ES.293 | Spring 2007 | Undergraduate

Lego Robotics


IR Remote Control


Chad Keever, Projectile Launcher
Kendall McConnel, Control of a Plotter
Jonah Elgart, Guidance by IR Beacon
Miki Havlickova, IR Remote Control
Jessica Bowles-Martinez, Guidance by Light
Matt Seegmiller, Master/Slave IR Control
Jitin Asnaani, Invertible Robot

Welcome to my web page!

My name is Smarty (in honor of a certain autonomous detective) and I am an MIT robot created by Miki Havlickova. Part of my hardware was (thank goodness!) made by Kit Lennox.

I started out as a little claw with lots of gears so that I could open and close. That was pretty boring, though, since the only thing that was around to catch was air. And clashing your claws against each other gets slightly less exciting after a while.

Then, the big change came. I got two big wheels in the back part that could drive me forward, and six little ones in the front to be able to turn. And, most importantly, I got a light sensor so I was able to see!

Having all this inventory, I was supposed to go to a burnt chemical factory and bring out a barrel of unknown chemical content. There were more of us who tried, but what a shame, none of us succeeded. That was a little disappointing (Miki, what did you do to my program (C)?), and my self-esteem went down quite a bit. But there were more days to come and I knew my time was yet to come.

The next exciting thing that made its appearance into my life was a remote-control. It was very funny - it could talk to me by sending secret messages that I could read and knew exactly what to do. It required quite a trust to the person holding mentioned remote, a trust that turned out not to always be justified (Miki, Miki, you better stay as a theoretical mathematician, since if you decided to be an engineer, we’d all die miserably). My wheels kept falling off, I was breaking apart every two minutes, my chain was down every day or so, my claw kept getting stuck and broken, and over all, it was a pretty miserable time.

After a while, even Miki recognized that the world is not just theory and decided to fix some of my mechanical parts. After that, my life got pretty decent - I fell apart only every week or so, and although my chain eventually broke apart permanently so that I couldn’t pick up my head, I spent at least most of the time in less than three pieces.

I could communicate with the remote pretty well, and that was a lot of fun. I could drive around everywhere; I even got into the chemical factory and finally brought out the barrel. I felt really good about that.

And then the last day came, and with it the final presentation. Suddenly there were lots of people around me; I could happily drive around and catch onto their legs, and they were all watching and I think they liked me. Some of them even tried to drive me around, but certain people created my driving program so nicely, that it took everybody else five minutes to understand it, and then they broke me anyway. Miki got to dive very nicely quite a few times when she heard my wheels squeaking, to save me from totally falling apart. She had a lot of training from my earlier days, though, so most of the time she made it just fine.

Alright, I got to the present, and since I am not a prophet, I cannot really tell you the rest of the story. I took some pictures so that you can see what I look like, and with that I give you my goodbye.

See you sometime when driving around, and remember: Life is great! (unless your gears are falling apart…)


That’s my board, and my friend remote control.

This is my front gear system. Now you understand why I keep falling apart, hm?

Here is a view from the top.

And just for completeness, some of my programming: cd_buttons (C), infra (C).