Inquiry-Based Learning with RoboGen: An Open-Source Software and Hardware Platform for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

It has often been found that students appreciate hands-on work, and find that they learn more with courses that include a project than those relying solely on conventional lectures and tests. This type of project driven learning is a key component of “Inquiry-based learning” (IBL), which aims at teaching methodology as well as content by incorporating the student as an actor rather than a spectator. Robotics applications are especially well-suited for IBL due to the value of trial and error experience, the multiple possibilities for students to implement their own ideas, and the importance of programming, problem-solving and electro-mechanical skills in real world engineering and science jobs. Furthermore, robotics platforms can be useful teaching media and learning tools for a variety of topics. Here, we present RoboGen: an open-source, web-based, software and hardware platform for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence with a particular focus on Evolutionary Robotics. We describe the platform in detail, compare it to existing alternatives, and present results of its use as a platform for Inquiry-based learning within a master's level course at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

Published in:
IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies

 Record created 2018-05-09, last modified 2018-07-09

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)