LEGO Mindstorm Robots for ITU’s MATLAB
The future is now, or so it seems with the arrival of 30 LEGO Mindstorm Robots for ITU’s MATLAB course. MATLAB is a unique course which blends advanced mathematical programming and robotics.
The first half of the course focused on introducing students to mathematical programming which simulates real world situations, such as following the trajectory of a ball thrown in the air and replicating the hawkeye technology used in cricket. Students were taught to create equations and models to simulate such scenarios and then program MATLAB- a high level technical computing language- to run through the simulations. The second half of the course acquaints students with robotics using the Lego Mindstorm Robots; students are being instructed on how to build robots and, employing the skills they learned in the first half of the course, do the complex programming required to make their robots perform certain functions. Sensors for light, sound and touch shall be used to make the robots ‘smart’. In this way, students will be given hands-on practical experience of applying their theoretical knowledge and experimenting with it.
In keeping with ITU’s applied and innovative approach to education, the course will end with a grand robotics challenge wherein students will compete against each other with the robots they are to build in teams. MATLAB students are extremely enthusiastic about getting their robot kits and are looking forward to spending the next month developing their robots. Abbas Akhtar, the instructor for the course, says that he is thrilled about students learning to program the robots; “These robots provide students with the opportunity to see hardware and software work together in action in an exciting environment.”