Intelligent Robotics in High School: An Educational Paradigm for the Industry 4.0 Era
This paper presents an outreach program aimed to introduce high school students to the basic concepts of intelligent robotics, internet of things (IoT), digital simulation, and programming in Robot Operating System (ROS). The challenge of teaching the emerging technologies to school students was addressed through collaboration of engineering educators from Technion and MIT and professional engineers from PTC Corp. The participants were 15 high school students majoring in computer science. The program included three parts studied at the Technion. In the robotics course, the students constructed and programmed mobile robotic arms to pick and place objects of unknown weight and communicate via the IoT platform ThingWorx. In the second course, the school students programmed a TurtleBot Waffle robot equipped by LIDAR sensor to navigate in an environment by means of simultaneous localization and mapping. In the mini project the students programmed two mobile robotic arms and the Waffle to implement a warehouse scenario, in which the robots jointly carried out loading, transportation and warehousing of a cargo. Assessment results indicated that the students acquired initial understanding of the studied concepts. The program raised their interest in intelligent robotics and awareness about technological and social changes associated with Industry 4.0.
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