New educational series "The Robot Doctor" airing on PBS every Wednesday @ 7:30pm
"The Robot Doctor" airing Wednesdays, 7:30pm on PBS
RobotWits is partnering with WQED, a consortium of Public Broadcast stations, and PA Rural Robotics to create customizable no-tech, low-tech, and hi-tech STEM content to support educators and families during school closures and beyond. Watch The Robot Doctor every Wednesday through June 24 at 7:30 pm on WQED-TV, your local PBS station, or online here.

RobotWits Education

Creating Engaging and Accessible Robotics Education Content

Educational Series

RobotWits is partnering with WQED, a consortium of Public Broadcast stations, and PA Rural Robotics to create customizable no-tech, low-tech, and hi-tech STEM content to support educators and families during school closures and beyond. Watch The Robot Doctor every Wednesday through June 24 at 7:30 pm on WQED-TV, your local PBS station, or online here.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 101

Robotics: An Introduction

A quick introduction video for basic robotics that covers the different design elements: Locomotion, end-effectors, and appearance of a typical robot. Discusses the pros and cons of different options and why a particular combination may help the robot to perform its assigned task better or faster.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 102

Sense, Plan, Act Framework

Introducing the Sense, Plan, Act Framework for describing the process a robot goes through when trying to accomplish its assigned tasks. The SENSE phase is when the robot gathers information - where am I?, am I done? Once the robot gathers the information, the next step is to PLAN- what action and how to perform that action. Finally the robot executes the plan during the ACT step.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 103

Robot Measurements

How do robots measure? What kinds of things do they need to measure? In this lesson, we will discuss how robots use the metric system as their system of measurement and explore how they measure distances, angles, and time. We will walk through how to calculate the distance to objects if we know the time it took for light to leave the robot, bounce off the object and return to the robot. Finally, we will see how trigonometry can be used to determine how long a robot arm must be, or how high of a table can be reached by a robot with a simple arm.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 104

Robot Localization

How do robots determine their location? In this lesson we will explore a three step process to find the position by 1) finding at least 3 nearby landmarks with known positions 2) determine the robot's range to each landmark using onboard sensors and 3) calculate the intersection point of the 3 range circles to find the robot's position.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 105

Robot Motion

Robots need to move, but how do they determine how far to turn the wheels to get where they want? In this lesson we explore the equations of motion for differential drive robots. We will walk through how to derive these equations as well as talk about some of the possible wheel configurations a robot could have.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 106

Robot Vision

How do robots see? How do they transform what the cameras sense into meaningful data? In this lesson we will discuss the pinhole camera model for cameras and see how a robot can use that to find the distance to a nearby object using a stereo camera setup.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 107

Robot Sensing

How do robots sense their surroundings? How do they keep track of where obstacles are? In this lesson we will examine how robot sensors work and see how that information is stored in a convenient, easily updatable format that accounts for errors in the robot measurements. We will use conditional probability to calculate the updated values after we get a measurement and see how to store this in an occupancy grid.

The Robot Doctor - Lesson 108

Robot Controls

How do robots follow a line? How do they know how to correct for errors or disturbances as they try to follow a path? In this lesson we will explore how a robot can use vector math to determine which side of a line it is on, and how far away the line is. We will also see how the robot can use this information as part of a Proportional Feedback Controller to constantly update the motor commands to account for any errors that may occur and successfully follow a provided trajectory.


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RobotWits Education Overview

Robotwits LLC is leading the development of robotics education content – including a video series the "Basics of Robotics: What, Why, and How, with Examples and Take-Home Problems.” The Pennsylvania Department of Education, the PA Rural Robotics, and RobotWits have partnered to connect the excitement of robotics and AI to PA high school math curriculum.

Video Lessons

Includes 30-minute video lessons format provides supplemental math lessons that reinforce critical concepts.

Makes Connections

Links math competencies to careers and connects students to a world of innovation and discovery that is accessible to them.

Positive Influence

Provides inspiration and motivation by tying mathematics to cutting-edge technologies (drones, autonomous vehicles, humanoids).

Basics of Robotics

What, Why, and How, with Examples and Take-Home Problems

  • Part One: Supplemental educational activities for high school students aimed at helping them to explore the very basics of Robotics, populated with illustrative examples from real robotic systems and simple take-home problems.
  • Part Two: Supplemental educational content and support for teachers
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Meet the Team

Meet the team of experts working to create engaging and accessible education content.

Dr. Jonathan Butzke

HOST, CURRICULUM DESIGNER AND PRODUCER

Jonathan’s primary responsibility is teaching programmers the intricacies of planning for autonomous vehicles. He 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. Prior to his Ph.D. studies, Jonathan was a submarine officer.

Dr. Maxim Likhachev

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Maxim is a Research Associate Professor with the Robotics Institute and National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), both part of School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. He is also an adjunct faculty at the Computer and Information Science department at University of Pennsylvania and a member of the GRASP laboratory.

Ms. Rachel Burcin

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Rachel Burcin provides strategy, partnership development, and management solutions to industry, international organizations, and educational institutions. With a special focus on robotics & AI, her work has included global talent acquisition & development, customized training as well as organizational development strategies. For the past fifteen years, Rachel developed international recruitment, education, and research initiatives at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. Rachel serves as co-director of the RI Summer Scholars Program and global programs manager at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. She has developed educational programming solutions for the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations (UN), UNESCO Associated Schools Program, and the UNESCO International Bureau of Education. Rachel holds a master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Public Policy & Management. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in economics (including study abroad and work experience in Slovakia). Teaching, working, and/or living on four continents has made working across boundaries and disciplines second nature for Rachel. All of these experiences are united by a deep commitment and unique approach to empowering individuals and creating impact for organizations.