Lab Exercises


Suggested tasks for lab work

Below are listed the suggested tasks for tackling in the lab in the runup to the project


Task 1: Simple Robot Navigation

Using the basic IntelliBrain controller, build a robot that explores the lab - without getting stuck. This may sound simple but it is actually quite difficult. The purpose of this exercise is to get you used to the IntelliBrain, sensors and effectors. You should have this completed by the end of the first week.

Task 2: Vision Exercise

Connect a CMUCam serial camera to the robot developed in task 1. Extend your program so that the robot locates and follows a brightly coloured object in the lab. The purpose of this task is to familiarise yourself with the CMUCam and the image processing abilities of the IntelliBrain. Note: Care should be taken when calibrating the camera to ensure objects are identified tracked accurately.

Task 3: Signal processing exercise

Try to locate an object from an "IR sweep". Mount an infrared distance sensor on a servo on the front of a robot. Write an IC program that sweeps the sensor through about 90 degrees, and take about 30 or 40 readings during the sweep. Use the data that is returned to try and identify simple objects (e.g. balls). Also look at the behaviour of the data in strange situations - near walls, corners etc.

Task 4: Planning the Project

Start thinking about the practicalities of the task you have chosen or the assigned task. For the latter, specific things to look at would include:

  • Designing methods by which you could grab/drag/carry the items in the arena.
  • Start working on methods to identify the different items using the camera, IR sensors, and other sensors.



More information


The following documents provide more information about what is expected in the laboratory sessions:
  • The lab rules: [pdf]
  • Information about how you will be assessed in lab sessions: [pdf]
  • Some advice on keeping your labbook with some sample writeups: [doc]