The development of ELEC 201 also
involved the compilation of an extensive set of class notes. The printed
version was a book over 400 pages long. Our notes were derived in part from
course notes developed by Fred Martin for a class at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, but a considerable amount of new material has been added,
and every subject area has undergone major revision for use at Rice. The
many people who contributed to the book are listed in the Acknowledgements.
The majority of the 1998 printed
book is available here, largely in its original form. It should be considered
a work in progress. In particular, web navigation within the book is, to
put it kindly, inconvenient, primarily because some of the sections are
The people who shaped the book and the course.
from the Past Comments and recommendations from previous ELEC
201 students. Also includes some pointers on team organization and decision
Manual The Assembly Manual is still printed, and is included
here as a pdf file. Information on wiring sensors, motors, and cables
used for an ELEC 201 robot is included on this web page.
Mechanics Describes basic mechanics, friction, and the simple
machines that comprise the building blocks of more complex machines, like
Electronics Introduces the concepts of charge, current, voltage,
and electronic components to the uninitiated.
Describes the functionality and architecture of the ELEC 201 RoboBoard,
assuming minimal prior background in electronics.
A brief primer on the dc motors used in the course.
Discusses battery technology in general, the battey used in ELEC 201, and
the battery charger operation.
Construction The secrets of using LEGO Technics building materials
to construct robust machines, including gear trains.
Explains the principles of operation and applications of various robotics
sensors in the ELEC 201 kit; specific wiring diagrams are in the Assembly
C A reference manual for the C language
dialect that has been developed for the ELEC 201 course. Students new to
programming or the C language will find the the new
IC Tutorial worthwhile.
Investigates how to program a mobile robot to face up to the uncertainties
and challenges of practical operation.
Language Programming How to program the Motorola 68HC11 microprocessor
using assembly language; for enthusiasts only, not something ELEC 201 students
need to know.
Board Data Schematics and printed circuit board layouts.
A searchable list of definitions of electronic terminology found in
Reading A short bibiliography to other sources of information.
on the Book
The book is not a text for the
course, but is a reference on many subjects applicable to the course. It
also documents many aspects of the course and the hardware, and is meant
to serve both robotic enthusiasts and teachers interested in robot design
as an educational activity.
The book was last printed for
the Fall 1998 course. For Fall 1999, the book was translated, automatically
and largely verbatim, to html format. The structure and style of a book
is rarely optimum for a web site, however. In the summer of 2000 we began
the process of reformatting the ELEC 201 web site. Some of the information
in the original book has been removed, updated, or moved to other locations
on the site. Of particular note:
- The instructions for assembling
the circuit boards is still printed so that students can check off the
steps as they proceed. To avoid confusion, the possibly incorrect assembly
instructions have been removed from the online book, but are available
as Postscript and pdf files.
- We now use Windows NT machines
with the software ICwin for
Interactive C, and a customized version of WinEdt32
as a program editor. The student should refer to the Help pages of
those programs for information.
- The presentation of Interactive
C in the book is still valid, but the student may find the new IC
tutorial more helpful initially.
- Material that changes yearly,
such as dates, the game, registration details, etc., has been moved to
the web pages under the tabs at the left. Some additional non-essential,
dated information has been removed pending its revision.