GCC Students Craft Missions During Autonomous Robot Project

Friday, January 26, 2018

Autonomous robots are popping up everywhere, from robotic vacuum cleaners to robotic pets. These intelligent machines are capable of performing jobs by themselves, without much human control, and are increasingly becoming part of every day life.  

Professor Charles Paulsen's Microprocessing class at GCC got to try their hand at the technology on Dec. 14, when they crafted an autonomous REDBOT (a robotic development platform capable of teaching two motor robotics and sensor integration) mission that they each wanted to employ. They then had to modify the RedBot to excute the mission. The missions included: line following, rectangular path using dead reckoning (drive time function of distance and power), using encoders, following a linear path (forward, rotate 180, repeat) and using ultrasonic sensors. 

Although programming robots can be highly theoretical, students learn the importance of precision and accuracy. Autonomous robots improve efficiency and productivity. Because robots come in all sizes they can also be used in extreme weather conditions especially if human safety is a concern. 

In addition to teaching at Gateway, Paulsen is Associate Director of the Mechanical Engineering Technology & Manufacturing Engineering Technologies (MET2) Program.