AI Magazine 27(1) Resource Page

Welcome to the resource page for the Spring 2006 special issue of AI Magazine, entitled
Robots and Robotics in Undergraduate AI Education

[Image of the cover, when it comes out]

There are six articles in this issue. The authors are linked to their respective homepages, from which the most up-to-date material on their work will be available. Other links are included, as appropriate.


  Accessible Hands-on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Education

Symposium Resources: People, Papers, Slides, Media

Time Monday March 22th 2004
9:00-10:30 Introduction/Curricular Themes    Organizer: Jerry Weinberg (

Unifying Undergraduate AI Robotics: Layers of Abstraction over Two Channels
        (Ric Crabbe)

Teaching AI using LEGO Mindstorms
        (Simon Parsons and Elizabeth Sklar)

Additional panel discussion
        with Illah Nourbakhsh, Deepak Kumar, Maja Mataric, Hasan Elahi, and Fred Martin
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-12:30 Laboratory Exercises 1: Teaching Localization     Organizer: Lloyd Greenwald (

Teaching Deliberative Navigation using the LEGO RCX    (all slides and movies)
        (Gary Mayer, Jerry Weinberg, and Xudong Yu)

A Tool for Integrating Lisp and Robotics in AI Agents Courses
        (Frank Klassner)

Teaching Artificial Intelligence with Low-Cost Robots    (project homepage)    (NSF Workshop Particle Filtering Slides)
        (Lloyd Greenwald and Donovan Artz)

Teaching Robot Localization with the Evolution ER1    (slides and movies 31mb)    (links)
        (Zachary Dodds, Steven Santana, et al.)
12:30-14:00 Lunch Break
14:00-15:30 Hardware/Software 1: Novel platforms    Organizer: Zach Dodds (

TRIPOD -- Computer Vision for Classroom Instruction and Robot Design   (project homepage)    (slides)
        (Paul Oh)

The Use of Low-Cost RC Servos in a Robotics Curriculum
        (Bradley Bishop, Jenelle Piepmeier, et al.)

Interfacing Handheld Computers to Mobile Robots
        (Robert L. Avanzato)

CMRoboBits: Creating an Intelligent AIBO robot    (CSRoboBits course homepage)
        (Paul Rybski and Manuela Veloso)

The Evolution Robotics Software Platform   (Evolution homepage)
        (Luis Goncalves)
15:30-16:00 Break
16:00-17:30Discussion: Toward an ideal platform for AI & Robotics education?     Organizer: Fred Martin (

Avoiding the Karel-the-Robot Paradox   (Pyro homepage)
        (Doug Blank, Holly Yanco, Deepak Kumar, and Lisa Meeden)

KTeam in the classroom   (Road Narrows Robotics homepage)   (KTeam homepage)
        (Kim Wheeler and Robin Knight)

Designing the Next-generation Handyboard   (Handyboard homepage)
        (Fred Martin and George Pantazopoulos)
17:30-18:00 Break
18:00-19:00 AAAI Reception
Time Tuesday March 23th 2004
9:00-10:30 Laboratory Exercises 2: Basic and Advanced AI     Organizer: Lloyd Greenwald (

Dustbot: Bringing a Vacuum-Cleaner Agent to Life
        (Debra Burhans and Michael Kandefer)

Descriptions of AI and Robotics Labs at the Undergraduate Robotics Lab, St. Bonaventure University   (Kclass homepage)
        (Robert Harlan)

Teaching Deliberative Navigation using the LEGO RCX and Standard Lego components   (all slides and movies)
        (Gary Mayer, Jerry Weinberg, and Xudong Yu)

A Laboratory Exercise using LEGO Handyboard Robots to Demonstrate Neural Networks in an AI Class
        (Susan Imberman)    (Susan Imberman's Robotics Links)
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Laboratory Exercises 2: Basic and Advanced AI     Organizer: Lloyd Greenwald (

Teaching Artificial Intelligence with Low-Cost Robots
        (Lloyd Greenwald and Donovan Artz)

CMRoboBits: Creating an Intelligent AIBO robot   (CMRoboBits homepage)
        (Paul Rybski)
12:00-13:00 Lunch Break (sponsored by K-Team)
13:00-15:30 Beyond the Traditional CS Student    Organizer: Ayanna Howard (

Using Robotics to Introduce AI Topics to a Wider Audience
        (Susan Fox)

Using Robotics to Motivate Learning in an AI Course Aimed at Nonmajors
        (Andrea Danyluk)

An Introductory CS course designed for Cognitive Scientists    (course page)
        (Jim Marshall)

Interfacing the Public and Technology: A Web-controlled mobile robot   (all slides and movies)
        (Erin Harris, Andrew Lamonica, Jerry Weinberg)

Learning while Teaching Robotics   (Robocup ELeague homepage)
        (Elizabeth Sklar and Amy Eguchi)

