Instruction Guide: Introduction to Lego RCX Robot Construction

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Introduction to Lego RCX Robot Construction Chuck Smith

The following labs are an introduction to building Lego RCX robots. Chuck Smith’s background is as mid 1970’s high school biology teacher. His lab design is a more traditional science inquiry from that era. This is an old fashion paper lab. Sorry, no Camtasia presentation. However, students are asked to answer discovery questions at the end of each lab. If you like a hard copy as record of student work… this lab is for you.

The following labs were designed to help in the initial construction of the robot. It is up to you to design a programming lab. Chuck used the “Can Do”, “follow the line”, and “inclined plane”.

These labs could be adapted for elementary, middle school, or high school.

Chuck modified these ORTOP beginner’s labs in 2004 for use with the local 4-H, after school, and visiting teacher programs.

He used them to teach three to five 1-2 hour classes.

The average age groups were 4th – 5th grade. However, these labs were used successfully with high school students. The program was successful with both English and Spanish speaking populations.

Chuck used 10 RCX systems in teams of 2-3.

Since Chuck had a maximum of 5-10 hours with the students, Chuck wanted a fast way to get the kids into building robots so he could concentrate on the programming.

Acrobot Battery lab Shows how to install batteries
Acrobot lab 1

Discovery lab

Uses canned “brick” programs to demonstrate the motor’s clockwise/counterclockwise rotation

Acrobot lab 2

Discovery lab

Uses hand held touch sensors to let kids remote control the movement of the robots. Helps kids understand how motor rotation controls the direction of robot

Acrobot lab 3

Discovery lab

Uses light sensor.

Demonstrates how to calibrate the light sensor

Skidder lab 4 The skidder is built with a light sensor to be used in the “follow the line” lab. It includes an optional gearing section. On a hard, smooth surface, a skidder turns more consistently than a third wheel.
Dozer lab 5 Dozer’s are cool… …but, not necessarily quick. You can use it in the “Can Do”, “follow the line”, and incline plane programming labs.
Programming Lab 6

Discovery lab

Introduction to programming using Robolab

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