Robotics Project 1

Due: Wed Oct10th

Overview: This is the traditional line following lab with a couple of twists. You will design and program a robot to search through a maze (essentially a line following lab). Use any method you like to program the robot.


This is your first project and your objective is to integrate sensor input and motor output to perform a simple line following task. You will have the opportunity to get used to some of the quirks of the robots and the fairly inexpensive commodity parts by using them in a straightforward introductory task. Your robot will need to continuously monitor sensors and act accordingly in real time with no external input from you.


Your materials are in the blue multiplo bins that you've been working with.

In addition to the multiplo set, you have two phigits IR reflectance sensors that you can use which I added to your kits at the end of last class.

Lab Availability:

For those of you who have card access setup (it should be all of you by now), you have access of the lab whenever Conant is open and the other class isn't meeting. 

Your Task:

Your group will build a multiplo/arduino based robot that will navigate a maze. Your maze will consist of a colored line on a contrasting background. Two sample mazes will be provided in the lab to practice on. One will be a silver line on a black background while the other is a black line on a white background. You should design your robot to navigate the maze as quickly as possible without skipping any of the maze or getting lost and running off of the maze.

On Oct 10th   each of the groups will demo their robot in class on a new maze that I will bring in at that time. Dead reckoning will not be an acceptable method of solving this task. You will need to use the  sensors to navigate the maze.

Your robot must run unteathered, and the IR remote receiver sensor cannot be used for this project.

The software environment:

For this lab we will be using the arduino C-like environment. 

Sensor Calibration:

You are not guaranteed a particular color for the line or the background in the final demo, you are only guaranteed that there will be a contrast as significant as that in the test maze. You should write your program so that you are calibrating the sensors before beginning the maze. Your group will be given a couple minutes to calibrate your robot's sensors before beginning the demo if you want to physically show your robot the colors.


Batteries each group will get 6 AA batteries for this project. If we find that this drains the batteries too soon, we;ll switch to rechargables.


Most of you have not used this particular style of building hardware so here are some official multiplo guides giving sample robot builds. Feel free to tweak any of them to be more of what you need than you see in the guide.

When you leave the lab for the day:

Remember that this lab is shared with other classes, so when you leave the lab for the day, you must return all of your materials to the shelves. Make sure that the sample maze is back near the wall (but still visible to other groups who might come in later.) Make sure  that your robot and parts kit is in your space. You are responsible if your group leaves your robot out on the table and it gets broken.

The Project report (one report per group - due the class after the demo day)

The project report is a report of what you tried to do, what you did, what you learned and what you accomplished. To make my correcting easier, let me give you guidelines on what I'd like to see in it. Make sure you use section headings to make each section easy to find.

Have fun:

Have fun and I look forward to seeing your finished projects in class next Month.