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Dancing Humanoid Robots Lab Demonstration for the First Year Engineering Students

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

First Year Computing Topics

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Nebojsa I Jaksic P.E. Colorado State University, Pueblo Orcid 16x16

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NEBOJSA I. JAKSIC earned the Dipl. Ing. degree in electrical engineering from Belgrade University (1984), the M.S. in electrical engineering (1988), the M.S. in industrial engineering (1992), and the Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Ohio State University (2000). He is currently a Professor at Colorado State University-Pueblo teaching robotics and automation courses. Dr. Jaksic has about 70 publications and holds two patents. Dr. Jaksic's interests include robotics, automation, and nanotechnology engineering education and research. He is a licensed PE in Colorado and a member of ASEE, IEEE, and SME.

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Boyan Li

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Benjamin Maestas

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Katheryn Michelle Rothermal

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First year engineering students face many academic challenges. Some of the students find difficult to study the language of the profession (mathematics), basic physical laws and facts, as well as general education topics without additional extrinsic motivation. Due to the fast pace of technological advances, faculty are often challenged when trying to find new and exciting engineering examples to motivate their students.

This work addresses an exciting humanoid robots laboratory demonstration developed by students (one senior and two master’s students) for the first year engineering students. The goals of the demonstration are to entice the first year mechatronics engineering and industrial engineering students, and to motivate them to continue with their engineering studies. For this task, three robotic kits, Robotis Premium, from Robotis, Inc. are acquired; three humanoid robots (18 Degrees of Freedom each) are assembled, and a three minute robotic dance choreography is created and programmed. The performance of the robot dance group is included in the regularly scheduled lab session of the Introduction to Engineering course. Before the presentation, the students are asked to comment on their level of excitement with respect to their engineering studies. Then, one of the student authors shows one of the robots; identifies the servo-motors, various sensors, joints/links, and details the functions of the robot controller. After this, another student describes the robotic programming environment (R+ Manager, R+ Design, R+ Task, and R+ Motion) and demonstrates programming of a simple robot motion. Finally, the three robots are placed on a table; their program starts are synchronized by a single clap; and the dancing music is started. While dancing, the robots demonstrate various motions, often emphasizing the ones that many humans can’t perform. After the demonstration, the first year students are asked to rate how much they liked the robotic dance performance, and to again comment on their level of excitement for being in an engineering program.

This work will include a lab justification, curricular context, description of the robotic hardware, controller, programming environment, and the dance program. The results of the short pre- and post- questionnaire will be provided and analyzed. Conclusions will be presented.

Jaksic, N. I., & Li, B., & Maestas, B., & Rothermal, K. M. (2017, June), Dancing Humanoid Robots Lab Demonstration for the First Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28099

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