APPLICATION OF SMALL MOBILE ROBOTS AS IMPROVEMENT OF THE MOTIVATION OF THE ENGINEERING STUDENTS
The convergence process inside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has supposed an important change in the paradigm education/learning inside the educational area. A key and dynamic element in the learning of the students is the utilization of a didactic motivating strategy that is capable of creating the intention of learning. The motivation of the student is fundamental in the education of diverse areas of knowledge and especially the associated with the Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The subjects of the plans of study manage different contents vertical, studying in depth the knowledge and technologies inside a specific area, but normally without establishing relations with the contents of other matters. All that causes that the students have many partial visions of the technology, without having an integration global vision that in addition is necessary. This integration vision improves the motivation of the students and provides conscience about the utility of the learned. On the other hand, the utilization of small electronic devices applied on autonomous mobile robots appears as a multidisciplinary dynamic and flexible science that one adapts adequately to the aims of the EHEA. What facilitates the integration of knowledge associated with diverse disciplines in the Engineering and it promotes the motivation of the students as key element for the education/learning process.
The suggestion here exposed proposes the application of the Project/Problem Based Learning PBL on the development of small mobile robots of low cost. The subject matter wakes up the curiosity of the students and it stimulates them the challenge of designing an autonomous robot that carries out a simple task more or less efficient. This way the development of electronics systems applied on the robots -colloquial called MicroBots- appears as a multidisciplinary science that one adapts adequately to the marked aims; on the one hand it allows to the professor to apply diverse educational innovative methodologies and on the other hand the students are clearly motivated for developing ability and competence related to this knowledge discipline. With the application of this type of educational methodologies the students develops another type of competences such as: the teamwork, the information search, the analysis and/or synthesis capacity, the leadership... As platform of educational support and e-learning is used ADD/Moodle; the procedure uses many resources multimedia and interactive explanations.