GSCI101 General Science COURSE

WELCOME

Students should visit this page for general advisories and course updates.

This is a course designed to satisfy the goals and objectives for Cluster 3 (Mathematics and Science). These ideas will be explored by examining the current state of robotics. The successful development of machines capable of completing complex tasks as autonomous entities or as remotely controlled machines requires input from all science and mathematics.  From the examination of biological systems that provide nature’s solutions to various engineering problems to the complex mathematics and engineering that are used to solve problems for flight, robotics provides an excellent overriding theme.

The plan for the fall of 2012 is to examine the field of robotics through hands-on projects based on the Arduino system. Lectures will then attempt to address some of the basic science as well as discussions of any material assigned. 

Since this a new version of this course there may be adjustments made during the semester to address student feedback and the instructor’s perception of the effectiveness of  the methods employed.

We may be entering the “Age of Robots”.  Significant advancements in both the mechanical and computing arenas seem to be opening a door for significant advancements.  Whether or not the field continues to grow and profoundly impact our daily lives or encounter difficulties that delay progress, this seems to be an ideal time to see where we are and where we are going.  A true appreciation of these developments will require some mastery of basic science.  To appreciate the challenges and the dramatic achievements one needs to have some grasp of the essence of science and mathematics.  Therefore students can expect to grapple with basic notions such as motion, force, energy, materials, and computing.

If you are interested in some presentations designed to explore this frontier watch the following videos:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/a_robot_that_flies_like_a_bird.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/rodney_brooks_on_robots.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/michael_shermer_on_believing_strange_things.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/catherine_mohr_surgery_s_past_present_and_robotic_future.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/paul_root_wolpe_it_s_time_to_question_bio_engineering.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/caleb_chung_plays_with_pleo.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/heather_knight_silicon_based_comedy.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/juan_enriquez_shares_mindboggling_new_science.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html

 

Interesting physics book: http://muller.lbl.gov/teaching/physics10/PffP_textbook/PffP-01-energy-2008.pdf

 

 

Syllabus

Guideline Summary (required reading)

 

Previous GSCI101 fall 2011 & sp2012

IMPORTANT DATES

1

Test 1

Oct 10

2

Test 2

Nov 17

3

Final

Exam week

HW

 

 

 

HW1 (Force & motion)

due Friday September 28

 

HW2 (Force & Energy)

due Friday October 12

 

HW3 (elec.)

due Nov. 15

 

HW4 (circuits)

due Nov30

 

Extra (see  below)

due Nov 15

Outline:  ------------------------------------------

DRG will try to put some outlines and comments about each week’s work.  It may not be possible to keep the web site up-to-date so notes taken in class may be necessary to kep track of all of the material covered.

Brief summary of material presented

 

 

lecture

lab

WK

Day

 

 

1

M

guidelines

guidelines, equipment voltmeter, power supplies

 

W

Motion

 

F

Motion

2

M

Motion

circuit diagrams, resistors, wires, LEDs

 

W

Motion

 

F

Motion

3

M

Force

1st look at the Arduino, phystu network drive,

 

W

Force

 

F

Force

4

M

Force

driver, downloading code, blink

 

W

Energy

 

F

Energy

5

M

Basics hooking up circuits

blink, fade

 

W

Sensors

 

F

Energy

6

M

Review

motors, switch sensor, soldering

 

W

Temperature/Heat

 

F

Heat/power

7

M

REVIEW

your choice. work on some aspect of circuits, control, sensors and/or programming.

 

W

TEST

 

F

no class

8

M

review test

discuss platform (mechan. struc.)

 

cont. work fading, switch sensor, motor shield motor

 

W

revew test

 

F

review test

9

M

review test

same cont.working om control and sensing motors, fade, switch discuss platforms and see if there are stuents interested in designing.

 

W

gen.intro E&M theory vs speculation,  paradignm shifts, spectacular adv., future predictions

 

F

Basic interactions,matter

10

M

NA  (storm)

Build a robot with two motors and two switch sensors.

Students should proceed slowly and carefully to develop control and sensing hardware, an algorithm, and the structural elements.  All groups need to complete and show a working robot by the end of the semester.

