Educational robotics

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Educational robotics is a broad term that refers to a collection of activities, instructional programs, physical platforms, educational resources and pedagogical philosophy.

Definition[edit]

The primary of objective of educational robotics is to provide a set of experience to facilitate the student's development of knowledge, skills and attitudes for the design, analysis, application and operation of robots. The term robot here is used quite broadly and may include articulated robots, mobile robots or autonomous vehicles of any scale. The rigor of the approach can be scaled based on the background of the target audience and may be suitable for students across the entire educational spectrum—from elementary school or graduate programs.

An alternate, or secondary, objective is to use robotics as a tangible and exciting application to motivate and facilitate the instruction other, often foundational, topics such as computer programming, artificial intelligence or engineering design.

Education and training[edit]

The SCORBOT-ER 4u – educational robot.

Robotics engineers design robots, maintain them, develop new applications for them, and conduct research to expand the potential of robotics.[1] Robots have become a popular educational tool in some middle and high schools, as well as in numerous youth summer camps, raising interest in programming, artificial intelligence and robotics among students. First-year computer science courses at several universities now include programming of a robot in addition to traditional software engineering-based coursework.

Initiatives in schools[edit]

rero reconfigurable robots, designed as easy to assemble and easy to program

Since 2014, companies like Cytron Technologies has been making inroads into schools and learning centers with their rero reconfigurable robot. Designed to be easy and safe to assemble and easy to program, robotics became very accessible to young children with no programming skills and even up to advance users at tertiary level. Robotics education was heavily promoted via roadshows, science fairs, exhibitions, workshops, camps and co-sponsored classes, bringing robotics education to the masses.

Post-secondary Degree Programs[edit]

From approximately 1960 though 2005, robotics education at post-secondary institutions took place through elective courses, thesis experiences and design projects offered as part of degree programs in traditional academic disciplines, such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering or computer science.

Since 2005, more universities have begun granting degrees in robotics as a discipline in its own right, often under the name "Robotic Engineering". Based on a 2015 web-based survey of robotics educators, the degree programs and their estimates annual graduates are listed alphabetically below. Note that only official degree programs where the word "robotics" appears on the transcript or diploma are listed here; whereas degree programs in traditional disciplines with course concentrations or thesis topics related to robotics are deliberately omitted.

Estimated Number of Robotics Degrees Conferred Annually
Institution Country A.S. Minor B.S. M.S. Ph.D.
Arizona State University U.S.A - 20 40 10 4
Carnegie Mellon University U.S.A - - - 79 17
Georgia Tech U.S.A - 160 - - 16
Idaho State University U.S.A 12 - - - -
Johns Hopkins University U.S.A - 10 - 10 -
Lake Superior State University U.S.A - 20 - - -
Lawrence Technological University U.S.A - - 10 - -
Millersville University U.S.A - - 10 - -
Northwestern University U.S.A - - - 14 -
Örebro University Sweden - - - 5 3
Oregon State University U.S.A - - - 10 5
Roger Williams University U.S.A - 10 - - -
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology U.S.A - 20 - - -
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid Spain - - - 30 10
University of California - Santa Cruz U.S.A - - 10 - -
University of Central Florida U.S.A - 5 - - -
University of Detroit Mercy U.S.A - - 10 - -
University of Liège Belgium - - - 10 1
University of Massachusetts Lowell U.S.A - 20 - - -
University of Maryland U.S.A - - - 10 -
University of Michigan U.S.A - - - 10 5
University of Michigan-Dearborn U.S.A - - 10 - -
University of Montpellier France - - - 20 20
University of Nebraska-Lincoln U.S.A - ? - - -
University of Oldenburg Germany - - - 5 1
University of Pennsylvania U.S.A - - - 40 -
University of Southern California U.S.A - - - 10 -
Worcester Polytechnic Institute U.S.A - 10 60 15 1
TOTAL NUMBER OF PROGRAMS 1 10 7 15 11
TOTAL NUMBER OF ANNUAL DEGREES 12 265 140 268 83

Certification[edit]

The Robotics Certification Standards Alliance (RCSA) is an international robotics certification authority that confers various industry- and educational-related robotics certifications.

