ICRA2011 Workshop

The workshop will be held on the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2011) in Shanghai, China, May 13, 2011.
Location: Shanghai International Convention Center

Title

A New Generation of Educational Robots

Motivation

Over the last few years robotics has shown its huge potential to educate pupils, students and the public, especially through robot competitions. Robotics competitions help creating environments in which students can learn to solve real problems and work with real robotics hardware. They stimulate creative thinking and help improving scientific skills and research attitudes. Furthermore, soft skills needed for interdisciplinary teamwork can be acquired. As a positive side effect, even the interested public has become aware of the usefulness of such educational robots and robot competitions. Robots are not any longer perceived as toys, and as a consequence, several efforts have been made to integrate robotics not only in universities, but also on all levels from kindergarden to secondary schools.

This workshop will address new trends in robotics education and in education by robotics offered by the new robotic devices available on the market. Furthermore, the workshop would like to assess whether the education available world wide is really suited to prepare a new class of robotic engineers who would not be interested in research alone, but in developing applications and service/maintenance facilities for new classes of service robots.

Objectives

Date and Location

May 13, 2011, 09:00 - 16:00 Shanghai International Convention Center, Room: 5D

Schedule

09:15 - 09:20   Rainer Bischoff (KUKA Laboratories GmbH):
Introduction
09:20 - 09:50   Paolo Fiorini (U. Verona):
State of the art of Education Robots
09:50 - 10:20   Sven Wachsmuth, A. Weirich, S. Schüler, C. Haumann, J. Steil (U. Bielefeld):
teutolab–robotik – Hands–On Teaching of Human–Robot Interaction
10:20 - 10:50   Rainer Bischoff (KUKA Laboratories GmbH):
KUKA youBot – a milestone for education and research in mobile manipulation
10:50 - 11:10   Coffee Break
11:10 - 11:35   Gianmarco Veruggio (CNR−IEIIT), Fiorella Operto, Emanuele Micheli (Scuola di Robotica):
The methodological continuum in Educational robotics, from Kindergarten to College
11:35 - 12:10   Paolo Dario, Francesca Cecchi, Pericle Salvini (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna):
The ”Local Educational Laboratory on Robotics”: methodology and results on teaching with robots
12:10 - 12:40   Fanny Riedo (EPFL, Switzerland):
Designing educational mobile robots: from e-puck to Thymio II
12:40 - 13:00   Jin Wook Kim (Robotis Co. Ltd.):
Modular structure: Solution for reliability and diversity of robot platforms
13:00 - 14:00   Lunch Break
14:00 - 14:30   Rodolphe Gelin (Aldebaran Robotics):
Recent developments in humanoids for education and research
14:30 - 15:00   Wataru Takano, Yoshihiko Nakamura (U. Tokyo):
Robotics Education with NAO – Beauty in Behaviors of Human and Humanoid Robots
15:00 - 15:30   Coffee Break
15:30 - 16:00   David Janiszek, Damien Pellier, Julie Mauclair, Yannick Parchemal, Georges-Louis Baron (Univ. Paris Descartes):
Feedback on the use of robots in project-based learning: How to involve students in interdisciplinary projects in order to increase their interest in computer science
16:00 - 16:30   Erwin Prassler (BRSU) & Rainer Bischoff (KUKA Laboratories GmbH):
BRICS challenge "Mobile Manipulation in a Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant"
16:30 - 17:00   Life demos of the new generation of educational robots

Organizers

Rainer Bischoff      KUKA Laboratories GmbH
Paolo Fiorini          University of Verona
Rodolphe Gelin      Aldebaran Robotics, France
Erwin Prassler       Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Univ. of Applied Sciences

Support

BRICS – Best Practice in Robotics funded by the European Commission ICT Challenge 2 under grant number 231940

Contact

Erwin Prassler
Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Univ. of Applied Sciences / GPS Stuttgart
erwin.prassler (at) h-brs.de / prassler (at) gps-stuttgart

Abstracts

Paolo Fiorini (Univ. Verona):
State of the art of Education Robots

Abstract:
In the last several years, a number of devices have been produced that can be used to teach robotics at different school grades and competence level. The spectrum now ranges from small, economic toy–like devices for teaching mechanisms in elementary schools, to complex and sophisticated devices, such as Kuka‘s YouBot that cost several thousand Euros that can be used to teach advanced robotics in post–graduate classes. In this presentation we will give an overview of the most significant devices used to teach robotics and of the curricula that have been developed to support their use in a classroom.


Sven Wachsmuth (Bielefeld U.):
teutolab–robotik – Hands–On Teaching of Human–Robot Interaction

Abstract:
Intelligent technology plays an increasingly important role in our everyday life and will soon include robotic systems for assistive functions. At Bielefeld‘s teutolab–robotik the students of secondary schools slip into the role of young researchers for one afternoon. They ponder, discuss, program and test their ideas to solve assignments about robotics. The young people get the opportunity to work with state- of–the–art tools and robots. The goal of the project is to increase their interests in the highly competitive research field of learning robots by teaching of human-robot interaction in this playful way.


Rainer Bischoff (KUKA Laboratories GmbH, Germany):
KUKA youBot – a milestone for education and research in mobile manipulation

Abstract:
Establishing mobile manipulation as a powerful key technology for the cognitive factory requires mobile manipulation platforms, which at the same time pay attention to industrial requirements, meet requirements of education and research and last, but not least, come with a decent price tag. KUKA has recently launched a major research and development effort towards designing a mobile manipulation platform that meets these requirements and can serve as a reference platform for industry, research and education at the same time. Although the initiative has just left the starting blocks, a first off–spring, the KUKA youBot, an omni–directional mobile manipulator has just seen the light of day. In this talk we report on the development of the first prototypes.


