Title

Robotic Football Dance Team: An Engineering Fine-Arts Interdisciplinary Learning Experience

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

10-2016

Abstract

With the increasing focus on the importance of interdisciplinary projects in the academic setting, it still seems as if most of these projects are either collaborations between disciplines in the STEM fields or collaborations between disciplines in the Liberal Arts fields. Despite the fact that they complement each other, a significant barrier still exists between STEM and Liberal Arts students. This paper describes the joint work of three Electrical and Computer Engineering students with one Fine-Arts student on an extracurricular project. In preparation for the robotic football competition, a team of our Engineering students decided to create a robotic dance team to complement the football playing robots. In order to create this team, Engineering students assembled, calibrated, and programmed a team of ten robots. Multiple Fine-Arts student were recruited but only one joined the team to help with the music selection/creation and other aesthetic aspects of the robots. The interdisciplinary nature of the collaboration highlighted the need to knock down some of the barriers between the technical and Fine-Arts disciplines. The team dynamics showed that students from different disciplines need to get out of their respective comfort zones and collaborate for the sake of their projects. The paper includes a full description of the project and a review of the lessons learned from the collaboration.