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Title: An internet-attached robot system supporting teaching in higher education
Author: Gatward, Andrew James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 1280
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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This research addresses three questions in the area of networked robotics: I. A model-driven review of the requirements for an Internet-attached robot system for use as a teaching resource for undergraduate and taught postgraduate level degree courses. 3. Creation of a baseline model of electronics and mechanical manufacturing capabilities across UK Higher Education establishments. 4. Establish whether manufacturing an Internet-attached robot from a bespoke design which meets all these requirements demonstrates advantages over the use of commercial off-the-shelf products. 5. A discussion of the cost and benefits of three common approaches to student assignments in robotics and related fields; hands-on laboratory experiments, simulators, and remote access laboratories. A pedagogical model for an Internet-attached online robot system for use in higher education is presented, which has been built on both a survey of Universities within the United Kingdom, and published work from authors around the world. Complementing the pedagogical model is a summary of the manufacturing capabilities typically available in a University workshop. A custom designed and purpose built mobile robot platform is presented, which together with its supporting arena environment provides an implementation of the pedagogical model. The mobile robot platform is fully bespoke, and careful design ensured that the mechanical components did not exceed the manufacturing capabilities of a typical University. Features of the robot include four-wheel drive and steering, a number of different sensors, and stereo vision support. The on-board sensors include ultrasonic rangefinders, surface colour sensors, a low-cost laser object sensor, and three stereo vision heads. Connectivity to the robot is via standards-based 802.llg wireless Ethernet and TCP/IP. A decentralised processing approach was used, so as to enable robustness and resilience of the system, and attempting to ensure that a failure of one part of a subsystem does not affect the operation of the system as a whole.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available