CS 2951-A

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CS2951-A Robots for Education

Spring Semester 2011

Instructor: Prof. Chad Jenkins

M 3:00-5:20

CIT 345

Course description: http://www.cs.brown.edu/courses/csci2951-a.html

Website: http://brown-robotics.org/index.php?title=CS_2951-A

Mailing list robotics-seminar@lists.cs.brown.edu


This seminar will explore the potential for robotics to engage future generations of scientists and engineers, with a particular focus on broadening participation in computing across society. Academic papers describing existing models, systems, courses, and evaluation for teaching robotics at undergraduate and secondary levels will be covered through students presentations. Group projects will be conducted to find viable and accessible "off-the-shelf" technology solutions suited to teaching robotics without requiring a technical background. Instructor permission required.


Grading for individual enrolled students is broken down as follows:

  • 30% Attendance and participation
  • 30% Topic area presentation
  • 40% Contribution towards projects

Students are expected to:

  • attend all class meetings (unless an exception is given beforehand)
  • actively participate in discussion
  • research existing work in at least one course topic area and present this material to the class
  • significantly contribute towards the development and implemenation of a final project

Students are expected to send summaries of papers they are not presenting to the course mailing list (cs295-z@list) prior to the corresponding class meeting.

For paper presentations, student presenters must have a rough draft prepared and consult with the instructor at least 2 days before the presentation date.


Technical prerequisites

It is assumed that students enrolling in this class are proficient in computer programming and can adapt to new programming languages and frameworks.

Everyone in the class must be familiar with the basics of using the Robot Operating System (ROS) by implementing the first two projects from cs148 that cover (no written report required):

  • Enclosure escape: basic movement and sensing with the iRobot Create
  • Object seeking: color blobfinding and augmented reality tracking for recognizing and moving to objects


Each presentation of a topic area in class should cover:

  • The core aims and motivations for the area
  • Overview of their approach taken
  • Descriptions of courses/events/programs where this approach is used/adapted
  • Demo examples of the system, if such systems are available
  • Walkthrough code examples, if this topic involves a programming language or development framework

Presenters should contact the instructor the Wednesday before they are scheduled to speak.

Tentative schedule

Each class meeting will consist of 2 paper presentations given by students. This should take between 1-2 hours. The remaining time will be devoted to a collaborative hacking session to prototype, implement, and evaluate new ideas.

Jan 31 - Introduction

Discussion leader: Chad Jenkins

Feb 7 - rosjs and PR2 Remote Lab Introduction

Discussion leader: Sarah Osentoski

Feb 14 - Scratch

Discussion leader: Drew Kantor

  • Scratch website
  • "Scratch: Programming for All", Mitchel Resnick, John Maloney, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Natalie Rusk, Evelyn Eastmond, Karen Brennan, Amon Millner, Eric Rosenbaum, Jay Silver, Brian Silverman, Yasmin Kafai, Communications of the ACM, November 2009, 52(11), pages 60-67

Feb 21 - No class (Long Weekend)

Feb 28 - Processing

Processing Discussion leader: Jihoon Lee

Mar 7 - Cellbots

Cellbots Discussion leader: Evan Stites-Clayton

Mar 14 - Alice / PREOP

Alice Discussion leader: Tom Goff

PREOP Discussion leader: David Dufresne

Mar 21 - National Robotics Week

Discussion leader: Sungmin Lee

Mar 28 - No class (Spring Break)

Apr 4 - Institute for Personal Robots in Education

Discussion leader: Alex Unger

Apr 11 - Tekkotsu / ARTSI

Discussion leader: Brian Thomas

Apr 18 - Lecture: Robots as web services

Discussion leader: Chad Jenkins

Apr 25 Guest Lecture

Joseph Browne, Brown New Scientist Program

May 2 Final project presentations

  • David Dufresne Slides
  • Tom Goff
  • Brian Thomas Slides
  • Drew Kantor
  • Alex Unger Slides
  • Kayle Gishen Slides
  • Jihoon Lee
  • Sungmin Lee
  • Evan Stites-Clayton