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Mobile Robotics: A Tool For Application Based Integration Of Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Concepts And Research

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Robotics in Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.877.1 - 15.877.15



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Paper Authors


Carlotta Berry Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Berry is an assistant professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She is one of the principal investigators on the multidisciplinary educational robotics initiative and the Rose building undergraduate diversity program. Her research areas include the design and evaluation of human-robot interfaces and innovations in engineering education using active learning and mobile robotics.

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

Mobile Robotics: A tool for application-based integration of

multidisciplinary undergraduate concepts and research


This paper presents the development of a mobile robotics course at the primarily undergraduate engineering school, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. This course is one of the final courses in the multidisciplinary educational robotics certificate program. The purpose of this course is to use the robot to provide the students with an appreciation of their discipline and how it applies to other disciplines. It is hypothesized that students will gain a more realistic model of their future workplace demographic while also learning about robotics theory and the open areas of robotics research.


Undergraduate students in science and engineering frequently express a desire to relate the abstract theory presented in class to real-world or practical application. One method that can be used to integrate component theory with system or practical application is robotics. Since robotics theory includes topics such as sensors, controls, mechatronics, kinematics, microcontroller programming, embedded systems and software development; it is an ideal model for multidisciplinary application. Students from several disciplines including electrical and computer engineering, computer science and software engineering and mechanical engineering can work together in a robotics course to gain depth understanding of their major and breadth understanding of another major. It is hypothesized that this type of classroom experience is a more realistic simulation of their future workplace.

Robotics is typically used as an artifact to engage K-12 students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), recruit students to STEM, teach concepts such as programming, controls or embedded systems and also to teach freshman or senior design. Based upon mainstream media, movies, film and K-12 competitions; students gain interest in robotics but also at times an unrealistic perception of the state of the art. Typically, undergraduate robotics courses suffer from lack of a good textbook and either too basic or too complicated activities because of student pre-requisite knowledge and skill.

This paper will present the details of the development and offering of an upper level course (IMR) designed to teach multidisciplinary robot theory and application that also gives the students an appreciation for some of the open research issues and challenges. The Introduction to Mobile Robotics course is one of the last courses in the multi disciplinary robotics certificate program at the Rose-Hulman, so some students have prior experience with robotics ( This course is innovative in the fact that it is available to students from multiple disciplines and attempts to motivate students for further study or research in robotics versus using the robot as a tool to motivate some other topic. This is compelling because these students are already interested in STEM fields and have or will take courses in design, software, programming, electronics, controls and kinematics. Since this

Berry, C. (2010, June), Mobile Robotics: A Tool For Application Based Integration Of Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Concepts And Research Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15642

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