 

 (10/31)W

More basic theory matter &forces

 

F

E&M grand relationship

11

M

electric force

 

W

 

 

F

 

12

M

 

 

W

 

 

F

 

 

 

 

13

M

 

 

W

 

 

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEEK1: Policy& Introduction

Week 1

Multimeter (voltmeter) discussion

circuit diagrams, units [M,k...], models

Week 2

Week 3

force

Energy chapter from Physics for Future Presidents

Week 4

Money Model For Energy

Week 5

      Good link for      Sensing and Sensors (pdf)

 Week 6

Week 7

Building your robot

Test Wednesday Oct 10, 2012

·    calculator allowed

·    ruler, protractor allowed (straight lines must be straight and neat)

·    formula sheet will be generated by formulas submitted by students

o request accepted until Tuesday Oct 9 @ 5:00 PM

·    review notes on this site

·    READ chapter on energy posted above and get clarification if there are areas of difficulty.

Cover: force, energy, motion, programming Arduinos, sensors, simple circuits.

 

test 1 solution (week 8)

Movies are excerpts from “Beyond the Mechanical Universe”. The full programming is available on request (purchased by JMU physics).

E&M movie 1-emwaves

E&M movie 2-field_lines

E&M movie 3-Maxequations

E&M movie 4- waveprop

E&M movie 5- waves_emspectrum

 

Week 9

Weeks 10,11,12

Student can write a one page paper relating the differences between science, speculation and religion.  While students may put their own views and can critique the ideas presented in class the paper must clearly describe the classroom discussion and explain how these areas do not necessarily come into conflict for all people.

Weeks 12, 13

Week 14

More Circuits

 

 PDF version     Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers

Karl Johan Aström, Richard M. Murray

Chapter 1  section 1.1-1.2,

section 1.3: Early Technology, Power Generation, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Networks and Computing and

section 1.4

 

 

 

LON CAPA ******* 

Homework, quizzes and assignments will be provided on line through the LON CAPA system.  If a student encounters problems he/she should email Dr.Giovanetti with a brief  description of the problem.  Assignments and quizzes can be reset provided there is timely notification.

 

 

Units

SI

Mechanics

Motion (position,velocity, acceleration)

 

Vectors (adding forces and velocities)

 

Force (Newton’s Laws)

 

Energy, Power, Power sources

 

(Energy chapter from Physics for Future Presidents)

E&M

Fundamentals (E-fields, B-fields, electric and magnetic forces, charge, N-S poles, field sources, electric currents).

 

Electric circuits (voltage, current, resistance, Ohm’s law, power, DC circuits (parallel and series), AC signals, logic.

 

 

Robotics

Sensors, motors, microprocessors, control, feedback

 

Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers

Karl Johan Aström, Richard M. Murray

Chapter 1  section 1.1-1.2, section 1.3: Early Technology, Power Generation, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Networks and Computing and section 1.4

 PDF version 

Hands-on

Program an arduino for a basic function

 

Control motors

 

Integrate sensors and respond to input

 

 

The course will address the goals and objective for GSCI 101 as described by the General Education Program      Cluster 3 (Mathematics and Science)

The material will be integrated and therefore not presented in the order listed.

 

Units are important and we will use a standard set called the SI units.  Students can obtain a list of the basic units and use the list at any time during the semester.  There will occasionally be some times when units will need to be converted from one system to another  (feet to meters) but more importantly units may need to be understood. For example, the product of force and distance [Nm] can be a form of energy.  Should one push an object energy can be transferred to that object. Students therefore need to understand that in SI units 1J=1Nm 1 Joule is delivered through the work of a 1 Newton force on an object that moves 1 meter.  These relationships will be discussed as needed.  There are not many units used so having a list of these and there definition should be straightforward.

 

Motion is a great place to start.  We all need to understand motion in order to survive.  We need to be able to avoid obstacles such as moving vehicles and we need to navigate our environment.  If our goal is to build a device that moves around we need to be able to describe and evaluate motion.  Our first goal will be to clarify common notions of motion so that they are defined in a scientific matter.