This paper focuses on the key role played by the adoption of a framework in teaching robotics with a computer science approach in the master in Computer Engineeering. The framework adopted is the Robot Operating System (ROS), which is becoming a standard de facto inside the robotics community. The educational activities proposed in this paper are based on a constructionist approach. The Mindstorms NXT robot kit is adopted to trigger the learning challenge. The ROS framework is exploited to drive the students programming methodology during the laboratory activities and to allow students to exercise with the major computer programming paradigms and the best programming practices. The major robotics topics students are involved with are: acquiring data from sensors, connecting sensors to the robot, and navigate the robot to reach the final goal. The positive effects given by this approach are highlighted in this paper by comparing the work recently produced by students with the work produced in the previous years in which ROS was not yet adopted and many different software tools and languages were used. The results of a questionnaire are reported showing that we achieved the didactical objectives we expected as instructors.
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