Mobile Robotics

Using Lego RCX, Lego NXT, and Rug Warrior Pro Robots


Robots are fun! Watching small mechanical creatures scurrying about, resolutely pursuing some course of action is engaging. Unlike computer simulations that encourage us to enter the computer’s virtual world, robots operate in the real world, where they are bound by the same constraints that we are.


The course addresses introductory through advanced concepts in robotics. Topics covered include history and pioneers in the field, sensors, mechanics, electronics, machine architecture, micro controllers, languages, and artificial intelligence. 


Students will build mobile robots using LEGO Mindstorms. These robots have a microprocessor and infrared, touch, and visible light sensors. They can be programmed, using a simple built-in language, to respond to the environment and perform designated actions.  Both Lego and Rug Warrior Pro (described below) were designed at MIT and are used world-wide in both high schools and colleges to teach the concepts of mobile robotics and computer science. A major advantage is that both robots are relatively easy to use and understand.  


We then use a more advanced robot – Rug Warrior Pro – that understands the Interactive C programming language. This robot also has a microprocessor and is able to respond to sound, touch, visible, and infrared light.  Students will write programs to interpret the sensors and send signals to the microprocessor of the robots, directing them to perform various actions.  


Some programs will be provided for the robots, while others will be written by students and used in competitions ranging from robots playing billiards to those engaged in battle bots.    Pictures  Instructor  Lego Projects  RWP Projects