Using Educational Robotics to Motivate Complete AI Solutions

  • Lloyd Greenwald
  • Donovan Artz
  • Yogi Mehta
  • Babak Shirmohammadi


Robotics is a remarkable domain that may be successfully employed in the classroom both to motivate students to tackle hard AI topics and to provide students experience applying AI representations and algorithms to real-world problems. This article uses two example robotics problems to illustrate these themes. We show how the robot obstacle-detection problem can motivate learning neural networks and Bayesian networks. We also show how the robot-localization problem can motivate learning how to build complete solutions based on particle filtering. Since these lessons can be replicated on many low-cost robot platforms they are accessible to a broad population of AI students. We hope that by outlining our educational exercises and providing pointers to additional resources we can help reduce the effort expended by other educators. We believe that expanding handson active learning to additional AI classrooms provides value both to the students and to the future of the field itself.