Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

July 13, 2021 JetBot in Engineering Context

Hello, it’s Jonathan, the camera man. Today I would like to introduce an activity that the second-year students have been working on in Engineering Context class. Perhaps you have seen some of these pictures on our twitter account with small robot cars. These are open-source AI robot platforms called “Jetbots.” They have a NVIDIA Jetson Nano microcomputer on a chassis with various sensors, and can be programed to be controlled or move on their own.

JetBots are a new activity from this year in the Engineering Context class, introduced by Hayato Ogawa sensei. Activities such as programming, robotics using Lego EV3, and various IT technology are becoming common even in public schools nowadays, and Hayato sensei was looking for a more advanced hands-on project that involved both mechanical and AI technology. ICT and KIT have worked with Raspberry Pi in the past and Hayato sensei had always wanted to try the more powerful microcomputer Jetson Nano. It is beginner friendly with many easy examples to follow. However, the hurdle that ICT students have to overcome is the English reading. JetBots only need small changes to the program to make them work, but the online instructions are in high-school to university level English, which some of the students struggle to fully understand. Teachers help the students with this and conduct quizzes to make sure they are following along.

In this portion of the Engineering Context class, students each receive one JetBot, which they 1) learn to program and move, 2) make a data set, and 3) create a collision avoidance program. This is done by using the camera attached to the JetBot to take pictures of obstacles (the red cones you see in the pictures) and teaching the program to turn away or go through them if there is an opening. The final assignment is for students to submit a video of their robot safely maneuvering around the cones.

This activity is similar to the problem-solving activity students did in Engineering Design class, in that it is also a hands-on based project. However, one large difference is that the JetBot activity is a topic “given” to the students. This is good practice for the students if they enter industry after graduating for ICT. Not only is it an introduction to mechanical engineering and AI, but it teaches them the importance of accurate/good quality data and how to distinguish useful and unnecessary information. “In addition, they might work on automated cars in the future. In that case, they may realize that the accuracy of their data could save lives” Hayato sensei remarked. When I asked his impression on this new JetBot activity, Hayato sensei said “The English reading is difficult for some students, but the guidance of the teachers helps them by emphasizing key points they are looking for.” Once again, I believe the global faculty at ICT will always be one of our strong points.



こんにちは、カメラマンのジョナサンです。今日は2年生がエンジニアリングコンテクストの授業で取り組んでいる活動について紹介したいと思います。国際高専のツイッターなどでこの小さなロボットの写真を見たことがあるかもしれませんが、NVIDIAのマイコンJetson Nanoをシャーシに搭載した「JetBot」と言い、赤外線、超音波、距離センサーなどを備えたAI自律型ロボットカーです。

JetBotがエンジニアリングコンテクストの授業に導入されたのは今年からです。近年は公立の学校でもプログラミングやレゴEV3などのロボット系の授業が行われており、担当のハヤト・オガワ先生が機械やAI技術を取り入れたさらに高度なハンズオン・プロジェクトを探していました。以前、国際高専と金沢工業大学が共同で行った猿撃退プロジェクトでラズベリーパイを使用したこともあり、ハヤト先生はよりパワフルなJetson Nanoに興味を持っていたと言います。使いやすいように様々なプログラムが用意されていて初心者に優しいのですが、ハードルとなるのは英語のリーディングです。インターネットにある説明文はすべて高校~大学レベルの英語で書かれているため、読解に苦戦する学生もいます。これに対して、先生たちはフォローを行ったり、細かくクイズを出題などして、学生たちの理解度を確認しています。




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