NSF Award Abstract - #9980873

Robotic Renaissance: Bridging Engineering, Art, and Science via Web Robotics

Carl F. R. Weiman Weiman@pcnet.com (Principal Investigator current)
Chih-Shing Wei (Co-Principal Investigator current)
Adrianne Wortzel (Co-Principal Investigator current)

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
41 Cooper Square
New York, NY 100037136 212/254-6300

NSF Program
Field Application
0000099 Other Applications NEC


Engineering - Electrical (55)

The essence of this project is to adopt mobile robotic technology from engineering and implement it in a fundamentally interdisciplinary education

environment involving the performing arts and design. The project is adapting the proven educational use of off-the-shelf robots and their previous

successful use of custom robots in theatrical performance. Traditional robotic pedagogy progresses from mechanisms and software to functional vehicles.

Little time is left for application development, and many talented non-engineering students cannot participate. This innovative undergraduate robotics

application environment by using off-the-shelf mobile robots, controlled via Web page interfaces requires no specialized systems experience. It is

providing productive cross-disciplinary participation and mutual enrichment of engineering and arts students. Users access HTML control panels via

standard Web browser such as NetScape(c) or Internet Explorer@. Mobile robots, wireless communication links, and PC computers with suitable server

and software is being used.

The educational aim is to provide an open development environment - free of operating system or platform expertise requirements - for students and

faculty in all academic disciplines to develop creative applications for mobile robots. By analogy, this is what browsers did for the Internet, revolutionizing

both commerce and culture while fueling further technical progress. Outcomes are enrichment of cross-disciplinary curricula in engineering and arts,

faculty development, and exciting applications including WWW robotic theatrical performances directed by a professional artist. Results are being

disseminated via Web and publications.