Workshop on Research in Robots for Education

Where:Georgia Tech - Klaus Building Room 1447 (details in conference program)
When:June 30 2007
Extended Abstract Submission: May 10 2007 May 18 2007
Acceptance Decision: June 5 2007
Final Paper Due:June 20 2007
Community Wiki

The landscape of robots in education has continued to change since the 2005 RSS Robotics Education Workshop. Over the last two years, there has been a noticeable spike in interest in the use of robots in education. For example: robots are discussed as platforms for education at leading conferences and workshops such as SIGCSE and AAAI; Universities are integrating robots into their classrooms; Robot- centered competitions like FIRST, BotBall and RoboCup continue to flourish. Industry is interested as well: iRobot recently announced the Roomba Create; LEGO has updated their popular Mindstorms robot; And leading companies including Google, Intel and Microsoft have funded a variety of university projects in computer science education, including a multi-million dollar center.

What is the basis for this excitement? What is the evidence that robots in the classroom advance education? The focus of this workshop is to provide a venue for presentation of the research supporting (or contradicting) the effectiveness of robots in education, and to help shape future research in this area.

In particular, the workshop will explore how robots are used differently as educational tools, in terms of hardware, software, pedagogy, and assessment, in different disciplines (e.g. ME, EE, CE and CS) and why certain types of robots may be more effective for different purposes. As an example, many teachers take a constructionist approach in which students build their own robots, while others provide students with a working platform that they should not change.

The workshop will also explore new curricula and robot platforms and the research behind them. The objective of this workshop is to re-evaluate the state of the art of robotics education and discuss how to continue the broad adoption of tools and materials in the classroom. As part of this discussion, we will explore what areas remain unsolved, and which are immediately available for realistic use. Moreover, we hope to create a community beyond the workshop for future exchange of ideas.


We encourage educators and researchers to submit extended abstracts (2-pages) detailing recent research results in technology, pedagogy, or assessment for educational robotics. Submitted extended abstracts will be peer reviewed with ten authors being invited to contribute full papers (6 pages) and others being selected for poster presentations. Authors wishing to participate only in the poster/demonstration session should indicate this clearly in their extended abstract. The full papers and poster extended abstracts will be published in an online archive.

2-page extended abstract in PDF format (email to with subject RSS-RobEdu)

Doug Blank (Bryn Mawr College)
Maria Hybinette (University of Georgia)
Keith O'Hara (Georgia Tech)
Daniela Rus (MIT)
9:00 - 9:10 Introduction (organizers) [ppt]
9:10 - 10:30 Participation Session
  • Susan Crowe. Experience with Robots for Education at the High School Level.
  • Michael Dumont (Ian C. Tewksbury, Jessica D. Bayliss, and Rajendra K. Raj). Games or Robots? Restoring Excitement to Introductory Computing. [pdf] [ppt]
  • Fred Martin (Sam Christy, Ivan Rudnicki, Emily LIn, and Douglas Prime). The iCode System: An On-Line Curriculum, Programming, and Design Portal for Student Microcontroller and Robotics Projects. [pdf] [ppt]
  • Fred Stillwell. Experience with Robots for Education at the Middle School Level.
  • Jerry Weinberg (Jonathan C. Pettibone, Susan L. Thomas, Mary L. Stephen, and Cathryne Stein). The Impact of Robot Projects on Girls Attitudes Toward Science and Engineering. [paper-pdf] [pdf] [ppt]
  • Joel Weingarten (Daniel Koditschek, Haldun Komsuoglu, and Chris Massey). Robotics as the Delivery Vehicle: A contexualized, social, self paced, engineering education for life-long learners [paper-pdf].
10:30 - 10:55 Coffee Break
10:55 - 12:15 Platforms Session
  • Monica Anderson (Laurence Thaete, and Nathan Wiegand). Player/Stage: A Unifying Paradigm to Improve Robotics Education Delivery. [paper-pdf] [pdf] [ppt]
  • Kristie Brown. LEGO Robot Education Platforms. [pdf] [ppt]
  • Marco Morales (Aimee Vargas Estrada, Jyh-Ming Lien, and Nancy M. Amato). Vizmo++: A Visualization, Authoring, and Educational Tool for Motion Planning. [pdf] [ppt]
  • Eric Schweikardt (and Mark D. Gross). roBlocks: Understanding Emergent Complexity from the Bottom Up. [pdf]
  • Stewart Tansley. Microsoft Robotics Studio as a Robot Education Platform. [pdf] [ppt]
12:15 - 13:15 Lunch
12:45 - 13:45 Lunch
13:45 - 15:15 Pedagogy Session
  • Doug Blank. Personal Robots for CS-1. [pdf] [ppt]
  • Michael Gennert (David Cyganski, Michael Ciaraldi Michael Demetriou, Brad Miller, Yiming Rong, Lance Schachterle, Kenneth Stafford, and Gretar Tryggvason).A Robotics Engineering Major. [paper-pdf] [pdf] [ppt]
  • Aaron Dollar (and Daniela Rus). The Robotics OpenCourseWare Project. [pdf] [ppt]
  • Wen-Jung Hsin. Assembly Programming using Simple Mindstorms RCX Robots. [paper-pdf] [pdf] [ppt]
  • Fred Martin (Hyun Ju Kim, Linda Silka, Holly Yanco, and Diana Coluntino). Artbotics: Challenges and Opportunities for Multi-Disciplinary, Community-Based Learning in Computer Science, Robotics, and Art. [paper-pdf] [pdf] [ppt]
  • Jesus Savage Carmona (and Emmanuel Hernandez). The Use of the ViRbot System to Teach Principles of Software Programming and Mobile Robots. [pdf] [ppt]
15:15 - 15:40 Closing