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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AERIAL APPLICATION RESEARCH FOR EFFICIENT CROP PRODUCTION Title: Broaden Engineering Technology students' knowledge through hands-on with motion robotics

Authors
item Wang, Yonghui -
item Lan, Yubin
item Lian, Jianao -
item Cui, Suxia -

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2012
Publication Date: September 15, 2012
Citation: Wang, Y., Lan, Y., Lian, J., Cui, S. 2012. Broaden Engineering Technology students' knowledge through hands-on with motion robotics. Proceedings of ASEE AC. 2012-5398.

Interpretive Summary: Modern farming requires making increasingly complex scientific, business, and financial decisions, so qualified workers with advanced education/training in diversified technology background are in high demand. Thus, it is extremely important for higher education institutions, especially minority serving universities, to offer appropriate education opportunities for students to prepare them for their future careers. A special topic robotics class was developed for Engineering Technology students to prepare students for a successful professional career in diversified technology. The course featured general introduction to agricultural robotics, theory and technology behind motion robotics, hands-on experience with motion robotics, and incorporated on-going research with USDA-ARS scientists. Through this robotics course, the students will enhance their opportunities in the job market by gaining knowledge of the advancements in agricultural robotics technology, which is becoming more widely used in the labor intensive agricultural industry.

Technical Abstract: The skills and knowledge that employers value most are not always well-aligned with undergraduate engineering technology programs. With the support of a federal grant, we identify and propose to broaden the undergraduate student experience to include training in transferable skills with agricultural robotics technologies. With the advancement of information technology and control theory, agricultural robotics technology is becoming more advanced and more widely used in the labor intensive agricultural industry. Modern farming requires making increasingly complex scientific, business, and financial decisions, so qualified workers with advanced education/training in diversified technology background and highly demanded. Thus, it is extremely important for higher education institutions, especially minority serving universities, to offer appropriate education opportunities for students to prepare them adequately for their future career. As a relatively new discipline, Engineering Technology is the application of engineering principles and modern technology to help solve or prevent technical problems. The programs are designed to meet the growing need created by the technology revolution for college-educated problem solvers who can support the engineering process. Thus, the ET program is featured with its emphasis on hands-on skills training, to enable ET students to solve production and system implementation problems and help them explain solutions. Therefore, to prepare the students to meet the industry requirements in the job market, it is urgent to update the educational curriculum along with technology trend in the ET program. To better fulfill the departmental primary purpose to prepare students for a successful professional career in diversified technology fields, in the current phase of the project, a special topic class is offered to the Engineering Technology students. The course is featured with general introduction of agricultural robotics, theory and technology behind motion robotics, and hands-on experience with motion robotics. This paper introduces the current progress and implementation strategies on this course and discusses the future plan of the project in better aligning the goal of the department to that of the sponsoring agent.

Last Modified: 8/2/2014