Designing an Online, Distributed, Project-based course in Mobile Autonomous Robotics
        (Ajinkya Bhave and Alex Kass)

Lego Mindstorms Kits in a (Very) Small Liberal Arts college    (slides)
        (Ellen Walker)

The Videofish Project: TV Worth Catching   (Videofish homepage)
        (Robin Murphy, Hasan Elahi, and Bill Kearns)

Bridging the Gap between Space Robotics Research and Robotics Education   (AI toolkit homepage)
        (Ayanna Howard and Eva Graham)

Robotics Education for All Age Groups
        (Maja Mataric)
15:30-16:00 Break
16:00-17:30 Assessing Approaches to AI/Robotics Education    Organizer: Sheila Tejada (

Formal Measures of Learning in a Secondary School Mobile Robotics Course
  (Robotic Autonomy homepage)          (Personal Exploration Rover homepage)
        (Illah Nourbakhsh, Emily Hamner, Kevin Crowley, and Katie Wilkinson)

Robot Contest: Promoting Experimental Engineering Education   (Trinity College Firefighting Contest homepage)
        (Igor Verner and David Ahlgren)

Teaching with RoboCup
        (Jacky Baltes, Elizabeth Sklar, and John Anderson)

Integrating Education and Real Research
        (J. Garner, K. Bennett, B. Smart, D. J. Bruemmer, D. A. Few, C. Roman)

Virtual Synergy: A Human-Robot Interface for Urban Search and Rescue
        (Sheila Tejada, et al.)
17:30-18:00 Break
18:00-19:00 Plenary Session shared with other AAAI Spring Symposia. Speaker:  Bill Smart
Time Wednesday March 24th 2004
9:00-9:30 Perspective on robots in AI Education    Organizer: Jerry Weinberg (

Using Robotics to Teach Computer Programming & AI concepts to Engineering Students    (KIPR/Botball homepage)
        (David Miller)
9:30-10:30 Hardware/Software 2: Demos and Posters    Organizer: Zach Dodds (

Using Robot Platforms to Enhance Concept Learning in Introductory CS Courses    (Lab Descriptions)
        (Colleen Van Lent)

Two Lab Exercises for an Introductory Robotics Class
        (Jennifer Kay)

The use of "Tell me, show me, and let me do it" in robotics
        (Hadi Moradi and Ali Bahri)

From POPSICLE to CARoL in a Semester    (CAROL homepage)
        (Goran Trajkovski, Darush Davani, Gary Williams, Daniel Stamate, Gleb Gudzenko, Daniel Bittner)

A Network Game Agent for Teaching AI    (project website)   (all slides and movies)
        (Andrew Lamonica, Xudong Yu, and Jerry Weinberg)

Designing Custom Low-Cost Sensors Compatible with Lego Mindstorms
        (Sorin Achim)

Poster Presentation
        (Amruth Kumar)

Java for the Handyboard: Demonstrations    (Ridgesoft homepage)
        (Steven Grau)

Additional demonstrations/posters by other attendees, as well     
10:30-11:00 Break
11:00-12:00 Hardware/Software 2: Demos and Posters, continued

This session will continue the demonstrations and poster presentations of the early-morning session.


      While robot platforms have played a role in artificial intelligence and robotics education for over 30 years, the cost and size of these platforms have limited their reach. Recently, low-cost robot platforms have emerged, extending hands-on educational benefits to a diverse audience. Examples of the flurry of activity in this area include competitions and exhibitions at all levels, the availability of on-line curricula and textbooks, journal special issues, and recent AAAI workshops on Robotics and Education.

      We believe that these low-cost platforms have matured sufficiently to become a standard tool for teaching artificial intelligence and robotics to advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Furthermore, the accessibility of low-cost platforms introduces the exciting prospect of expanding artificial intelligence and robotics educational opportunities outside the classroom, including non-traditional venues such as museums and do-it-yourself websites. Providing accessible hands-on learning experiences will help inspire the next generation of artificial intelligence and robotics scientists and engineers.

      Incorporating hands-on exercises into classroom and public venues excites students and provides insights that are difficult to achieve with paper-and-pencil exercises or even simulator programming. Unfortunately, it is extremely time-consuming to build and manage a course that includes hands-on robotics. Existing texts and curricular material stress the use of robots in K-12 education, general engineering, and general computer science. Courses focusing on AI topics, however, tend to push low-cost robotic systems up to -- and sometimes past -- their limits. As a result, the AI community will benefit from (1) an organized set of tested, refined laboratory exercises and (2) the insights of educators who have successfully designed and run such labs.

      The purpose of this symposium is to disseminate the experience of early adapters by gathering instructional material in a form that can be directly used to build artificial intelligence curricula with hands-on robotics exercises. Our goal is that this symposium results in a collection of material that simplifies the task of designing, creating, and running such courses. These materials may be further extended to engage the public in artificial intelligence and robotics research activities.