wpi’s robotics engineering curriculum is very project oriented. every class results in a project to demonstrate the skills learned in the class.
for the final project in wpi’s industrial robotics course we made a universal jamming gripper that was installed on the fanuc robot arm. the jamming gripper was combined with simple machine vision to sort vex components into a container.
the unified robotics iv course focuses on implementing slam and a gui to use a mobile robot for exploration. the robot had very limited sensors but the idea of mapping and navigating an unknown environment was well explored. a video played back at 8x can be seen below.
wpi’s unified robotics iii is all about embedded programming for robotics. the course is based around the avr atmega microprocessor which is used with a robot arm and conveyor belt to automate a sorting process. the robot below picks up and sorts the blocks based upon weight.
instead of taking wpi’s regular object-oriented programming course i took a course offered by brad miller that taught object-oriented while using robots. we used the lego nxt platform running lejos and java. the first video is from a maze solving robot we programmed to learn multithreading.
in the same course we worked on a robot that could plan and navigate a shortest path on a grid, while avoiding obstacles and communicating to/from a user interface over bluetooth.
unified robotics i and ii courses focuses on the use of mechanisms, actuators, and sensors for robots. one final project was a simulated farming environment with about 5-6 unique tasks for the robot to do and the other was robotic firefighting. picture of the farming robot followed by the firefighting one can be seen below.
in the spring of 2009 brad miller offered an extracurricular class to help robotics students gain experience in c-language programming for robotics. the video below is a robot with behavioral based programming that i developed that mimics a roomba vacuum cleaner.
in the introduction to robotics course at wpi we built our own line following sensors on a breadboard. we then put them on a robot programmed it to transport and dispose of a simulated toxic waste container as fast as possible