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Experience Teaching a Multidisciplinary Project-Based Robotics Course Building Autonomous Mobile Robots

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Technical Session

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.674.1 - 22.674.10



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Paper Authors


Wayne W. Walter P.E. Rochester Institute of Technology

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Wayne Walter is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He received his B.S. in Marine Engineering from SUNY Maritime College, his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, and his Ph.D. in Mechanics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Walter has worked for the U.S. Army, Rochester Products and Delco Products Divisions of General Motors, and Xerox, and is a registered professional engineer (P.E.) in New York State. He has thirty five years experience teaching design related courses, and has developed expertise in the areas of robotics, and micro-robotics. He is currently working on the locomotion of micro-robots with micro-sensors and actuators.

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William Emerson Spath Rochester Institute of Technology

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Currently enrolled in the Master of Science program at Rochester Institute of Technology in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Received B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009. Interested in the areas of biomimetics and prosthetic design.

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Experience Teaching a Multidisciplinary Project-Based Robotics Course Building Autonomous Mobile Robots  The robotics course taught as a professional elective in the RIT Mechanical Engineering programis a non-traditional project-based hands-on course in which students work in teams to buildautonomous mobile robots to accomplish a task. A micro-controller on-board is used to controldrive motors in response to sensors for object or boundary detection. Students complete five labexercises to get their robot literacy up to the point where they can effectively apply thetechnology to their project. Day-to-day homework is not required, and teams focus entirely ondeveloping a working robot. Teams must design, build, and test their robot all within a ten weekquarter time period. Due to the nature of the course, multiple disciplines of engineering aretaught and implemented in the final project. Students are required to build the chassis, constructsupporting electronics for sensors and program the microprocessor on-board. The evolution anddevelopment of the course, and experiences with various types of projects attempted will bediscussed in this paper, along with recommendations for individuals wishing to try such a courseformat.

Walter, W. W., & Spath, W. E. (2011, June), Experience Teaching a Multidisciplinary Project-Based Robotics Course Building Autonomous Mobile Robots Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17955

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