June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.488.1 - 11.488.13
Discovery based learning in the engineering classroom using underwater robotics
Underwater robotics projects offer an excellent medium for discovery based engineering and science learning. The challenge of building underwater robotic vehicles and manipulators engages and stimulates students while encompassing a very broad spectrum of engineering disciplines and scientific concepts.
This paper describes the successful design and implementation of student projects, building wire guided remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) with motorized grabbers. This work is part of an ongoing effort to incorporate innovative, hands on projects into our freshman engineering curriculum. These projects help expose students to practical design issues in the freshman year, foster creative problem solving skills and may aid student retention on engineering programs. These projects have also been successfully piloted in pre-college programs, aimed at generating interest in engineering careers among high school students.
We describe ongoing work to extend these projects to include computer control and sensory feedback, allowing students to develop autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Further, we outline ongoing work to assess the effectiveness of these modules.
This paper describes an ongoing effort, at Stevens Institute of Technology, to develop a set of educational modules, which will teach fundamental engineering principles through the design, construction, programming and testing of underwater robotic vehicles using simple materials. These modules emphasize discovery based learning, creative problem solving, collaborative team work and provide hands on exposure to the iterative engineering design process.
This paper provides an overview of the proposed educational module, presents the results of a pilot implementation project during which students successfully constructed remotely operated underwater vehicles and discusses methodologies by which the effectiveness of such modules might be assessed.
1.1 Why build underwater robotic vehicles?
When students design, build and program underwater robotic vehicles, they are learning engineering fundamentals which span virtually every engineering discipline. Additionally, students are motivated by an exciting and stimulating design scenario.
The use of projects based on small robotic vehicles is now widespread in engineering curricula, however these are predominantly wheeled, terrestrial vehicles. Such projects often reduce to little more than exercises in applied programming, losing valuable opportunities to present substantial mechanical challenges or to incorporate real interdisciplinary engineering design. In contrast, the
Hotaling, L., & Sheryll, R., & Stolkin, R. (2006, June), Discovery Based Learning In The Engineering Classroom Using Underwater Robotics Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/47
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