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"A Hands-on Exploration of Educational Robotics", a workshop at SIGCSE

Doug Blank and Zach Dodds will present and help participants explore using robots in the classroom. The status of the IPRE-based robot, software, and curriculum will be demonstrated. The workshop will be held on Friday, March 9, 2007, between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM in Room Meeting Rm 7. For more information, see:
http://www.cs.potsdam.edu/sigcse07/

Abstract:

The past year has seen a remarkable surge in the robotics-based resources available to CS educators. For instance, in August Lego released its NXT platform with significantly increased capabilities over the very popular RCX. In July the Institute for Personal Robotics in Education (IPRE) was announced and will spearheaded the development of new hardware, software, and curricular materials for teaching CS 1 and CS 2 using robots. Third, in January iRobot published an open serial API for its ubiquitous line of “Roomba” autonomous vacuum cleaners. Curricular trials, as well as hardware interfaces and software support, have already emerged from this opportunity. All three of these recent platforms cost less than $250, making them attractive for lab-based deployment within CS programs.

This workshop is designed to present these and other recent developments in robotics education. A pair of presentations will frame these new resources in the context of both CS elective (AI, Machine Learning, Robotics per se) and core (CS 1 and CS 2) applications. Based on the feedback from last year’s SIGCSE workshop entitled Emerging Robotics Resources in Undergraduate CS, this event will limit these talks to ninety minutes total. The second half of the workshop will consist of two 45-minute spans of guided experimentation with these new robot platforms. We intend to bring (1) a set of 6-8 Myro platforms that the IPRE has developed for classes at Bryn Mawr College and Georgia Tech, (2) a set of 4-6 Roomba platforms using several distinct controllers: the Lego NXT, Bluetooth-enabled laptops, and CMU’s new Qwerk controller.