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Full Paper: Herbie: A Platform for Robotics Research with Undergraduate Students, Campus Engagement through Social Media, and Building Interest in STEM

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Conference

Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled

Location

Davis, California

Publication Date

April 30, 2020

Start Date

April 30, 2020

End Date

October 10, 2020

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36250

Download Count

67

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Paper Authors

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Angelique Bonilla

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Daniel Charles Jones California Polytechnic State University

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Amanda Krysl

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John S Seng Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo

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John Seng is a professor in the computer science department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

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Abstract

Herbie: A Platform for Robotics Research with Undergraduate Students, Campus Engagement through Social Media, and Building Interest in STEM

In this paper, we describe the development of Herbie, a robot developed in our computer science department. Herbie is an autonomous robot built using commercial off-the-shelf components that navigates the halls of the computer science building using a camera-based approach. The robot runs the ROS operating system and provides a good platform for robotics research. Herbie travels in our department to different waypoints in the building, stops for pedestrians, and drives around obstacles when necessary.

In addition to using Herbie as a research platform, a large part of the Herbie project has become engagement of the campus community and university alumni as visibility for the project. The two areas of community engagement that have evolved are: the social media presence of the robot and visits to K-8 schools to promote STEM education. We first describe how a faculty member and students use Instagram as a means to increase university awareness of the robot as well as highlight various other academic programs at the university. Through social media, alumni and students are able to provide suggestions and feedback on the project as a whole. We outline how the project started out as a research project, and how the social media aspect has become of increasing importance to the project. Secondly, we outline how we connect with younger students at K-8 schools through presentations during in-class visits. These visits provide a means to build interest in STEM areas in local schools. Next steps for the project include improving the technical aspects of Herbie along with building stronger connections with alumni through social media.

Bonilla, A., & Jones, D. C., & Krysl, A., & Seng, J. S. (2020, April), Full Paper: Herbie: A Platform for Robotics Research with Undergraduate Students, Campus Engagement through Social Media, and Building Interest in STEM Paper presented at Proceedings of the 2020 ASEE PSW Section Conference, canceled, Davis, California. https://peer.asee.org/36250

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