Summer robotics camp[edit]

Several summer camp programs include robotics as part of their core curriculum. In addition, youth summer robotics programs are frequently offered by celebrated museums such as the American Museum of Natural History[2] and The Tech Museum of Innovation in Silicon Valley, CA, just to name a few.

Robotics afterschool programs[edit]

Many schools across the country are beginning to add robotics programs to their after school curriculum. Two main programs for afterschool robotics are botball and FIRST Robotics.

Educational robot manufacturers and platforms[edit]

Table of Educational robotics platforms
Name Education Level Open Mechanical / Assembly Features hardware Sensors / Actuators (E / S) Programming Languages / OS Origin Reference Price External links
ArcBotics Sparki Primary, Secondary, University Yes Pre-assembled, ABS plastic body, 2 motor wheels with arm grippers Remote control with LCD Display. Custom controller based on Arduino Leonardo Atmega32U4RC 17 sensors, 8 indicators, 4 actuators including light, distance, speakers, colors, edge detection, and accelerometer Arduino, C/C++, Ardublock, Minibloq, Chromebook (Codebender), Python USA $149 USD http://www.arcbotics.com/products/sparki
Parallax BoeBot Primary, Secondary Yes Aluminum chassis, microcontroller board, continuous servo drive wheels Book included, BASIC Stamp 2 microcontroller, breadboarding area, 16 I/O pins, Serial or USB Infrared, touch sensors, other optional sensors available PBASIC USA $159 USD https://www.parallax.com/product/boe-bot-robot
rero Reconfigurable Robot Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Yes easy slide & lock ABS plastic modules, expandable with LEGO or 3D printed parts Main controller, cube servos, sensor modules, joints, connectors, wheels, terminals Cube servos, infrared and ultrasonic sensors No skills needed for beginners, C for advanced users Malaysia USD475 http://rero.io
Robots in Schools EDBOT Primary, Secondary, Tertiary No Based on the Robotis Mini platform with Edbot software. Humanoid robot 16 servo joints, distance sensor. Scratch, Python, Javascript, many others UK/Korea http://www.robotsinschools.com
Fischertechnik Computing Primary, Secondary, Vocational Education No Metal Construction toy Module Robot TX is based in 32-bit ARM 9 processor, 8 MB RAM, 2 MB flash, display (128x64 pixel), monochrome 8 Universal inputs (digital/analog), 4 fast digital inputs, 4 motor outputs, connections: I2C, RS 485 ans USB Propetary app. "ROBO Pro", C compiler Germany http://www.fischertechnik.de/en/Home.aspx
Robotis Bioloid No The BIOLOID platform consists of components and small, modular servomechanisms called the AX-12A Dynamixels, which can be used in a daisy-chained fashion to construct robots of various configurations, such as wheeled, legged, or humanoid robots. Controller CM-700 based in Atmel ATMega2561 Korea http://www.robotis.com/xe/bioloid_en
Robotis DARwIn-OP University Yes Anthropomorphic PC Hardware Linux Korea 10,000 http://www.robotis.com/xe/darwin_en
RoboThink primary, secondary No Proprietary plastic connector pieces, gears, axles, DC Motor, Servo Motor, wheels Mainboard based on ATMega256, USB and Bluetooth, IR Module, Sound Module, Light Module, Distance Module, Level Module, Switch, LED Module, Buzzer Module Analog and Digital Input: 9 ports, Analog and Digital Output: 9 ports, Power Connector: 2 sets, Motor Port: 4 sets, Communication Port: 2 sets RoboThink Coding Software (proprietary software), Scratch, Entry. USA 100-500 USD http://www.myrobothink.com
Robotis Ollo primary, secondary No perforated plastic Pieces Controller Module CM-100A IR sensor: 3 direction / total 3 groups loaded, Sound Sensor: Embedded, Power Connector: 2 sets, Geared Motor Port: 2 sets, Multi-purpose Port: 2 sets, Communication Port: 1 set RoboPlus (proprietary software). Accurate LN-101 external circuit for connecting USB adapter for programming roboplus. Korea 100-400 Euros http://www.robotis.com/xe/ollo_en http://support.robotis.com/en/techsupport_eng.htm#product/ollo_main.htm
