|We are teaching two classes, “Introduction to Robotics” and “Advanced Robotics”, to 3rd and 4th year undergraduates in Computer Science. Lecture notes are available on github and as on-demand printed version via Amazon.com and other bookstores. The book covers principles of robot motion, forward and inverse kinematics of robotic arms and simple wheeled platforms, perception, error propagation, localization and simultaneous localization and mapping. This book is “open source” and welcomes contributions from the community.
N. Correll. Introduction to Autonomous Robots. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Inc., August 2014.
|Robotics has become a standard tool in outreaching to grades K-12 and attracting students to the STEM disciplines. Performing these activities in the class room usually requires substantial time commitment by the teacher and integration into the curriculum requires major effort, which makes spontaneous and short-term engagements difficult. This paper studies using “Cubelets”, a modular robotic construction kit, which requires virtually no setup time and allows substantial engagement and change of perception of STEM in as little as a 1-hour session. This paper describes the constructivist curriculum and provides qualitative and quantitative results on perception changes with respect to STEM and computer science in particular as a field of study.
(2012): A One-hour Curriculum to Engage Middle School Students in Computer Science using Cubelets. In: Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems, Springer Verlag.
|This paper describes a one-year introductory robotics course sequence focusing on computational aspects of robotics for third- and fourth-year students. The key challenges this curriculum addresses are scalability, i.e., how to teach a robotics class with a limited amount of hardware to a large audience,student assessment, i.e., how to assess the students’ success on robotic design and programming assignments, and depth versus breadth, i.e., how to down-select content from the interdisciplinary field of robotics to computer science students. This is achieved by combining simulation-based laboratory assignments, which can be conducted anywhere and anytime, with compatible hardware devices that allow a seamless transition from simulation to real hardware, and a focus on performance-based assessment with an open-ended final project/competition. Content learning and retention is assessed for a subset of students who successfully went through the proposed curriculum. All class materials as well as hardware-in particular, a low-cost, highly articulated robotic arm developed for teaching advanced robotics concepts-are open-source and available online.
N. Correll, R. Wing, D. Coleman (2012): A One Year Introductory Robotics Curriculum for Computer Science Upperclassmen. In: IEEE Transactions on Education, 56(1):54-60.
|We report on our experiences with a project-based robotics class in which students designed a gardening multi-robot system, able to autonomously take care of tomato plants. We study the efficiency of different modes of interaction within the class and observe the emergence of peer-to-peer learning that has substantially contributed to the perceived learning experience. Results are based on an anonymous survey from a diverse student population with backgrounds from Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. We argue that project-based, collaborative
learning is strongly beneficial to the students, and significantly extends learning that can be achieved during lectures and exercises alone, although requiring high effort and overcoming a steep learning curve.
(2010): Peer-to-Peer Learning in Robotics Education: Lessons from a Challenge Project Class. In: ASEE Computers in Education Journal, 1(3):60-66, (Special issue on Robotics Education)