Teaching Bottom-Up AI From the Top Down

Christopher Welty, Kenneth Livingston, Calder Martin, Julie Hamilton, and Christopher Rugger

For many reasons, it is desirable to use robots in courses such as introductory computer science, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science, yet the knowledge normally required by students to make effective use of these tools is often prohibitive in such courses with well established curricula. We have developed a user interface that allows students with no prior experience or training in robotics to experiment with behavior networks in real robots, and then brings them down through the software and then the hardware involved. The interface is still in the early stages of development, and has been tested somewhat in a Cognitive Science course, but more widespread use is expected.

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