Lego Mindstorm NXT Secondary, Vocational Education, University No Plastic construction toy, but metals parts are offered by Tetrix NXT está basado en un ARM AT91SAM7S256, con 256 Kb de memoria Flash y 64 Kb de RAM externa, pantalla LCD de 100x64 pixels, audio, y conexiones USB y bluetooth Cuatro entradas para los sensores y tres salidas para actuadores Software nativo NXT (desarrollado con National Instruments). Otros: Books, NXT-G, C# with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio, BricxCC, Next Byte Codes, Not eXactly C, Robolab, RoboMind, ROBOTC, NXTGCC, leJOS NXJ, nxtOSEK, ICON, MATLAB and Simulink, Lua, Ada, URBI, FLL NXT Navigation, ruby-nxt, Robotics.NXT, LibNXT, PyNXC, NXT-Python, Physical etoys 300 Euros http://www.legoeducation.us/eng/categories/products/middle-school/robotics
Modular Robotics Cubelets Primary, Secondary, Vocational Education, University No Plastic construction toy $160 - $500 USD http://modrobotics.com/Cubelets
Modular Robotics MOSS Primary, Secondary, Vocational Education, University No Plastic construction toy $199 - $550 USD http://modrobotics.com/MOSS
Lego WeDo Robotics Primary No Plastic construction toy No 200 Euros http://www.legoeducation.us/eng/categories/products/elementary/lego-education-wedo
Thymio II robot primary, secondary, Vocational Education, University Yes Plastic compact body, connection for other construction systems 16 bit PIC24 processor 7 IR proximity sensors, 2 IR ground, 3 axis accelerometer, micro, temperature ASEBA scripting language Switzerland 80 Euros http://www.thymio.org
Engino Robotics ERP primary, secondary, Vocational Education No Plastic construction toy 32-bit ARM CORTEX-M2 micro controller, 256 Kbytes FLASH, 64 Kbytes RAM 7 input-output ports, up to 7 LED’s, up to 4 sensors digital or analogue and up to 3 motors (servo or analogue) ERP Software Cyprus 200 Euros http://www.engino.com/robotics/
PHIRO Primary, Secondary No Consists of a wheeled platform to learn coding. SWISH technology helps in comprehending complex logical and loop statements. Controller - Atmel ATMEGA2560, in-built Bluetooth, USB charging 6 IR proximity sensors, Integrated SWISH Card reader, 2 DC motors, 2 full color RGB LEDs Scratch and Snap! (Mac, PC), Pocket Code (Android) India NA http://robotixedu.com/phiro.aspx
ProtoCREA Secondary and University Yes Consists of a wheeled platform to learn design, programming and robotics. It has a 3D printed body. Controller based on Arduino UNO with BT 2 continuous servos, 1 microservo, 2 ultrasonic sensors, 1 IR sensor array (3) Scratch4Arduino (S4A), Arduino, Ardublockly, BitBloq, Android & App Inventor, C++, ROS Spain ~€89 https://crea-robotica.com/protocrea/
TETRIX PRIME and TETRIX MAX Secondary and University Yes Metal building sets for open-ended construction for education and competition Metal systems with ABS connectors to enable use with LEGO NXT and EV3; can also be used with R/C controllers and other programmable options such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and myRIO. http://www.tetrixrobotics.com
VEX Primary and Secondary No Metal and plastic sets http://www.vexrobotics.com
Sanbot Primary and Secondary Yes ABS plastic body. Head, 2 arms, 3 360-degree wheels Remote controller, touch screen (1080P), sensor modules, projector (1920x720) 51 sensor distributed on head, arms, body, legs Platform: Linux; Languages: iFlytek, IBM Watson, Nuance; OS: ROS1.1 China http://www.sanbot.com

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Career: Robotics Engineer". Princeton Review. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  2. ^ Education at American Museum of Natural History

External links[edit]