A Visual Tool for Computer Supported Learning: The Robot Motion Planning Example

A. Elnagar and L. Lulu (UAE)


Computer aided learning, robot motion planning, collisionavoidance, and computational geometry


We introduce an effective Computer Aided Learning Vi sual Tool (CALVT) to teach graph-based applications. We present the robot motion planning problem as an exam ple of such applications. The proposed tool can be used to simulate and/or further to implement practical systems in different areas of computer science such as graphics, computational geometry, robotics and networking. In the robot motion planning example, CALVT enables users to setup the working environment by creating obstacles and a robot of different shapes, specifying starting and goal po sitions, and setting other path or environment parameters from a user-friendly interface. The path planning system involves several phases: collision detection, obstacle avoid ance, free-path generation, and then selecting the shortest one. Each of these modules is complex and therefore we provide the possibility of visualizing graphically the out put of each phase. Based on our experience, this tool has been an effective one in classroom teaching. It not only cuts down, significantly, on the instructor's time and effort but also motivates senior/graduate students to pursue work in this specific area of research.

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