Introduction to Robotics

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Preface[edit | edit source]

This course is going to be broken up into logical instructional units that will generally correspond to a university-based course of study. No rigid time line will be enforced, although the ordering of the material should be maintained. Each block of material will roughly correspond to 1 or two weeks of combined lecture and lab. Teachers should feel free to break this material up as needed to maintain the pace of the class.

This course will require that students have access to a BoeBot, or similar device. BoeBot's can cost approximately 150$ for a complete startup kit. Because of the expense it will be tempting to have multiple students in a group. However if the groups are too large, there will be a tendency for some students not to participate as much as others. Groups should be kept to 2-3 students each.

Part 1[edit | edit source]

Computers require very precise and simple instructions to operate. As a programmer, you need to think about tasks in terms of these simple instructions. As an example, can you think about how to teach a computer to make a sandwich? Explain how to build a regular sandwich (ham sandwich or Peanut Butter & Jelly) in as simple steps as possible.

Part 2[edit | edit source]

On the first page of the wikibook Robotics, read the section Defining Robotics.

Which of these studies would be considered robotics based on this definition?

  1. Studying the strength and flexibility of a titanium alloy used to make a robotic arm?
  2. Integrating sensor data from sonar, laser, and CCD cameras and to build an accurate map of surroundings?
  3. The real-time software needed to drive two motors to make a robot go in a straight line?

Classify each of these as a robot, a mechatronic device, a machine, or something else?

  1. A spam email filter.
  2. A garage door opener.
  3. A remote controlled boat.
  4. A 1970's automobile.
  5. A current model automobile which includes lane-following.
  6. An Apple IPod.
  7. An actor in a silver suit.

Part 3[edit | edit source]

On the first page of the wikibook Robotics, read the section Defining Robots. Next, read the page Types of Robots. Name the various types of robots, and if possible name an example of each. Retrieved from ""

Teaching Materials[edit | edit source]

Learning Aides[edit | edit source]

Syllabus[edit | edit source]

Block 1[edit | edit source]

Block 2[edit | edit source]

Block 3[edit | edit source]

Block 4[edit | edit source]

Block 5[edit | edit source]

Block 6[edit | edit source]

Block 7[edit | edit source]

Block 8[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Beer, Randall D.; Chiel, Hillel J.; Drushel, Richard F. "Using Autonomous Robotics to Teach Science and Engineering", Communications of the ACM, June 1999, Vol 42, Number 6.
  • Parallax, Inc. "Basic Stamp Manual Version 2.0", 2000. ISBN 192898200X
  • Lindsay, Andy, "Robotics with the Boe-Bot", Version 2.2, Parallax Inc, 2003. ISBN 1928982034
  • b:PBASIC Programming
  • b:Robotics

External links[edit | edit source]