Player/Stage: A Unifying Paradigm to Improve Robotics Education Delivery

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2 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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Player/Stage: A Unifying
Paradigm to Improve

Robotics Education Delivery

Monica Anderson, Laurence Thaete,
Nathan Wiegand


The University of Alabama

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Learning to program robots


Novice student issues


Long learning curve


Hardware access


“Murphy’s law”


Research student issues


Porting simulations to hardware


Different hardware programming
paradigms

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Opportunity


Use simulation to teach concepts


Leverage layering to create a client API
that is viable in both simulation and on
actual hardware


Use lower cost platforms to increase
accessibility

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Our Approach


Provide abstraction and simulation via
Player/Stage


Use multiple platforms with different
strengths


Introduce concepts in a controlled
manner

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Player/Stage


Robot control and simulation software
[Gerkey01]


Open source (easily modified and extended)


Supports


iCreate roombas


Pioneers


Khepera


Others…

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Player

Robot.move()


Abstracts specific hardware into general
control by interpreting client requests
into hardware specific commands

TCPIP (6665)

Client program



C++, Java, Python, etc

Player with
Stage
Simulator

Player
interpreting

Koala
commands

C,10,10

Player interpreting

Roomba commands

1000302

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Stage/Gazebo


Simulation component for algorithm testing


Clients ported to hardware with some
“tweaking”

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Research Platform


K
-
Team Koala


x86 500Mhz controller


Proximity sensor ring


High fidelity odometry


802.11 networking for off
-
board control and
peer communications

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Low
-
cost Education Platform


iRobot iCreate (roomba)
-

(approx $500)


Interfaced with Gumstix SBC


Lower fidelity odometry and sensors


802.11 networking for


off
-
board control and


communications

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Logistics


Player/Stage available on virtual Linux
machine


Simulation assignments completed
individually


Teams of three students on hardware
assignments


Hardware included 5 Koala robots and 10
roomba robots

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Curriculum


Introduce motor control and sensors iteratively
in increasing detail over semester


Use simulation with and without error
coefficients


Include self
-
paced hardware workshops during
class time (Students are encouraged to help
each other)


Move to hardware
-
based assignments at about
8 weeks



http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Student Projects


Student designed projects
to foster creativity


PenBot
-

robotic logo
interpreter


Topological navigation


Life sized Pong
“Man vs vision
-
based
player”

http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Summary/Future Work


Only 2 students dropped (18%) for personal
reasons


Students reported more confidence with
hardware after the class


Students created player clients for roombas
(not included in lectures or class
assignments)


More advanced class is being planned that
incorporates higher level behaviors such as
path planning and mapping


http://robotics.cs.ua.edu/

Questions