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A Case Study on a Capsule Robot in the Gastrointestinal Tract to Teach Robot Programming and Navigation

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4 Author(s)
Yi Guo ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Stevens Inst. of Technol., Hoboken, NJ, USA ; Shubo Zhang ; Ritter, A. ; Hong Man

Despite the increasing importance of robotics, there is a significant challenge involved in teaching this to undergraduate students in biomedical engineering (BME) and other related disciplines in which robotics techniques could be readily applied. This paper addresses this challenge through the development and pilot testing of a bio-microrobotics case study that can be integrated into curricula in BME, electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and other disciplines. This case study is based on the existing technology of wireless capsule endoscopy and centered on a “grand challenge” of building a capsule robot to navigate the human gastrointestinal tract to detect abnormality or to destroy malignant tissues. First, a conceptual design example for building such a capsule robot is presented, followed by a laboratory module that demonstrates robot navigation techniques using Webots simulation. The case study introduces robotic technologies, including robot building components, operating modes, and behavior-based programming, and students experience robot simulation in the laboratory module. The case study developed was pilot tested in three BME and ECE courses at the authors' institution. The evaluation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the case study in enhancing students' understanding of robotics, interdisciplinary skills, and critical thinking. The case study is shown to support challenge-based learning, which promotes adaptive expertise through rapid knowledge building and innovation.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 2 )