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ERIC Number: EJ1116862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0957 7572
EISSN: N/A
Design and Evaluation of a DIY Construction System for Educational Robot Kits
Vandevelde, Cesar; Wyffels, Francis; Ciocci, Maria-Cristina; Vanderborght, Bram; Saldien, Jelle
International Journal of Technology and Design Education, v26 n4 p521-540 Nov 2016
Building a robot from scratch in an educational context can be a challenging prospect. While a multitude of projects exist that simplify the electronics and software aspects of a robot, the same cannot be said for construction systems for robotics. In this paper, we present our efforts to create a low-cost do-it-yourself construction system for small robots. We have created three different construction systems (laser-cut screw connectors, printed friction-fit connectors, and printed hybrid connectors) using small aluminium T-slot extrusions, based on prior work done by Industrial Design college students. Eighty-six secondary school students and 35 teachers tested these three systems during a five-day robotics contest where they had to build firefighting robots. Follow-up questionnaires and an expert evaluation were used to measure the usability, affective appraisal and functionality of the three systems in order to determine which system should serve as a basis for further design iterations. Overall, a clear preference was shown for the hybrid system, which relies on its interlocking shape as well as on a screw connection to create robot frames that are both quick to construct and very rigid once assembled. We believe our work represents a solid first step toward an inexpensive, "hackable" construction system for educational robotics.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A