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The Robot Doctor

  • Fred Vigeant

The Robot Doctor joins WITF’s afternoon Learning at Home schedule on television.

Pennsylvania Public TV and RobotWits are partnering to provide The Robot Doctor to extend robotics and mathematics lessons to students who may not have access to the Internet. It broadcasts on WITF Thursdays at 5pm.

The goal of this series is to teach the basics of Robotics: the what, why, and how with examples, and to provide take-home problems to solve.

Each 14-minute episode includes a lesson assignment. Participating teachers can use the series to collect the assignments and make The Robot Doctor part of their curriculum through the end of the 2020 school year.

The Robot Doctor is hosted by Dr. Jonathan Butzke, Lead Robotics Researcher at RobotWits, a Pittsburgh-based company that develops state-of-the-art technologies for a diverse set of autonomous decision making tasks. Dr. Butzke obtained his Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University where he worked in the Search-Based Planning Lab. His research activities include aerial and ground vehicle coordination, exploration of unknown environments, and the hardware design of numerous robots.

Episode list:
Lesson 101- Robotics: An Introduction
Design elements and how they relate to the purpose of a robot.

Lesson 102 – Sense – Plan – Act Framework
How a robot can break down its tasks into sensing the surroundings, planning what to do next, then executing that plan.

Lesson 103 – Robot Measurements: How do I measure?
Looking at different ways to measure distances, speeds, time and other items important to robots.

Lesson 104 – Robot Localization: Where am I?
How a robot can keep track of its position as it moves and how to update that position with math using ranges to known landmarks.

Lesson 105 – Robot Motion: How can I move?
How a robot can move around using legs, wheels, or other methods. Also, using math to predict where a robot will be in the future – given a model of the robot and the equations of motion.

Lesson 106 – Robot Vision: How do I see?
How a robot can sense the world around it by using cameras, including how to tell the distance to objects seen by two cameras.

Lesson 107 – Robot Sensing: How do I sense?
How a robot can “see” the things around it without using cameras. Converting polar coordinates to cartesian coordinates in order to make a map.

Lesson 108 – Following a Line
How we can control robots’ motors in order to follow a line – including a curved line

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