ITcon Vol. 17, pg. 416-433, http://www.itcon.org/2012/28

Using robot kits for teaching railway engineers

published:September 2012
editor(s):Xiangyu Wang and Robert Klinc
authors:Yung Cheng Lai, Assistant Professor,
Transportation Group, Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University.
yclai@ntu.edu.tw

Hung Lin Chi, Ph.D. Student,
Computer-Aided Engineering Group, Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University.
hlchi@caece.net

Wei Choung Cheng, Ph.D. Student,
Computer-Aided Engineering Group, Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University.
anthony@caece.net

Shih Chung Kang, Associate Professor,
Computer-Aided Engineering Group, Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University.
sckang@ntu.edu.tw
summary:This paper describes a methodology that uses robot kits for teaching railway engineering. Currentrailway engineering courses focus more on the theories of railway design and management. The lack ofhands-on experience of students may result in design defects in practice. Automation and Robotics, an optionalcourse designed for senior students in the Department of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University, wasspecifically designed as a 4-week courseware for training future railway engineers. In addition to studying thetheory of railway control systems, students were required to implement a railway control system using the robottoolkit LEGO Mindstorm NXT, and the robot platform Microsoft robotics developer studio (MSRDS). After the4-week course, as a final project students were divided into six teams and demonstrated their automatic traincontrol (ATC) systems. From the project demonstration, we found that the designs of all six teams wereconceptually very similar, differing only in certain characteristics. Four of the six teams successfully deliveredstable ATC systems. According to feedback obtained from the questionnaires, students had a very positivelearning experience. Therefore, the authors conclude that the incorporation of these hands-on trainingtechniques into advanced design courses will be very successful.
keywords:Railway Education, Robotic, Automatic Train Control
full text: (PDF file, 1.067 MB)
citation:Yung Cheng Lai, Hung Lin Chi, Wei Choung Cheng, Shih Chung Kang (2012). Using robot kits for teaching railway engineers, ITcon Vol. 17, Special issue eLearning 2.0: Web 2.0-based social learning in built environment, pg. 416-433, http://www.itcon.org/2012/28