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ECE Robotics - Mindstorms meets Matlab
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Freshman Engineering Robotics Project:
Mindstorms meets Matlab
College of Engineering and Science
Clemson University, USA
Freshman Engineering Robotics Project instructed by Darren Dawson at the The Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering and Science, Clemson University.
In this ECE robotics project, student teams will learn engineering and design principles by building and programming robots with Lego Mindstorms and MathWorks? MATLAB. The Mindstorms kits allow for easy construction of advanced robots complete with servo motors and a variety of sensors. Using MATLAB, a mathematical programming tool widely used in industry and academia, to control the robots opens up a vast feature set beyond that provided by the basic Mindstorms software.
MatlabIn? the first part of the class, students implement several preliminary experiments to learn the basics of controlling the robot's motors and reading from its sensors with MATLAB. These sensors include touch, light, color, and ultrasonic. Also, MATLAB and its built in image processing functionality makes possible the use of a standard webcam as an additional sensor. After gaining a firm understanding of the fundamentals of design and the use of the Mindstorms and MATLAB toolbox, student teams compete against each other by designing, building, and programming a robot to accomplish a given task in a design competition. Possible competition projects include an automated forklift or a self balancing "Segway" robot.