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Solutions to Meet the Requirements of Educational Robotics

By Uwe Gerecke, Patrick Hohmann and Bernardo Wagner


ABSTRACT: Mobile robots are an excellent tool for teaching engineering concepts. Practical demonstrations and hands-on experience encourage students and increase motivation. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of robotics, involving electrical, mechanical and computer engineering as well as artificial intelligence, they can be employed in a variety of different subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and in PhD research. To provide a suitable robotics environment for teaching and research, we have to meet the requirements of educators and students which differ from solutions offered for commercial robot applications. This paper examines these educational requirements of robots and shows a number of approaches to meet the requirements in practical systems. Within an international collaboration, we developed a modular platform for education with appropriate infrastructure. Curricula with guidelines how to use robots as well as available teaching materials facilitate initiation of robot usage. We show examples of our systems and how they can be used by teachers and students. Course evaluation proved popularity and merit to acquire engineering skills. Our robotics environment provides a valuable tool for engineering education which can be used in many different disciplines as a demonstrator to teach the topics of individual subjects, in lab classes and practical exercises, and as a platform for PhD research.

Topics: Educational Robotics, Robot Platforms, Robot Curricula, Problem-Based Learning, Autonomous Mobile Robots
Year: 2015
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