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Fire Fighting Robots To The Rescue

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Conference

1997 Annual Conference

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

5

Page Numbers

2.199.1 - 2.199.5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/6571

Download Count

66

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Paper Authors

author page

Robert L. Avanzato

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2520

Fire-Fighting Robots To The Rescue

Robert L. Avanzato Penn State Abington Abington, PA 19001

Abstract A project-based mobile robotics course has been designed for freshman and sophomore honors engineering students at the Penn State Abington campus. The unique feature of the course is the focus on designing an autonomous mobile robot to be entered in a national fire-fighting robot competition at the conclusion of the course. Teams of engineering students have each designed, tested, and debugged a mobile, microcontroller-based robot capable of navigating a maze, locating a candle, and extinguishing the candle. Topics such as gear mechanisms, motor control, sensors, and control software have been integrated into the project-driven experience. The success of this strategy suggests further experimentation in hands-on, context-driven course delivery.

Introduction The Penn State Abington campus has been experimenting with non-traditional learning strategies for freshman and sophomore level engineering and engineering technology courses based on the design and implementation of mobile robots. The goal is to improve the effectiveness of the instructional process by shifting from lecture-based delivery to hands-on, project-based delivery. In the Fall of 1995, a robotics-based course in microprocessors was developed and implemented for the engineering technology curriculum[1]. An engineering design component to a freshman engineering design and graphics course was developed and implemented successfully over the past two years. The robotics competition, called “Robo- Hoops” is a Nerf basketball robot competition and is detailed in [1]. Recently, a collaboration between computer engineering students and geoscience students has resulted in the design of “Geo-Bots,” autonomous mobile robots capable of terrain navigation and data collection. A Saturday workshop in robot design is also offered to Philadelphia area high school students. The focus of this paper is to describe a special topics course in robotics for freshman and sophomore level honors engineering students. The unique feature of the course is the focus on designing an autonomous mobile robot to be entered in a national fire-fighting robot competition at the conclusion of the course. Teams of engineering students (many with no prior experience in electronics and programming) have each designed, tested, and debugged a mobile, microcontroller-based LEGO robot capable of navigating a maze, locating a candle, and extinguishing the candle. The approach has been inspired by the work of Fred Martin of the MIT Media Lab and the MIT 6270 course. Topics such as gear mechanisms, motor control, sensors, control software, and artificial intelligence have been integrated into the project-driven experience. Design projects of this nature have generally been the hallmark of senior design and capstone courses. This investigation explores the use of the design project thread in the freshman and sophomore level

Avanzato, R. L. (1997, June), Fire Fighting Robots To The Rescue Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://peer.asee.org/6571

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