Two recent developments are changing the way robotics, vision, and embodied AI are taught at the undergraduate level. They are (1) Microsoft's Kinect, a high-quality $150 depth-and-color sensor, and (2) the open-source Robot Operating System (ROS), the emerging standard software platform for robotics research. Together, these tools enable today's CS educators to provide richer and more research-representative experiences with robots and perception. This hands-on workshop will provide an introduction to ROS and showcase two pilot courses taught with ROS and the Kinect; we will use low-cost, Kinect-equipped robots and the ARDrone quadcopter. Four 20-minute talks will intersperse with participants' hands-on development of Python programs that use the robots.
We will present and provide resources for
CS educators who teach or want to use robotics,
computer vision, and/or embodied AI in
their undergraduate curricula.
First-time ROS or Kinect users are particularly welcome!
Slides, Links, and Presenters
Michael Ferguson is a
Software Engineer at Willow Garage, working to make ROS easier to use and
expanding it to new platforms. He has previously piloted a course in mobile
robotics using ROS at the University of Albany.
Michael's rosserial pages
Julian Mason is a PhD Candidate
in computer science at Duke University. He spent the summer of 2011 at
Willow Garage, working on semantic world modeling in ROS.
Mac's workshop slides
A large video of the drone, flown off the
balcony (66mb), courtesy of Jan Pearce of Berea College.
Gower Small is Assistant Professor of CS at Siena College. She is
piloting a course using the Kinect, ROS and a low cost robot arm during the
fall of 2011.
Sharon's workshop slides (pptx)
Robotics at Siena College,
including video highlights
Zachary Dodds is a professor of
CS at Harvey Mudd College. He has piloted a course using the Kinect, ROS,
and the ARDrone in the summer and the fall of 2011; he is teaching it to
students with only CS1 as a background in the spring of 2012.
Link to Zach's workshop slides
to the Robotics Choice Lab, using Creates, Kinects, drones, and ROS
with students who have taken CS1.
Materials that will be provided
Each participant will receive both a paper and electronic copy of (1) detailed handouts to be used during the lecture portions of the workshop and (2) descriptions of the pilot curricula that have been tested at Siena and Harvey Mudd Colleges. Most importantly, the workshop will provide the opportunity to build programs that show off the capabilities of these new platforms and assess their usefulness at other institutions and within other CS/engineering curricula.
- [7:00 - 7:20]
Nodes, topics, and rosrun: how ROS makes robots go
by Julian Mason, Duke University
- [7:20 - 7:50]
Hands-on lab: Getting started with ROS
Participants will improve provided Python navigation routines
including wall-following and obstacle-avoidance using the
Kinect's range images atop iRobot Creates.
- [7:50 - 8:10]
Talk: Advanced ROS: merging research and educational robotics
by Michael Ferguson, Willow Garage
- [8:10 - 8:30]
Talk: An undergraduate pilot course with ROS, the Kinect, and robots: enthusiasm gained and lessons learned
by Sharon Gower Small, Siena College
- [8:30 - 8:45]
with brownies, we hope...
- [8:45 - 9:00]
Talk: Using the ARDrone aerial quadcopter in a CS2-level class
by Zachary Dodds, Harvey Mudd College
- [9:00 - 10:00]
Hands-on lab: Connecting sensing and action with ROS
Participants will improve provided Python programs that explore a their
choice of: (i) manipulation of blocks and chess pieces using vision, (ii)
localization of a mobile platform through range images, (iii) visual servoing
to create a robot caravan, or (iv) interacting with the ARDrone quadcopter
through ROS and images.
Requirements and notes
Participants do not need to bring their laptop, though they are welcome to.
ROS and this workshop's software run under Ubuntu and we will provide laptops
to up to 12 pairs that join us. As a result of this limitation, no more than 24 people can be accommodated by this workshop. The 6-1 ratio of presenters to participants should help the group ease into the new hardware and software.