ROS at Every Level: Using the Robot Operating System in CS 0, 1, 2, and beyond
After many years, the robotics research community has finally settled on a single piece of middleware: the Robot Operating System (ROS). This shared standard presents a great opportunity for educational robotics. This hands-on workshop will present and engage participants in ROS-based curricula presently in use at the CS 0, 1, and 2 levels, with a contextual nod to ROS's "natural habitat" as a substrate for advanced undergraduate/graduate work.
The workshop's activities will highlight how ROS has successfully simplified, enabled, and expanded a "flipped" model of CS education. In our CS 0 example, we will show how ROS provides bulletproof hardware support to underpin an API suitable to first-time programmers. In our CS 1 and CS 2 examples, ROS forms the basis of a lecture-free curriculum deployed at both Glendale Community College and Harvey Mudd College. Our advanced materials show how ROS enables easy access to the robotics research community, permitting larger and more research-representative student projects.
This workshop is built around two long hands-on sessions punctuated with both short, contextual reports from the presenters' own field-trials. All participants will implement the first two assignments of the CS 1/CS 2 curricula based on ground robot and the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Though we will not have enough aerial robots for all attendees, those interested will have the opportunity to try some of the curriculum's aerial robotics challenges.
This workshop is aimed at all early-CS educators, along with those interested in bridging their students' experiences toward the robotics and computer vision research communities. This workshop may be of particular interest to educators seeking a deployed curriculum that "flips" the early CS classroom into a project-based course without lectures. No experience with ROS is necessary or expected. Python is the language we use for the introductory curricula; C++ for senior or graduate level work.
This is a hands-on robotics workshop focusing on curricula. Attendees will get hard and soft copies of our presentation slides, and of the details of the particular robotics project they will undertake. The necessary robots and computers will be provided by us. All of these materials are linked at the top of this page.
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 10 pairs that join us. As a result of this limitation, no more than 20 people can be accommodated by this workshop. The (approximate) 6-1 ratio of presenters to participants should help the group ease into the new hardware and software.