Asee peer logo

Virtual Joystick Control of Finch Robot

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1360.1 - 24.1360.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


David R. Loker Pennsylvania State University, Erie

visit author page

David R. Loker received the M.S.E.E. degree from Syracuse University in 1986. In 1984, he joined General Electric (GE) Company, AESD, as a design engineer. In 1988, he joined the faculty at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. In 2007, he became the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Program. His research interests include wireless sensor networks, data acquisition systems, and communications systems.

visit author page


Stephen A. Strom Penn State Behrend

visit author page

Stephen Strom joined the faculty of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, and the School of Engineering in Fall 2010. He is a lecturer in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department and holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Steve comes to Penn State Behrend with more than thirty years experience in designing and programming embedded systems and has multiple patents for both hardware designs and software algorithms.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Virtual Joystick Control of Finch RobotJunior-level students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology program complete a3-credit Measurements & Instrumentation course. There are three main sections of the course:LabVIEW programming with data acquisition, sensors and signal conditioning, and design ofmeasurement systems. Weekly laboratory activities mirror the lecture materials. Part of therequirements in the course includes an end-of-semester team design project where one option is todesign and implement a software application for the Finch Robot. Students are provided LabVIEWSubVIs for all of the robot’s low-level functions (audio buzzer, tri-color LED, left/right motorcontrol, light sensors, obstacle detectors, temperature sensor, and tri-axis acceleration values) aswell as the corresponding DLL files to run the SubVIs. The objectives for the project are to utilizetheir LabVIEW programming knowledge to design a virtual joystick for controlling the speed anddirection of the robot. Additionally, the students need to display the pitch, roll, and yaw of the robot,and to audibly alert the user of the presence of an obstacle in front of the robot. This paper providesa detailed listing of the engineering requirements for the project and the functional test procedure forverifying proper operation. A student assessment form with results will be shown. The assessmentform included questions about the approximate time to complete the project, level of difficulty,areas of difficulty, appropriateness of project, and suggestions for improvement. An example ofstudent work is provided, and recommendations are included to help ensure student success on theproject.

Loker, D. R., & Strom, S. A. (2014, June), Virtual Joystick Control of Finch Robot Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23293

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: © 2014 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