Using Robotics to Introduce AI Topics to a Wider Audience

Susan Eileen Fox

The Robotics Lab at Macalester College has been used for many of the usual pedagogical applications: to enrich an undergraduate course in Artificial Intelligence, and to teach programming and AI topics at the introductory level to both majors and non-majors. Of more interest has been its great success in providing tools for individual and group projects, and the exposure of students outside AI or computer science to AI topics through activities sponsored by the lab. Many individual projects stemming from the lab have been presented to the larger community through department events and were received with great enthusiasm. Extracurricular robotics competitions have drawn in a wide range of students as spectators and participants. And ties to the Neuroscience Studies program have permitted students with primary interests in Psychology or Philosophy to engage with robotics and artificial intelligence in an effective manner.

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