Corobots for use across the CS Curriculum
This project is based around two important ideas: one, that using
a real-world domain such as robotics can inspire and aid students
in learning computing concepts; and two, that robots that live and
work around humans ("corobots") have many potential applications
that we are still in the process of discovering!
In particular, we are currently in the process of developing a
team of corobots that can be used by students in several different
classes in Computer Science here at RIT. The overall project
consists of three major components:
- The corobots themselves: a system of
hardware and software that represents a self-navigating robot that can
interact with people both locally (through a mounted netbook or
tablet) and remotely over the Web.
- A distributed software architecture: for use by students, this
system will present a way for students to upload real code (written in
Python or Java) and have it run on the actual robots or a simple
simulation. This will not only allow students to see their code
executing on a real system, but also allow them to run programs that
are distributed across several robots and monitor their progress
in a centralized way.
- A set of educational modules (assignments) for different courses:
To investigate our system's value as an educational tool, we will be
using them in introductory courses all the way through upper-level
electives. We will try to understand how this type of assignment can
better help students learn the material without being burdened by
simultaneously having to learn about robotics. (Though they are
welcome to do that as well!) We also hope that students will be
inspired to use this system in independent studies and graduate
projects, developing new and exciting applications for corobots!
As this project develops, we will add more information about all
three components, so check back soon!
- Faculty: Zack Butler (PI), Minseok Kwon (co-PI), Rajendra Raj (co-PI)
- Current Students: Kumar Chandan (MS, Robotics), Pavan Nutalpallati (MS),
Kimaya Kamat (MS)
- Former Students: Max Bogue (MS, Robotics lead), Balaji Iyer (MS, Distributed
System), Ravdeep Johar (MS, Vision for localization), Karl Berger (BS,
Robotics SW/HW), Doug Krofchek (MS, Courseware)
Disclaimer: This material is based upon work supported by the
National Science Foundation under Award No. IIS-1208566. Any
opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed
in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Zack Butler, July 17, 2013