Texas Tech University at Abilene to Host Robotics Workshop for ATEMS students


July 12, 2010

Texas Tech University at Abilene will host a Robotics Workshop for twelve students in the computer science track of the Abilene ISD Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math and Science (ATEMS) starting Monday, July 12, 2010 running through July 23, 2010 from noon to 4:00 PM each working day at the Texas Tech University building at 302 Pine Street downtown. Students will learn how to teach robots how to independently react to changing conditions such as how to find an object and follow it around by creating artificial intelligent computer software downloaded into the robot. Most of the students are high school sophomores having completed their first year at ATEMS and the remaining are incoming ATEMS freshmen.

Each Scribbler robot with Fluke board used in the workshop has its own infra-red (IR) light source and three IR sensors, three normal light sensors and an onboard camera. Sensor feedback permits students to create adaptive software allowing robots to react on their own to varying conditions. Each student will create software on a NetBook computer and download it to their Scribbler through a Bluetooth wireless connection using the same technology cell-phones use to send audio to hands-free headsets.

The workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Mohan Sridharan from the Department of Computer Science at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Dr. Sridharan is an expert in artificial intelligent computer vision, specifically allowing robots to react on-the-fly to changes in light, obstacles and other environmental conditions. Dr. Sridharan recently received his Ph.D. from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and continues to direct the Texas Tech University side of the Austin Villa RoboCup Soccer Team partnership with University of Texas.

The Robotics Workshop will also be facilitated by Ray Pettit, Instructor of Computer Science at Abilene Christian University, and Marie Lothridge, teacher of Computer Science at ATEMS. Dr. Sridharan will direct students through a set of hands-on learning exercises the first week of camp. At the end of the first week students will start a project teaching the robot how to complete a student selected task on its own. The second week of camp Mr. Pettit and Mrs. Lothridge will help students complete their projects. Students will present their projects to Dr. Sridharan at the end of the second week.

The Texas Tech at Abilene 2010 Robotics Workshop is sponsored by Texas Tech University Whitacre College of Engineering with partial funding by the Office of Naval Research.

CONTACT: Tom Dolan, associate director of Texas Tech University at Abilene, (325) 660-9169, or tom.dolan@ttu.edu.

Day 1 Video

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