Staff profiles

Project lead
Professor Thomas Braunl
EEC, Engineering
Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Project outline

The aim of this project is to develop a new mobile robot simulation system, which can be used for student learning in unit GENG55O8 Robotics. Learning in Automation and Robotics usually requires expensive robot equipment, which is only available for a limited time during lab hours. Building a free simulation system for students will greatly enhance their learning and allow them to work on a virtual robot at home or on campus without any time or cost limitations.

The objective of the project is to build a new robot simulation system, which will be compatible with the new Raspberry-Pi based mobile robots, currently being used in GENG55O8 Robotics unit. The unit has significantly changed since it last ran in 2015 and the new format is to use a robot stimulation system to give students more flexibility in conducting labs and lab preparation. To account for exposure to real physical robots, a number of new robot systems have been purchased, which students will work on later on a semester-long practical group project.

The intention is that this new system will significantly improve student learning and also improve student satisfaction, as the limitation to fixed lab hours will be removed. Students will have unlimited access to the simulation system for learning. Also, a simulation system will open up new opportunities in research, e.g. for AI/Genetic Algorithms or Swarm Robotics (100+ robots), which are difficult to train using real robots alone. The plan is to offer the simulation system as free software to any other university in the world as a download from the UWA server. This will give UWA an extended exposure in developing teaching tools as well as in robotics research.

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