Santa Clara University s Robotic Systems Laboratory has developed a highly successful robotics-based undergraduate education program that provides a wide range of learning experience relating to computer science and engineering fundamentals. A key element of this program is the senior capstone experience, a yearlong project that is typically hands-on, interdisciplinary, and team-based. These projects provide a comprehensive educational environment by exposing students to the breadth of engineering, all phases of a development cycle, and the challenges of managing a group enterprise. Over the past four years, a number of these projects have made significant contributions to the Lab's research program in multi-robot systems, ranging from the development of key testbeds to the execution of significant experimental demonstrations. This article reviews the Santa Clara program, presents specific undergraduate contributions to our multi-robot research program made by senior capstone students, and details some lessons learned regarding the value of such robotics-oriented work in an undergraduate educational environment.
Subjects: 17. Robotics; 1.4 Design
Submitted: Jan 26, 2007