Erwin Prassler (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg UoA, Germany) & Rainer Bischoff (KUKA Laboratories GmbH, Germany):
BRICS challenge "Mobile Manipulation in a Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant"

Abstract:
Robotics contests and challenges have proven as superb instrument to attract students to robotics and trigger their creativity and ground their eduction on a profound problem understanding. But not only that. As the two DARPA Grand Challenges have shown they can also serve as an excellent vehicle to focus the attention of the entire community on a fundamental open research problem and mobilize the resources to achieve a break through.
A fundamental open problem which has received much attention lately is mobile manipulation. Mobile manipulation is a key technology for a large variety of new robot applications in industrial robotics as well as in service robotics. However, the technology is at best in its infancy.
To mobilize resources for this topic the BRICS consortium with the financial support of KUKA Laboratories GmbH is proposing a grand challenge on mobile manipulation entitled "Mobile manipulation in a Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant". We will present the challenge and its the details in this talk.


Fanny Riedo (EPFL, Switzerland)
Designing educational mobile robots: from e-puck to Thymio II

Abstract:
The design of a mobile robot is based on the specifications of the target application. Defining the specification for a "universal" robotic teaching tool is not a trivial task. We show choices and results of the definition, design and use of three robots: the e-puck for education at the university level, and the Thymio (versions I and II) for children. We illustrate common aspects and give some trends for future improvements of these tools in education.


Rodolphe Gelin (Aldebaran Robotics):
Recent developments in humanoids for education and research

Abstract:
Nao is a small humanoid robot developed by the French SME Aldebaran Robotics. It has been designed to be used by teachers and researchers in robotics but in many other areas as well. Thanks to very simple and efficient environment of development, it can be programmed for a wide spectrum of applications from navigation to cognitive interaction with human beings. More than 1300 Nao are currently used by researchers all over the world. In the talk we will present Nao, its possible applications and the last developments.


Wataru Takano (U. Tokyo):
Robotics Education with NAO – Beauty in Behaviors of Human and Humanoid Robots

Abstract:
In the future humanoid robots are expected to live with us in our daily lives. These future generations will need to understand the challenges of this cohabitation to realize a society where we can efficiently and effectively cooperate. With this future in mind, Aldebaran Robotics launched an Educational Partnership Program to meet the need of educational institutions. Laboratories in the Department of Mechano– Informatics of the University of Tokyo participated in this program and purchased 30 small humanoid robots called "NAO" for the purpose of robotics education and research.
We conduct winter semesters class for 3rd grade undergraduate students in "Mechanical Engineering Seminar", in this course each professor set the original theme, and the exercises are performed by the students. Our laboratory, in collaboration with a Tokyo University of the Art, Sculpture laboratory, offered a course entitled "Beauty in Behaviors of Human and Humanoid Robots ". The long term aim is to pursue sophisticated behaviors of humanoid robots by gathering the interdisciplinary knowledge from the robotics, arts, and other kinds of fields. In this course around 10 students in groups of 3 or 4 discussed the beauty of behavior, sketched humans movement talents, programmed a NAO to perform motions and gave presentations on their work. Further we also used the NAOs in order to enhance our research and education opportunities for the undergraduate and master students in our laboratory. Finally we implemented an intelligent framework into the NAOs which can recognize speech in addition to properly categorizing to the motion patterns of their own bodies. We demonstrated these abilities at a press conference at the French Embassy last October.


Damien Pellier & David Janiszek (Univ. Paris Descartes):
Feedback on the use of robots in project-based learning: How to involve students in interdisciplinary projects in order to increase their interest in computer science

Abstract:
Inspired by prestigious institutions (including MIT), this pedagogical project aims to provide an attractive medium for teaching artificial intelligence through interdisciplinary projects and to improve the success of undergraduate and master students. Indeed, by involving students in projects that let them discover the different subjects taught in their future courses, we want to awake undergraduate students‘ interest and assist them in building their training scheme. We present a pedagogical project lead within the Paris Descartes University. This project aims to provide an attractive medium for teaching artificial intelligence through interdisciplinary projects and to improve the success of undergraduate and master students. Indeed, by involving students in projects that let them discover the different subjects taught in their future courses (which are not for most of them in the undergraduate courses), we want to awake undergraduate students‘ interest and assist them in building their training scheme. Initially, the context of the implementation will be described, and then, the progress will be presented. Finally, the results will be analysed. It should be noted that we describe, observe and analyse a project in which we are stakeholders. Therefore, it seems that our analysis cannot be generalized for the moment. However, we hope that by sharing our results, others will be able to discuss them or better, to reproduce and validate them.

Paolo Dario, Francesca Cecchi, Pericle Salvini (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa, Italy):
The ”Local Educational Laboratory on Robotics”: methodology and results on teaching with robots

Abstract:
Since the early 1990s the BioRobotics Institute (BRI) of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna has been active in the field of educational robotics by participating and organising numerous events and activities at national and international levels. Recently, we have strengthened our activities in this field of, by launching a new educational initiative called the ‘Local Educational Laboratory on Robotics’ (LELR), in collaboration with local schools and the municipalities of the Valdera area in Tuscany (Italy). The LELR main goal is to foster the development of scientific and technological knowledge in the Valdera community starting from school level. In this presentation, drawing on preliminary activities and experiences with LELR, a few projects about teaching with robots in primary and secondary schools will be described and discussed. Special attention will be paid to analyze and present the methodology that we have adopted to teach with robots, which is characterised by an interdisciplinary approach to robotics – namely not limited to scientific and technological issues but open to contamination with other school subjects – and by the promotion of a critical attitude towards scientific and technological advancements and innovation – which is implemented by raising students’ awareness on the ethical, legal and social implications of robotics research and applications.