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IoT to Enable Remote Collaboration in Robotics Class of Mechanical Engineering Technology

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Computers in Education 5 - Online and Distributed Learning 2

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37408

Download Count

12

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Paper Authors

biography

Zhou Zhang New York City College of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4599-4339

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As an Assistant Professor, I joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology at the CUNY New York City College of Technology (City Tech) in August 2017 while earning my Mechanical Ph.D. degree at the Stevens Institute of Technology. I am currently focusing on interdisciplinary research and teaching subjects involving mechatronics, robotics & control, virtual reality, computer vision, parallel computing, machine design, and engineering education. I have 10-years of professional experience as both a mechanical engineer and an electrical engineer.

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biography

Yizhe Chang California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Dr Yizhe Chang is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in Cal Poly Pomona. His research focuses on robotics, especially on how to adapting new technology in boosting human-robot interaction.

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Sven K. Esche Stevens Institute of Technology

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Sven Esche is a tenured Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. He received a Diploma in Applied Mechanics in 1989 from Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, and was awarded M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Ohio State University in 1994 and 1997, respectively. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses related to mechanisms and machine dynamics, integrated product development, solid mechanics and plasticity theory, structural design and analysis, engineering analysis and finite element methods and has interests in remote laboratories, project-based learning and student learning assessment. His research is in the areas of remote sensing and control with applications to remote experimentation as well as modeling of microstructure changes in metal forming processes. He publishes regularly in peer-reviewed conference proceedings and scientific journals. At the 2006 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago, USA, he received the Best Paper Award for his article ‘A Virtual Laboratory on Fluid Mechanics’.

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Andy S. Zhang New York City College of Technology

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Dr. Andy S. Zhang received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York in 1995. He is currently the program director of a mechatronics project in the New York City College of Technology/CUNY. For the past 15 years, Dr. Zhang has been working on bringing mechatronics technology to the undergraduate engineering technology curricula and on helping high school students to learn mechatronics through FIRST Robotic Competition events.

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Abstract

This research to practice full paper presents an innovative practice of ‘Engineering Education’ in respect of Robotics in Mechanical Engineering Technology. The remote robotics classes are currently implemented wildly all over the world due to the pandemic. Robotics classes are the ones that require intensive hands-on practices, especially at the colleges which provide mechanical engineering technology (MET) degrees. MET programs mainly focus on hands-on skills instead of theoretical analysis. One of the educational goals in MET is to cultivate future technologists rather than researchers. Unfortunately, the remote classes prevent the students from implementing various experiments, and they also impair the students’ deeper understanding of the advanced concepts and theories required by robotics. Therefore, in order to provide the students' chances to collaborate on the hands-on projects in the remote robotics classes of the MET program, finding an efficient method is desirable. To realize the objective mentioned above, the internet of things (IoT) based projects are devised and implemented in the Department of MET. These projects are characterized by the usage of the internet, wireless sensors networks, remote control systems, remote collaboration among group members, modular design (modularity), and remote data exchanging protocols. The structures of the robots are designed by computer-aided design software based on the modularity, and the designed modules are shared in class among different groups. The remote communication software and apps are provided to the students to facilitate their collaborations. The robots are equipped with sensors that are integrated into the wireless network to enable remote data exchanging. Then, the members of a group can work on the control theories and algorithms remotely. In order to introduce the proposed practice in detail, a project of a smart robot car is taken as an instance. In this project, data processing, noisy control, and robust optimization are practiced remotely. During the implementation of this project, and IoT-ready wireless sensor and actuator framework which integrates the smart controller is developed and given to the students. Then, by the employment of this framework, the students can collaborate remotely, familiarize themselves with the principal concepts of robotics, practice the application of hardware and software, create their own innovative project, and prepare themselves for their entry into the job market, thus supporting the central educational goal of cultivating technologists in MET. After the implementation of the projects, the students can increase the immersive feeling in the remote classes, and then, help them to master the theories, know the usage of the hardware and software, and gain rich experience in robotics.

Zhang, Z., & Chang, Y., & Esche, S. K., & Zhang, A. S. (2021, July), IoT to Enable Remote Collaboration in Robotics Class of Mechanical Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37408

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