to the ELEC 201 home page, the course also known as LEGO Lab.
hands-on course immerses students in an engineering design and problem
solving team process that exposes them to the challenges and rewards
of practicing engineers. The course targets two groups. First, freshmen
and sophomores who are considering an engineering major but who want
more information on the principles of engineering design and the profession.
Second, non-engineering majors who want to experience and understand
the design process that creates the technology that permeates today's
economy, society, and political decisions. Enrollment is limited
to those two groups of students. The course is completely self-contained,
assumes no prerequisites, and is intended for all majors.
of three students design, construct, and program a small autonomous
robot to engage in a competition at the end of the semester.
The contest is open to the public.
The robot is assembled from LEGO building blocks, electro-mechanical
components, sensors, and a microprocessor. It must be able to navigate
around the playing surface and successfully interact with game objects,
including the opposing robot, all without human intervention. The engineering
challenge for each team is to devise a game strategy, and to design
and build the mechanics and software to implement their strategy within
the rules of the game and the available materials. During the process
the participants are exposed to issues that confront every practicing
engineer, such as working within constraints, using available technology,
design tradeoffs, iterative design, team dynamics, and meeting project
specifications, milestones, and time constraints.
enrolling should read the material on the Registration
and Requirements page. Enrollment is limited by the available laboratory
space. Because of the focus of the class, junior and senior engineering
majors may not enroll (they should be concentrating on their capstone
This is an expensive
course to run. In addition to Rice University and the Dean
of the George R. Brown School of Engineering, we would like to thank
our industrial sponsor Freescale
Semiconductor. Please see the Acknowledgement
of the many people who have made this course possible.
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