Asee peer logo

Mobile Robots And Interdisciplinary Design Mobots

Download Paper |


1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.387.1 - 4.387.6

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Mahlon Heller

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2520

Mobile Robots and Interdisciplinary Design - MOBOTS

Mahlon D. Heller, Ph.D. Electrical & Electronic Engineering Department California State University, Sacramento 6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6019 Voice: 916-278-6873 Fax: 916-278-7215


An engineering curriculum challenge is to create an environment in which engineering problems can be solved using different strategies or variations to a common approach and that has a team component. This paper discusses the construction of Mobile Robots (MOBOTs) in the Electronic and Electrical Engineering undergraduate robotics laboratory of California State University, Sacramento that contains interdisciplinary engineering design. The course is open to all engineering and computer science students with a sufficient background. The MOBOT is composed of a based mobile platform (Brawn) driven by two motors on which is mounted an embedded microprocessor board with various sensors (Brain). Interactive C (IC), developed at the MIT Media Lab, is used to program the MOBOT for autonomous operation and non- autonomous tests. During the lab periods, MOBOT teams are formed to construct the MOBOTs with the major objective of competing in the MOBOT Olympic Games at the end of the semester.


The main focus of the Robotics Laboratory is to provide a "systems" experience for the students by having them construct a Mobile Robot (MOBOT) on which are various sensors, steering motors, power, and an embedded microprocessor and which can operate autonomously by executing downloaded IC code. IC was developed at the MIT Media Lab by Randy Sargent with assistance by Fred Martin. Newton Labs at http/ on the web has extended IC.

Two students are assigned a MOBOT to construct. If there is an odd number of students in the course, three students will be assigned to construct a MOBOT. This paper describes the activities performed by the students during the lab periods which are to 1) construct the mobile platform for the MOBOT to familiarize them with mechanical components such as motors, wheels, gears, and gear ratios, 2) mount the MOBOT Brain on the MOBOT Brawn platform that includes light-sensing photo resistors, bumper switches, sound-sensing microphone and motor-driver circuitry, and a MC68HC11 system with a LCD, 3) determine the maximum MOBOT carrying capacity, maximum ramp slope for the MOBOT, and torque/speed curve for

Heller, M. (1999, June), Mobile Robots And Interdisciplinary Design Mobots Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1999 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015