Penn State’s Educational Robotics Projects and Exhibits
Penn State Abington Robotics NRW Tour (4-13-11)
Plato Pizzicato takes us on a tour of Penn State Abington’s educational robotics projects and exhibits in Second Life (SL). Includes discussion of Real Life (RL) robot contests, outreach, and plans to bridge RL and SL events.
1. Penn State hosts annual RL competitions in the Philadelphia PA.
The robot contests are open to K-12, college, and beyond. The activities support outreach, curriculum enhancement, and undergraduate research. Check our websites:
- Regional Firefighting Robot Contest: http://www.cede.psu.edu/users/avanzato/robots/contests/firefighting/index.htm
- Mini Grand Challenge Outdoor Robot Contest: http://www.cede.psu.edu/users/avanzato/robots/contests/outdoor/index.htm
2. Robot Maze Exhibit
Users can create a notecard containing robot commands to allow a robot to move through a maze. The goal is to educate students and the public on introductory robotics and also to demonstrate the usefulness of virtual worlds to host interactive learning tools which are acessible to a global audience.
3. Virtual Living Space to Model Human-Robot Interactions
Virtual living room area and kitchen to serve as a virtual platform to study the behavior of robots in a living space. Roomba robots (floor cleaning robots) have been programmed to navigate in the space.
4. Penn State Abingotn – Hof (Germany) Robot Workshop Exhibit Space.
In March 2010, a team of PSU Abington studnets and faculty traveled to Hof Univeristy in Germany to particpate in a week-lon robotics workshop. One of the modules included using Second Life to create exhibits of a variety of robotics application areas such as collliion avoidance, robots in manufacturing and security robots. Teams comprising Penn State and German students were able to research and create virtual robotics exhibits in SL in a single day. A public poster session held in SL, and attracting audience members from around the globe, was completed at the end of the course module.
5. 3D Simulation of a RL Smart Home
We have begun contruction of a virtual replica of a RL campus smart home (consisting of a living roomm and kitchen area). The smart home will be equipped with web cameras and people tracking algorithms to assess the overall health and quality of living for aging-in-place studies. The SL model will allow us to experiment with rearranging furniture and appliances to study the impact on navigation and camera coverage. We also plan to achieve communication and interactions between the RL and SL facilities to improve assessment, monitoring, and visualization of living quality.
Date & Time: Wednesday (14 Apr 2011) at 4 PM (SLT/PDT)