Integrating Robotics Research With Undergraduate Education

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IEEE Intelligent Systems And Their Applications


The field of robotics moves so quickly and encompasses such a wide range of disciplines and applications that education in robotics must be adaptive and incorporate a multidisciplinary approach. The key is to provide an education in the fundamentals--as best we can define them-- while maintaining strong connections to current research results. To build these connections we are integrating current robotics research into both the classroom and summer research projects. This kind of integration brings benefits both to us as robotics researchers and the students as future roboticists. Our vehicle for motivating and directing the students during the summers of 1998 and 1999 has been a national robot competition. This goal has provided motivation, given us hard deadlines, and encouraged teamwork among the students. It has proven to be a successful way to balance research and implementation within the time frame of a summer project.