June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1242.1 - 26.1242.22
Precision Low-Cost Robotics for Math Education Work In Progress The motivation for undertaking this research project stems from the desire to enhancehigh school students’ retention and interest in Mathematics. Such qualities would significantlyimprove their performance in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)career fields and education in general. Much research has already been performed by otherresearchers to facilitate high schools in fostering STEM interest through math education. Wehave explored the use of a robotic platform to allow for hands-on demonstration of mathematicaltopics taught in the classroom, such as Geometry and Trigonometry. Our initial demos to mathteachers were met with support for the concept, but have also led to doubts on whether thesolutions might confuse students. This was due to the fact that our low-cost robot was made outof components with poor tolerance to keep the cost low. Such poor tolerance led to the solutionsbeing imprecise during the platform’s execution. In this work, we expect to compensate for thepoor precision in distance traveled and angle turned with the use of feedback control algorithmsand custom (automated) calibration, while still keeping the cost low and simple to utilize. Assuch, this report is a work in progress and a continuation of prior research.The objective of this project includes reconstructing and redeveloping the robotic platform withimproved precision while maintaining the affordability and simplicity of the system alreadybuilt. Reconstruction consisted of analyzing past accomplishments and issues with the platformas highlighted from the research in order to maximize the effectiveness of the componentsassociated with the platform. The next step was to implement methods of utilizing opticalencoders to display data on speed, angle, and distance the platform has traveled in order to comeup with novel solutions to increase the precision of the said platform. The final step is toincorporate PID (proportional-integral-derivative) algorithms to further increase the (distanceand angular) precision of the platform in order to achieve an error value of less than one percent.All of the data and measurements will be recorded wirelessly via Bluetooth communication on adevice that the students can observe in easy-to-understand formats. Exposure to underlyingalgorithmic manipulation, which may be exposed with a button press, may help advancedstudents become involved and explore other options for further optimization.The expected outcome of this project is to convince several high schools that the roboticplatform will reinforce their students’ math education at an affordable price. With theincorporation of control algorithms, the platform will be precise enough to be an effective toolfor demonstration of mathematical concepts. The students themselves will attain a deeperunderstanding of the concepts through the utilization of this platform, and thus gain more interestin STEM.
Shankar, R. T., & Lapaix, J., & Weinthal, C. P., & Ploger, D., & Augustin, M., & Aguerrevere, S. (2015, June), Precision Low-cost Robotics for Math Education (Work In Progress) Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24579
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