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Forestry Robot Design

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.621.1 - 24.621.17



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Paper Authors


Muhittin Yilmaz Texas A&M University, Kingsville (TAMUK)

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Dr. Muhittin Yilmaz received the B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA. He has been an Associate Professor with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) since 2013. His research interests include robust and intelligent control systems, convex optimization, robotics, computer architecture, electric drives, and power electronics. He also focuses on engineering education research and engineering outreach activities. Dr. Yilmaz is a Member of the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society as well as IEEE and ASEE.

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Selahattin Ozcelik Texas A&M University, Kingsville


Nuri Yilmazer Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Nuri Yilmazer received the B.S. in electrical and electronics engineering from Cukurova University at Adana, Turkey in 1996, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Uni- versity of Florida and Syracuse University in 2000 and 2006, respectively. He worked as a post-doctoral research associate in the Computational Electromagnetics Laboratory at Syracuse University from 2006 to 2007. He is currently working as an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at Texas A&M University at Kingsville. His current research interests include adaptive array processing, signal processing, and smart antennas.

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Reza Nekovei Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Dr. Reza Nekovei is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He has many years of experience in developing graduate and undergraduate programs. Prof. Nekovei is currently co-PI for two NSF projects related in teaching by design research and development, one in Nanotechnology (NSF-NUE) and another in Robotics (NSF-CCLI). He is a member Eta Kappa Nu, electrical and computer engineering honor society of the IEEE. In 2008, he was recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teacher Award. In 2009, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Romania, performing research and teaching at Universitatea Politehnica din Bucuresti where he performed collaborative research in computationally complex circuits and studied “teaching by design” methodology. In 2012, he was recipient of the college of engineering Dean’s Teaching Award.

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Forestry Robot DesignRobotics field has experienced remarkable scientific and technological advances for superiorinteractions among humans, machines and environments in various practical settings such asnatural disasters, autonomous vehicles, unknown terrains, or humanoids. Robots in forests ofunknown terrains have illustrated their inherent benefits during normal operations or naturalemergencies as aerial robots can provide monitoring and transportation while autonomous landrobots can navigate to remote areas or can support the regrowth of forest in case of fire byaccelerating the human intervention and by collecting detailed soil samples for effectiverevegetation. Robotics in forestry industries such as parks, fire fighting, monitoring, ortransportation operations has also been addressed in competitions at different levels withappropriate open-ended robotic design sophistications as well as challenges, e.g., Forest ParkRobotics challenge for high school or IEEE competitions for college level students, whileassociated engineering design concepts are covered in variety of robotics curricula.A two-course robotics curriculum, sponsored by National Science Foundation grant (NSF-____),was developed at _____ University (_____), a minority serving institution, by Electrical andMechanical Engineering faculty members to alleviate faculty, space, funding, and hands-onlaboratory requirements for a comprehensive robotics program. As the robotics curriculum andits educational structure as well as effectiveness were covered during the previous ASEEconference, this study presents the NSF-sponsored robotics curriculum impact as well as linkageon engineering design process and describes the design, justification and construction of anautonomous robot to retrieve soil samples during the IEEE 2013 Region-5 robotics competitionthat simulated a forest fire region filled with different types of obstacles and requiredautonomous robot navigation and effective path planning. Under the close supervision andassistance of the project faculty members, the student design team, four senior-level studentsfrom both Electrical and Mechanical engineering departments with majority Hispanics,investigated similar practical conditions and corresponding solutions, studied a large number ofdesign alternatives and assembled a functional autonomous robot to perform the required taskswhile gaining valuable creative open-ended system design, teamwork and interpersonal skills,and time management experiences. The robotics curricula supported the design process byproviding fundamental robotic theoretical as well as practical hands-on concepts, steadymonitoring and feedback via weekly team design presentations, and by supervising on projectmanagement and timeline issues.The project evaluation indicated the engineering design effectiveness of the robotics curriculasuch that the participating students were able to design successful autonomous robots for asimulated forest fire environment and the students stated increase in their engineering design andproblem solving skills due to the robotics course by marking ‘A Great Deal’ or ‘A Lot’ optionsat 75% and 91% rates, respectively.

Yilmaz, M., & Ozcelik, S., & Yilmazer, N., & Nekovei, R. (2014, June), Forestry Robot Design Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20512

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