Global Engagement > Partnerships > Programs for Partner Institutions > intro-to-robotics

Introduction to Robotics

Project Summary : 

  • In this virtual exchange project, students from Chicago and Sao Paulo collaborated in an Introduction to Robotics course.  A total of three synchronous meetings were held and the students were divided into 8 groups. The first meeting involved an ice-breaking activity, followed by a group assignment in which students had to brainstorm to solve a coverage problem – they were given a list of sensors and actuators and their performance ranges. The task was to select and propose an autonomous vacuum cleaning robot and to develop an efficient algorithm to cover three rooms and estimate the times it would take to cover the specified floor area. The second meeting was centered on a robotic competition in which the groups had to compete in a path-following problem.  The specifications of the problem and guidelines were given to the groups a week prior and they were encouraged to collaborate and propose one/two solutions during a synchronous meeting. Two tracks were available in each location and competition was synchronized. The third and final meeting also revolved around a competition, with pre-established guidelines. This final competition was a robot sumo math in which each robot had to find the opponent robot within a ring and then attempt to push it out of the ring. At the end of the course students were asked to produce evidence of collaboration with their teammates.

Project Length : 

  • 3 Weeks 

Technology Tools Used : 

  • Zoom
  • RobotC
  • Lego Mindstrom Kit

Interaction Mode : 

  • Synchronous 
  • Asynchronous

Learning Outcomes : 

  • Students learned about the fundamentals of robotics (sensors, actuators and processing unit).
  • Students combined their expertise and develop algorithms (pseudocode) collaboratively to propose solutions to regional problems.
  • Students worked towards fundamentals of robot control (proportional control, slew-rate control, and/or PI control).
  • Students also collaborated and developed/debugged a robotic program to meet a set criteria.
  •  Students learned to reverse engineer an algorithm by observing a robot’s behavior.

Partner institutions:

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