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Lack of learning resources and mentorship in robotics

  • Divya,Rashmi,Nandini,Anushka
  • Robotics is a rapidly growing field. Actuators, motors etc. are elemental to today’s robotics. As technology advances, the designing, inspection and building of robots are serving various purposes. It’s not just limited to navigating unmapped environments. Recently, researchers developed a robotic system to relieve chronic pain. (Treat back, neck, head pain caused by soft tissue injury.) The thermal camera is being used to identify major hotspots. This implies that innovation must happen on multiple fronts.
    But the main challenge which develops while inculcating knowledge about robotics among students is the lack of learning resources and mentorship. 
    While there is a plethora of literature pointing toward positive student engagement and learning in robotics, less attention is given to mentor involvement and their impacts on student development in this field.
    And the girls are majorly affected as this field of robotics is still a male dominating and this is very evident from the fact that in  maximum competitions like robo-con etc. we merely see girls in the teams and forget about the all-girls team.
  • Target audience are the students of colleges which don't have robotics society and face difficulty in finding resources and mentorship.Especially girls who don't get so much exposure in this field.

    User Persona:

    From our personal experience, whenever we faced/encountered an issue we were not able to rectify/pinpoint the mistake(Hardware and Software).  These problems include:
    1. Usage of new Sensors like QTRSensor(Reflectance Sensor).
    2. Techniques to control various aspects of the robot including speed and smoother detection.
    3. Advanced concepts of Arduino.
    We found it difficult to solve these problems as we were not exposed to proper guidance and resources.
    We seek to provide exposure to the students which will impact student learning and influence their experience. Another advantage is having an increased rate of the use of new technologies and knowledge trickling down to students.
  • For validation of our problem statement, we did a survey of our college students and got to know that they really feel the lack of mentorship and resources in our college. Statistics are as follows:

    Q1. Have you got stuck while doing your projects?                                                                                                                                         

      ans. 73.7 % people said YES while 21.3 said MAYBE.

    Q2. Have you ever felt the need for a mentor while doing a high-level project?                                                                                               

     ans. 100% people said YES.

    Q3.Ever wanted to participate in the robotics competition but couldn't due to lack of resources and guidance?                                     

    ans. 91.5% students said YES and rest 8.5 % said NO.

    Q4. Do you feel there should be a robotics society in the college?                                                                                                                     

     ans. 93.6% students said YES.

    Q5. Would you be interested in joining the robotics club if it is started in our college?                                                                                   

    ans. 80.9% students said YES and 19.1 said MAYBE.

    Some students shared their views as follows:

    Student 1. The college definitely needs to support robotics as its field of ECE.

    Student 2. There should be a rover society in our college like inferno in DTU.

    Student 3. Start this as soon as possible as we want to explore ourselves in field of robotics.

    Student 4. A lot of exposure is required for the same.

    Student 5. I'm stuck with my line following robot

    Student 6: There should be a robotics society.

    Student 7: There is a deliberate need for such action to be taken, to for a society that can mentor and make us believe that we can not only dream off high projects but can also achieve it.

    Student 8:Also they will not allow to do projects in library or any other labs (like no hardware here).and there is only theoretical knowledge no practical that too we loose after exams.it will be a good initiative if society like this starts 

    From the above response, we conclude that students feel lack of mentorship and resources in this field , to make advanced robots.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sBm9uNG6pVGOUkZZST7bHRHdMqdHg7Di

    The above-mentioned link is the pictorial representation of the response we got after the survey was completed.

  • Existing User Journey:

    Due to lack of proper mentorship and guidance, our college students were unable to build basic Autonomous Robots.

    In many competitions, it was witnessed that teams were able to construct advanced Autonomous Robots by proper counselling (guidance). This was because of proper established societies which assisted them in the creation of robots and challenged them to do better. But our college students are deprived of this ,due to which they tend to give up and leave the ambition of making robots .

    New User Journey:

    Our objective is to come up with a platform which will impart knowledge and mentorship to students especially girls so that they are able to make Autonomous robot.

    We will teach them how to make Autonomous Robot from basic to advance,tending to focus on Line Following Robot with QTR sensor.

    We also seek to create an online platform which will contain online lectures i.e applications and websites which can benefit many students.

     We will be uploading regular tutorials regarding assembling and construction which will further incline them to make more high level robots.

    This will in turn motivate them to explore new domains in the robotics field and triumph in competitions.

October 19, 2019

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