Multidisciplinary Microrobotics Teaching Activities In Engineering Education
AbstractWithin the College of Engineering at RIT, a small nucleus of faculty from four different departments have been quietly developing expertise in the area of MEMS and Microrobotics by working on multidisciplinary projects of mutual interest at various levels. This paper discusses our experience in teaching microrobotics by designing multidisciplinary projects for undergraduates and their integration with research and graduate students. It also discusses the broader impact of these activities on various levels of students. The activities can be categorized in three levels: undergraduate teaching, graduate research, and clubs and organizations. This paper explores our experience in developing these projects and related research, including our lessons learned so far, and our plans for the future. Some statistical data are also provided to show the broader impact of these multidisciplinary microrobotics teaching and research activities on the students. The paper starts with a discussion on learning styles and how teamwork and multidisciplinary projects tie to theses learning styles. Then, multidisciplinary microrobotics projects are explored including their organizational structure and their ties to the existing research. In section 4 the effect of multidisciplinary microrobotics projects on research and teaching integration is discussed. Clubs and student organizations are presented in Section 5, specifically Multidisciplinary Robotics Club. Section 6 presents the broader impact of these projects in terms of curriculum development, student population, and retention. Finally, the paper is summarized and conclusion obtained from these projects and educational experiences in Section 7.