Max class size: 20
Duration: 2 hours
Venue: Lewin Lab (Specialised electronics lab)
Contact: Dr Stephen Laycock
Robotics are used throughout the world to automate manufacturing, help in situations which endanger human life and are even used in space. Some examples are the introduction of robots to fire services to enter burning buildings, bomb disposal robots and un-manned drone aircraft for military use. In this course we look at the basic process of automating a set of responses to change when given a stimulus. The result is a simple Lego robot capable of fulfilling a task assigned to it.
The course starts with a presentation on the Lego Mindstorms™ Robotics system and a working prototype is demonstrated. The robots are already constructed and are used each year with student work doing similar things. The robots are programmed using a high level programming language called NXC (not exactly C), this gives the students a basic introduction to programming and high level languages, although the task is made much simpler by the development environment used.
Most of the course is of a practical nature and focuses on problem solving, logical thinking and team work. The students must learn how to write a program which will respond to input from sensors around the robot and perform pre-defined actions when this occurs. At the end of the course a certificate is presented to the group who have created the best working program.