ROAM Teacher Introduction by 3e6gVny

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									ROAM Module Teacher’s Introduction                       Rochester Institute of Technology 8/10/2012



ROAM Teacher’s Introduction
When looking at the current engineering community, there is a great shift moving away from the traditional
methods of system actuation. More and more, companies are no longer looking towards the often synthetic,
man-made designs to accomplish a goal, but rather at nature, which for the past millennia has been, in it's
own way, designing through iteration some of the best structures, meta materials and control systems that
have ever existed. These example range from the energy collection parameters of a typical leaf, to the
bacteria resistant scale structure of a shark and even the feet of the gecko, whose utilization of inter-
molecular properties allow it to scale essentially any surface.

The Rochester Institute of Technology Open Air Muscle Project, or ROAM, was developed during the summer
of 2012 through the Rochester Institute of Technology's Summer Undergraduate Research Program. This
curriculum utilizes past experiences and the successes of other bio-engineering curriculums to create a self-
sufficient curriculum on McKibben Air Muscles, non-electromechanic actuators that simulate human muscle
cheaply and effectively in a wide array of environments, or a curriculum which can be integrated into other
engineering and robotics programs.

The goal of this project is to create an Open-Sourced curriculum that will be hosted through RIT, but open for
further modification and use by teachers throughout the world. Components seen in this project are open for
manufacture with citation and can be fabricated in a variety of ways or have their materials substituted out
based on situation, time, funding, etc. This complete curriculum contains:
   Modules 1-4 (Each a self-sufficient section dealing with some aspect of bio-mimicry and McKibben Air
      Muscles)
   Advanced Modules A-C of information that everyone from students to administrators may be interested
      in, such as ordering information, further applications of air muscles and troubleshooting methods
   Designs for Fabrication of:
        o A fully independent Hand and Forearm Demonstrator Unit
        o A fully independent Arm and Shoulder Demonstrator Unit
        o Designs for a Universal Control Box capable of handling one of the demonstrator units
   Software for a variety of Programmable Logic Controllers such that a Universal Control Box Is not
      needed and the program can be ran without one.
   Designs and Software of relevant control systems, such as Sensor Gloves

It is intended that the Rochester institute of Technology has materials on hand and can be delivered for local
curriculum access, but individuals further away may order parts to be made and shipped to them for their
own individual use or fabricate their own based on the designs in this curriculum.

This curriculum is designed to be used on a variety of participants/students, ranging from a suggested age
of seven/grade 2 to seniority. The curriculums are designed to be a starting point, where it will be up to the
teacher of the group to modify as needed, but all curriculums feature the same kind of flexibility. Before
every major instructional module, there is a lengthy introduction that is suggested reading for all teachers
that will not only give you insight into all issues and concepts that will be explained to students through that
module, but also allow you to answer questions or upgrade the instructional level of the curriculum

This curriculum is designed so that the modules can function independently of the other and based on the
make-up of your class, the size and the time requirements, you can pick and choose what modules to
implement and use. Suggested Tracks are below
ROAM Module Teacher’s Introduction                       Rochester Institute of Technology 8/10/2012


Track 0: Micro Class
Time Requirement: 15
Group Size: 5-15
Itinerary and Comments:
Module 1-Bio Mimicry-Condensed
Module 2-Air Muscle Assembly-Full
This is the simplest variant of this curriculum designed to be done very cheaply and quickly. Give students a
brief, 3 minute introduction to the concept of biomimicry, talk about the uses and design of air muscles and
let them build simple air muscles. Use zip ties in this variant so that cycle time only involves clipping off the
zip ties and replacing them at the end of the course. Play around with how mnay topics you discus to get the
right amount of time to elapse.

Track 1: Introductory Only
Time Requirement: 15-30 Minutes
Group Size: 5-25 Participants
Itinerary and Comments:
Module 2-Air Muscle Assembly
Module 4-With demonstrator units pre-assembled and able for students just to slide their air muscles
directly into the assembly. Allow, depending on size, for students to control the assemblies, or let the
systems run through a pre-done program of your choosing.

This is designed for maximum in and out education, with little focus on the in-depth aspects of bio-mimicry.
Imagine if you have a group coming in really quick and then heading out, unable to carry much or just
expressing a fleeting interest in bio-mimicry, this track is perfect for this. Students come in, learn about air
muscles, see a few of them in action and then make their own, fitting it into a demonstrator unit. They don't
have much context, but seeing it, understanding it, building it and then seeing it in action is a fairly
substantial and creates nice connections.

