robots

Thursday Extra on 11/5: Professor Walker on MyroC 3.0

November 5 at 4:15 pm in Science 3821
Refreshments served at 4:00 in the CS Commons
Everyone is welcome

Professor Henry M. Walker will present "MyroC 3.0: Update, Portability, Non-blocking, Threads, Processes, Coordination."

The MyroC project provides infrastructure and materials to allow the use of Scribbler 2 robots to support CSC 161, a course exploring imperative problem solving with C programming. The original work, now designated MyroC.1.0, was built upon a C++ package developed at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and incorporated into CSC 161 in Fall 2011. Due to issues in portability from Linux to other platforms, work started on a C-based infrastructure in Fall 2013 and was incorporated into CSC 161 in Spring 2015. Through versions MyroC.2.1-MyroC.2.4, the revised package provided several revised commands with both blocking and non-blocking options for robot movement and image display. Although written in Standard C, further refinements could improve efficiency, add functionality, and facilitate portability. This fall, a new MyroC.3.0 is being developed which will refine several previous commands, improve efficiency, and utilize different Standard-C libraries, yielding an infrastructure that will run on both Linux and Mac OS X platforms. Focusing on MyroC.3.0, this talk will highlight several new features and then focus on how concepts from operating systems and parallel processing (e.g., topics covered in CSC 213) are required to implement these new or updated features. Specific topics to be considered will include threads, processes, mutex semaphores, and synchronization via message passing.

Thursday Extra: "Enhancing Myro Java using Android"

On Thursday, April 17, Nora Bresette Buccino will discuss the development of an application programming interface for small robots in Java, with extensions to the Android environment:

The use of personal robots in computing is becoming more ubiquitous as robots are a good way to attract students and introduce them to the subject of computer science. Therefore, it is important to make use of all the features of the robots to give users a sense of the capabilities provided by robotics. The API (Application Programming Interface) defined by the Institute for Personal Robots in Education, called Myro, originally created in Python, has now been adapted to many other popular programming languages including Java. The Myro Java API created for the Scribbler robots by Professor Douglas Harms of DePauw University included most of the features of Myro Python. Our goals in this project were to add features to the Myro Java API, to enhance the user's capabilities, and to attempt to incorporate Android development into Myro Java.

Smart phones and tablets have become an integral part of the way we communicate and learn. Not only can these devices be used to communicate with other people, but they can also communicate with other devices through Bluetooth and infrared sensors. Thus these types of devices can interact with devices such as robots and applications can be created to control these robots. Therefore, we decided to integrate Myro and Android to provide the opportunity to not only learn about robotics but to also learn about Android programming and mobile application development.

At 4:15 p.m., refreshments will be served in the Computer Science Commons. The talk, “Enhancing Myro Java using Android,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

CS Table: Social Robots and Autistic Children

In CS table on Friday, 12 September 2014, we will consider some recent approaches to using social robots to help autistic children develop social, emotional, and communication skills.

We will start with a recent news article.

USC Viterbi School of Engineering, "Socially-Assistive Robots Help Children with Autism Learn Imitative Behavior by Providing Personalized Encouragement". Press Release, University of Southern California School of Engineering. Online document at http://viterbi.usc.edu/news/news/2014/august-28-2014.htm.

We will continue with a broader survey of such approaches. The survey is long, so we will understand if people skim.

John-John Cabibihan, Hifza Javed, Marcelo Ang Jr and Sharifah Mariam Aljunied, “Why Robots? A Survey on the Roles and Benefits of Social Robots for the Therapy of Children with Autism” International Journal of Social Robotics, 2013, 5(4), 593-618, doi 10.1007/s12369-013-0202-2. Available online at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1311.0352.pdf.

Students will lead this week's discussion.

Computer science table is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Fridays at noon in the Day PDR (JRC 224A).

Monday Extra: "Bluetooth communications with Scribbler 2 robots"

On Monday, April 14, Spencer Liberto 2014 and Professor Henry Walker will present a progress report on a project that Mr. Liberto worked on last fall, in collaboration with Dilan Ustek 2013 and Jordan Yuan 2015, under Professor Walker's direction:

Since fall 2011, CSC 161 has utilized Scribbler 2 robots as an application theme, with the software infrastructure based on a C++ package available from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Although the C++ infrastructure has worked well, it is not very portable to other platforms, and this limits the range of institutions that can use the CSC 161 materials developed here. To address this issue, Mr. Walker worked with three students in fall 2013 to begin rewriting the C++ infrastructure in Standard C. This talk will outline the substantial progress made during fall 2013 and propose a subsequent MAP to the complete the Standard C infrastructure during fall 2014.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The presentation, “Bluetooth communications with Scribbler 2 robots: a progress report,” will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Monday Extra: "A C-based Introductory Course Using Robots"

On Monday, February 27, at 7:00 pm, April O'Neill, Erik Opavsky, Dilan Ustek, and Henry Walker (representing himself and David Cowden) will discuss their work from summer and fall 2012 in developing the robot-based structure and materials to support CSC 161.
Using robots in introductory computer science classes has recently become a popular method of increasing student interest in computer science. With faculty member, Henry M. Walker, we developed a new curriculum for CSC 161, Imperative Problem Solving and Data Structures, based upon Scribbler 2 robots with standard C.

We look forward to your feedback on our presentation because this will be presented at SIGCSE 2012 on Thursday!
The talk will take place in Science 3821 with cookies provided. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday Extra: A C-based introductory course using robots

On Thursday, September 15, David Cowden, April O'Neill, Erik Opavsky, and Dilan Ustek will give a talk in the "Thursday Extra" series:

Using robots in introductory computer science classes has recently become a popular method of increasing student interest in computer science. With faculty member, Henry M. Walker, we developed a new curriculum for CSC 161, Imperative Problem Solving and Data Structures, based upon Scribbler 2 robots with standard C. Come hear about
  • creation of a modular course structure
  • focus on imperative problem solving and C
  • wrapping of commands from C++ to C
  • inclusion of innovative pedagogy
  • sharing of software with the international community

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The group's talk, "A C-based introductory course using robots" will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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