Registration is open for UIC’s Robotics Summer Camp
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Registration is open for UIC’s Robotics Summer Camp. Hosted by the College of Engineering, the summer camp is set for June 25 to July 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the college’s Engineering Research Facility, 842 W. Taylor St, Chicago IL 60607. It is open to qualified middle and high school students with an interest in robotics technology.
The summer camp is an opportunity for students to learn in a research laboratory environment and get hands-on experience with state-of-art robotics technology.
During the two-week session, students will build a self-driving four-wheeled Mecanum car kit, which has four independently driven wheels via DC motors and gear reducers. They will install sensors needed for a self-driving car, ultrasonic range/obstacle sensor, line tracking sensor (like a vision system), and wireless communication (Wi-Fi/Bluetooth). The embedded controller is an Arduino board (ATmega 328 microcontroller), and programming language will be implemented in C/C++. MATLAB and Simulink programming also will be discussed during the session.
“Robotics is in the process of revolutionizing the way we produce and the way we live,” said camp director and Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Professor Sabri Cetin, of Forest Park. “Within a decade, we can envision 100% automated factories, farms, self-driving cars, and trucks. Therefore, it is very important that we educate the young generation on the robotics technology. The impact of robotics technology in everyday life is coming to reality much faster than anyone expected. Questions of elimination of jobs by robotics is a different topic. Suffice it to say that, we think, for a prosperous world, we must help accelerate the integration of robotics, not resist it.”
Cetin is the camp director and participants will be working directly with his Ph.D. students Babak Shahian-Jahromi, of Oak Park, Syed Ameen Hussain, of Schaumburg, and Burak Karakas, of Chicago.
“Last year, we had a successful camp with students programming the car-kit from ground-up using Arduino, and trying various maneuvers using the kit” said Ameen. “The kids were exposed to latest coding techniques in Arduino, using the same to implement an ultrasonic sensor to sense the environment and programming the motor actuators. They were enthusiastic to implement advance codes on the kit and go up the next level. Overall, they were eager to come back the next year to learn more”
“Robotics, along with AI (artificial intelligence), self-driving cars, etc., are without a major topic in higher education,” said Karakas. “We are offering a basic introduction to driverless cars and its technology. We already see a lot of companies working on autonomous car technology. Imagine the possibilities if children enter college equipped with some robotic knowledge.”
The summer camp will conclude with a competition to see who can make their car drive a test-range with obstacles. The car needs to detect and safely finish the course with minimal travel time.
The two-week camp will cost $1,100 for a two-week program. The camp is limited to 50 students, and lunch will be provided to the participants.