inexpensively enhance eldercare, the demand for which is skyrocketing in today’s agingsociety, using robotic platforms. This project addresses a real-world need while providingstudents the opportunity to make an “original intellectual or creative contribution,” having all theelements that that drive quality research and attract faculty, student, and entrepreneurial interestalike. It is motivated by the need to control home healthcare costs, improve the quality of life foran aging population and their caregivers, allow patients to be more involved in their own care,help prevent premature hospitalization or long stays in assisted living facilities, and provide anavenue for social engagement through a conversational interface using socially assistive robots(SAR). It expounds on efforts to create a research infrastructure through research andcollaborative grant writing.

Khan, S., & Gatton, L. J., & Gatton, B. (2013, June), Creating Undergraduate Applied Research Opportunities for Engineering Technology Students in Healthcare Robotics Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19364

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