ES.293 | Spring 2007 | Undergraduate

Lego Robotics


Project 3: Independent Robotics Projects


Project 1: The Claw, Photos
Project 2: Industrial Salvage, Photos
Project 3: Independent Robotics Projects

In the time remaining in the semester, you will each pursue an independent robotics project of your choice. This will give you a chance to explore an area that you are especially interested in. This project can be an extension of something you have done before, or something completely new and different.

As this assignment is rather vague, we have come up with a list of about 20 suggested project topics. We hope that one of these will interest you or cause you to think of some other interesting project.

Projects must be completed by Week #10.

More Lego Vehicles

  • Build a robot to follow lines
  • Build a robot to navigate a maze (of walls or lines)
  • Build a robot controlled by a VCR remote
  • Build a robot that communicates via IR (infrared) signals
  • Build a robot that can drive right-side-up or upside-down
  • Build a robot that wanders the room
  • Work more on the Claw
  • Build a robot using the Lego pneumatics
  • Build a robot that figures out where it is
  • Build a light-seeking or dark-seeking robot

Non-vehicle Things to Build

  • Build a platform to pan and tilt a digital camera
  • Build a machine to throw/fire foam balls
  • Build a machine that turns the lights on and off remotely (controlled by IR, radio, or sound (“the clapper”))
  • Build a system that automatically waters a plant when it gets dry
  • Build a station that robots can drive into to recharge


  • Build an electronic controller to run the Lego pneumatics from the boards
  • Build the electronics to monitor battery voltage/state of charge on the boards
  • Build a smart board recharger


  • Design/improve the board operating system (the “menu program” that comes up when you turn on the board)
  • Use the IR ports on the boards to allow one “master” board to control “slave” boards (to use more motors, for example)
  • Control a printer with the boards
  • Control a plotter with the boards
  • Communicate with a computer from the boards (to transfer data the robot collected to the computer, for example)
  • Experiment with multiple processes (several different programs running at the same time)