Using Mobile Robots To Teach Articificial Intelligence Research Skills

Natasha Balac, Daniel M. Gaines
2000 Annual Conference Proceedings   unpublished
Successful Artificial Intelligence researchers must be able to think creatively and critically, communicate effectively and evaluate the results of their work. Therefore, it is important that we include courses in our curriculum that develop these skills. Since one usually learns best by doing, we believe a project-based course, in which students receive hands-on experience, will be most effective in fostering quality research skills. We also wanted a project that would be fun and exciting,
more » ... al to a wide range of students and allow for explorations in a range of AI topics. We felt that the area of mobile robotics would make an ideal match. The field of mobile robots provides a challenging and exciting arena for developing, applying and evaluating AI techniques. While there are many benefits to incorporating mobile robots into the classroom, starting a mobile robot lab can seem like a daunting, time-consuming task with a steep learning curve and expensive price tag. This is not necessarily the case. The mobile robot lab we describe in this paper was developed in a short time period with relatively little cost, yet it is proving to be a valuable teaching tool. In this paper we describe the design of the course and how mobile robots are used to meet the course objectives of surveying advanced AI concepts and teaching research skills. We evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile robots that we have observed, including feedback received from students during the semester.
doi:10.18260/1-2--8861 fatcat:qbvrkrgbhjcldltku3ufs6e3me