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This paper describes the design and implementation of a tool for experimenting with mobile robotics concepts, primarily for use by children and teenagers, or by the general public, without previous experience in robotics. This tool helps children learn about science in an approachable and interactive way, using scientific research principles in captivating activities that help the child develop problem-solving skills within his group. This initiative seeks to spark interest in scientific and engineering careers as a response to diminished enrollment in such courses by young students. The application of this tool was tested on groups of people ranging from schoolchildren to college students with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of robotics experience and knowledge. The following performance parameters were measured: time to build the robotic platform, time to finalize challenges, and the percentage of challenges successfully accomplished.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2010