Be wary of: time constraints and time limits. You may want to call things short to prevent participants from
getting way to excited and difficult to control

Track 2: Standard Class
Time Requirement: 30-90 Minutes
Group Size: 5-15 Participants
Itinerary and Comments:
Module 1-Bio-Mimicry Introduction
Module 2-Air Muscle Assembly
Module 4 -End of Class Exercises with pre-assembled demonstrator units, or open it up so that students can
take part in the other end of class activities. Try the activity to assemble their own hand out of regular
materials, legos, etc. Also, allow them to control the robotic elements of the demonstrator either through the
control computer or possible sensor glove.

This is designed to get kids really involved, which is important for this time length, and rely on teaching a
good foundation later when they've tried something out, expressed interest and decided to come back. This
would be great for a quick seminar for younger or older students as well as administrators and faculty/staff
who are interested in the program, and want a functional rather than a technical knowledge

Track 3: Full Morning
Time Requirement:90-180 Minutes
Group Size: 5-10 Participants
Itinerary and Comments:
ROAM Module Teacher’s Introduction                     Rochester Institute of Technology 8/10/2012


Module 1-Bio-Mimicry Introduction
Module 2-Air Muscle Assembly
Module 3-Control System
Module 4 -End of Class Exercises, you choice od designs and experiments. Try letting participants start out
making their own robot hands and equipment and then allow them to assemble the demonstrator units,
which only requires a little tooling. That way, they get a good deal of education on bio mimicry and how the
controls work, and then get to apply it in generating their own demonstrators and systems. Consequently, it
will create a nice situation where there is education, analysis and then application, essential requirements
for any good program of education. Use the break if you have one to create a nice divide between the
assembly of the air muscles and the actual projects and end of class exercises.

This track is designed to be rather comprehensive look at and application of bio mimicry. It requires the most
supplies and time commitments of all the previous tracks but is deigned to fill up an entire morning with
rather structured, and very usable activities. What is generated is a program that has a very natural end and
beginning, with decent pacing throughout. This is what this was designed for and excels at this kind of time
and resource commitment.


Track 4: Full Class/Full Day
Time Requirement: 180-360 Minutes
Group Size: 5-10
Itinerary and Comments
Module 1-Bio-Mimicry Introduction
Module 2-Air Muscle Assembly
Module 3-Control System
Module 4 -End of Class Exercises, you choice od designs and experiments. Try letting participants start out
making their own robot hands and equipment and then allow them to assemble the demonstrator units,
which only requires a little tooling. That way, they get a good deal of education on bio mimicry and how the
controls work, and then get to apply it in generating their own demonstrators and systems. Furthermore, let
them become really excited and create a competition, where each team is given a control system and they
have their five muscles and ask them to accomplish some task. Keep the competition light and friendly, but
allow the to have fun and be creative. Authorize the use of things like Lego mindstorms to allow them to play
around and design their own solutions to problems. More information is outlined in the Module 4-End of
Class Exercises Section. Consequently, it will create a nice situation where there is education, analysis and
then application, essential requirements for any good program of education. Use the breaks if you have one
to create a nice divide between the assembly of the air muscles, projects and competitions.

This track is by far the most intensive, combining the comprehensive look of air muscles and bio mimicry
with competitive spirit and exploration. This to requires a similar amount and kind of supplies to allow
students to explore a variety of concepts and components on their own time through competition and
exploration with end of class activities.

Track 5: Integration into Pre-Existing Robotics/Engineering Curriculum
If you already have a pre-existing engineering curriculum I would recommend to integrate this later in the
week after the concepts of the control system are discussed and students have plenty of time to internalize
the concepts. For example if you are managing a week long course, I would recommend doing this
curriculum on a Thursday or Friday morning to allow students to explore the concept. In that instance, I
would just do Air Muscle assembly and control systems and then directly into your analogous end of class
exercises where students can integrate what they know to complete a task. I would recommend, as I
outlined in Module 4, a situation where students combine legos, robotics and mindstorm together and make
ROAM Module Teacher’s Introduction                     Rochester Institute of Technology 8/10/2012


a robot that will drive autonomously to a position with a tether and then use an air muscle system to grasp
and item and bring it back.
ROAM Module Teacher’s Introduction                    Rochester Institute of Technology 8/10/2012


Acknowledgements

Our thanks go out to the previous educators and individuals who developed their own Air Muscle curriculums
and gave us insight and guidance as to how to generate our own, guided, defined one.

Further thanks goes to the faculty, administrators and students of Rochester Institute of Technology who
over the past decade has allowed, supported and maintained constant research and discovery into the
application of McKibben Air Muscles through thesis papers, senior design projects and general research.
Notably, it was the work of Dr. Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard who helped maintain this research.

								
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