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The Race For The Lunch Line And Other Stories: Lego Based Controls Projects For Biological Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Trends in Biological & Agricultural Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1158.1 - 8.1158.13



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Paper Authors

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Saba Choudhary

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Naz Azadi

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Mike Ratino

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Lauri Kreeb

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Jason Congdon

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Paul Schreuders

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

Session 1554

Control Systems in Designing and Programming a Robotic Ant Paul D. Schreuders, Naz Azadi, Lauri Bennett, Saba Choudhary,

Jason Congdon, Mike Ratino

University of Maryland, College Park

Abstract Control Systems are employed in robotics to successfully achieve a desired task. The main objective of this project was to challenge the Biological Systems Control class to learn and implement control techniques in the designing and programming of a robotic ant. The class was presented with three different challenges and each group applied its own design and programming approach. Legos were used to design the ant and then RoboLab software was used to program it to successfully meet the challenge.

Introduction Control Systems A control system is a collection of interconnected components that can be made to achieve a desired response in the face of external disturbances. The study of control systems is an integral component of the engineering curriculum for the design and analysis of high performance robotic systems. Control systems can be of two types: open-loop or closed-loop. In an open-loop system, the response of the system is determined only by the controlling inputs. On the other hand, a closed-loop system operates on a self-regulatory mechanism by employing feedback to the control system. Feedback can be of two types: positive and negative. When feedback is employed, the output from the system is sensed and fed back to the input where it can regulate the input variable accordingly (Khoo, 2000).

Robotics A robot is defined as a reprogrammable manipulator designed to move materials, parts, tools, or specialized devices. This multifunctional machine can be engineered and programmed to perform a variety of tasks in industry as automotive devices. In this way, humans themselves do not have to perform the tasks, but can easily regulate the robots to achieve the desired goal.

Robotics is applied to many fields including biological systems. For example, mechanical robots that can act as limbs can be employed in biological systems as arms and legs. Current research at various institutes, including the Johns Hopkins University, show that robotics can be employed for the design of medical systems such as surgical instrumentation.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ” 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Choudhary, S., & Azadi, N., & Ratino, M., & Kreeb, L., & Congdon, J., & Schreuders, P. (2003, June), The Race For The Lunch Line And Other Stories: Lego Based Controls Projects For Biological Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11705

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