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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: February 3, 2003
Volume 38, Number 13

Robot kits introduced as teaching tool for youth

By Michael Padilla

Students Kimberly Nguyen and Jared Dove demostrate the LOBOT Jr. to Dr. Nader Vadiee, director of the NASA PURSUE Program and associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Photo by Michael Padilla.

The PURSUE program at UNM has introduced its first generation of cooperative mobile robot kits as a tool to teach high school and middle school students about robotics.

The LOBOT Jr. mobile robot kit package, available by order, includes the latest model of the LOBOT Jr. Kit, user manual, CD-ROM and teacher education program.

The LOBOT Jr. mobile robot kit package is designed and developed by NASA Partnership Award for the Integration of Research (PAIR) Program students and was created in the Intelligent Distributed Multi-Agent Robotic Systems (IDMARS) Laboratory at UNM.

Nader Vadiee, director of the UNM NASA PURSUE Program and associate professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said students will be given a robot kit by their instructor that includes the necessary parts and instructions needed to get the robot up and doing tasks. The robot can follow walls, lines and mazes, avoid obstacles and features wireless reprogramming.

“The students will be taught step-by-step how to assemble the robot practically from scratch, along the way learning about each component, what it does and why it’s important to the functioning of their robot,” said Vadiee.

The LOBOT Jr. package is an ideal platform for teaching about microcontrollers, sensors, electronics circuit design, soldering, microprocessors, computer programming (Java, C++), wireless communication and more. The specifications of the LOBOT Jr. includes 16 Digital Inputs, 16 Analog Inputs, eight Digital Outputs, two 12V motor driver ports, two RS232 Ports, Javlin STAMP microprocessor, and wireless communication.

The kit features low cost, durable, cooperative/scalable, powerful flexible design and processor, high speeds, large memory space and JAVA programming language.

For more information concerning the LOBOT Jr. contact the PURSUE Program at 277-0327.