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Work in Progress: Development of a Senior Level Robotics Course for Engineering Students

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1702.1 - 22.1702.15



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Paper Authors


Chi N. Thai University of Georgia

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Chi N. Thai is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia, Biological & Agricultural Engineering Dept. He teaches courses in Robotics, Machine Vision and Systems Modeling. His research areas are in 3-D Spectral Imaging as applied to plant health monitoring and quality characterization of agricultural products.

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Development of a Senior Level Robotics Course for Engineering Students (work in progress) A project-based course in Robotics was created to serve as a senior-level engineeringelective. It was implemented for the first time in Spring 2010 with 3 students and was designedaround 3 projects with lectures and laboratory demonstrations performed by the instructor toprovide necessary background materials for students to carry on successfully with their chosenprojects. Students were asked to keep design notebooks that were reviewed and assessedweekly. Mid-term and final rubric-based course assessments were also performed. The 1stproject goal was for students to practice combining Remote Control and Autonomous Behaviorprogramming in one application resolving a “tail-gating” situation between 2 Carbots whereasthe rear Carbot had to ignore user commands and performed autonomous maneuvers to help itavoid from colliding into the front Carbot which had stopped suddenly. The 2nd projectchallenged the students to create appropriate gait solutions for a simple bi-pedal (7 servos) robotto negotiate going up and down stairs steps. For the 3rd project, 3 humanoid robots (18 servoseach) were built with different capabilities/constraints and tasks to be performed: a) Humanoid Awas equipped with a gripper and 2 NIR distance sensors (one on the tip of its left arm and oneforming its head), its task was to use its left arm sensor to locate a dowel bundle, turned anappropriate amount to face the bundle, approached it within a proper distance, then grabbed andlifted up the bundle; b) Humanoid B’s task was to use its wireless video camera to locate a bluedowel (its beacon) and walked to it, however it had to avoid the red dowels that were placed atrandom blocking its path towards the blue dowel; c) Humanoid C was to use its 3-axes balancesensor to help it maintain balance as it walked up a ramp, however the inclination angle of theramp could be varied at will by the user. For Spring 2010, only the Humanoid A & B projectswere performed successfully. This course will be re-offered in Spring 2011 and during Summer 2010, new projectswere designed and tested successfully: a) Using a PC base station, 3 Carbots were sent out totravel autonomously as far as they can from the PC while maintaining wireless communicationsso that the Carbots could report to the PC the status of their NIR sensors; b) to combine 2 simplebiped robots in one 4-legged robot so as to illustrate coordination issues on a robot that had 2independent microcontrollers capable of wireless communications, and also to demonstrate theenhanced stability and maneuverability obtained; c) to compare stability and range of motionsachievable between 2 humanoids balancing on 1 leg, one using a 3-axes IMU-based sensor,while the other used 4 pressure sensors mounted beneath its balance foot. A similar courseassessment scheme using design notebooks and rubric based assessment tools will again be used.

Thai, C. N. (2011, June), Work in Progress: Development of a Senior Level Robotics Course for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18408

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