An Introductory Robotics Workshop                   2/14/03  T. Grant –NASA, ARC

These are resources for a 4-8 hour workshop to introduce educators to LEGO robots and a free, user friendly programming environment for creating robotic actions.  The workshop was piloted as two 2-hour afternoon sessions and evaluated as a success.  Its titled “Successful Strategies for Robotics”.  Here is an overview of the resource materials in these downloads:

1. Two Powerpoint documents are included:

 ‘[   ] Successful Strategie..> 30-Jan-2003 08:41   203k ‘

and ‘IC4_Robo_sw_intro-1-..> 30-Jan-2003 08:41   245k’  

The first is just a title slide for the material – useful as a title page if you are printing copies.  The second provides the formal presentation material in the workshop. 

-         It shows the agenda.

-         It lists websites for finding hardware building and programming aids, and robot competition challenges.

-         It provides a hardware and software architecture diagram.

-         It gives a brief (2 slide) intro to the need for written project requirements, strategy and plans, assuming that the students have been formed into a team. ( a whole course could be devoted to just project management: please contact KISS Institute for a set of viewgraphs on this topic.)

-         It then begins and introduction to the Interactive C (IC4) programming environment, which leads participants through a simple program example to the actual use of the IC4 environment with a mobile robot (see below)

-         It also covers the syntax for the basic functions

-         After the first exposure to IC4 the workshop lead should then return to these viewgraphs to describe a “Sumo” competition examples, which define the simple requirements and then adds the requirement to start the sumo robots remotely by sensing a light.

-         It defines the requirements for configuring a sensor and calibrating it with a threshold and code to trigger on a light.

-         A second example of simple “Line Following” competition is also defined with requirements and example of commented code.  (Its doubtful that a beginning workshop would get to the line following example in an 4 or 5– hour period.)


2. Next we have 5 JPEG files which show the visual parts list for the LEGO robot

[IMG] Parts-1-r.JPG           30-Jan-2003 08:41    46k 

[IMG] Parts-2-r.JPG           30-Jan-2003 08:41    58k 

[IMG] Parts-3.JPG             30-Jan-2003 08:41    51k 

the light sensor subassembly;

[IMG] light_sense_assembly..> 30-Jan-2003 08:41    23k

and the fully assembled robot with the Mindstorms controller.

[IMG] RCX-389.jpg             30-Jan-2003 08:41   165k 


3. Two subfolders are included:

One , labeled ‘IC4 Code’, has more code examples and the other,

labeled ‘h-w build sequence’, is a sequence of JPEG images to lead participants  through the assembly of the workshop robot pictured above. The robot is used to test the introductory code and the competition challenges.

4. The IC4 Code folder has the following files:

[   ] new.ic                  30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k 

[   ] simple_f-b_RCX_v1.ic    30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k 

[   ] simple_f-b_RCX_v1t.ic   30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k 

[   ] simple_f-b_RCX_v2a.ic   30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k

[   ] simple_f-b_RCX_v2-1.ic  30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k 

[   ] simple_f-b_RCX_v2-sp.ic 30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k 


These are all variations on code to simply make the robot go forward and then return.  ‘new.ic’ only goes forward for 2 seconds, then stops.  Version ‘v1.ic’ goes forward and back based on time, ‘v1t.ic’ uses the touch sensors to switch direction and to stop.  Version ‘v2a.ic’ displays a program name and waits for the prgm button to start the action, or repeat the action.  Version v2-1 illustrates a two word display while waiting for the “start” or prgm button, and v2-sp allows the operator to change the speed with the view button while waiting for the prgm button to start the action.


[   ] stop_watch-i.ic           30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k

[   ] stop_watch.ic

Two short programs to illustrate a stop watch using the real-time clock in the RCX operating system. (The ‘-i’ version only counts to 32 seconds, however, due to 16 bit capacity of integers.)


[   ] Sumo6_wt.ic             30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k

A sumo program with start from prgm button, after 3 seconds, and a strategy to void the other robot.  It assumes a black line near the edge of the board to warn if going out.


[   ] sumo_RCX-adj_trigger..> 30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k

A simple sumo program with pre start adjustment to set the threshold for sensing a starting light. 


Simple-line-fol-rcx-..> 30-Jan-2003 08:42     1k

A simple line following program meeting the presentation requirements when running with the workshop robot.