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ERIC Number: EJ1157983
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Project Robot: A Software Simulation for Systems Engineering Education
Arnold, Ross D.; Wade, Jon P.
Electronic Journal of e-Learning, v15 n5 p409-422 2017
The U.S. defense industry spends billions of dollars each year developing defense systems to keep the nation and allies secure. However, the failure rate of system development is notoriously high. Even when development efforts do succeed, they often do so with cost overruns and compromises in system performance. As a result, large amounts of money are wasted in defense acquisition, leaving the nation both poorer and less secure than it could be. Though this problem is certainly multi-faceted, one way to approach the problem is to provide better systems engineering education to engineers. Systems engineering skills, generally considered to be key to the successful development of large scale systems, often require many years to acquire. However, recent research investigates the theory that these years can be reduced through the use of simulation software. This paper describes Project Robot, a defense systems engineering simulator designed to facilitate the acquisition of systems engineering skills at an increased rate. Project Robot was the co-winner of the 2010 Experience Accelerator international systems engineering simulator competition held at Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ. The development of this simulator is a first step towards the design and development of experience accelerating simulations and software games that push the boundaries of engineering education to the next level using modern computer software techniques. The paper introduces the concepts of systems engineering and systems thinking, then discusses the Project Robot game concept, design, theory, and implementation, including detailed screen captures. The paper concludes with a discussion of the future of Project Robot and related research efforts to improve systems engineering education through simulation.
Descriptors: Robotics, Computer Simulation, Computer Software, Systems Approach, Engineering Education, Military Training, Educational Games, Electronic Learning, Program Development, Program Implementation, Competition
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