Teaching Deliberative Navigation Using the LEGO RCX and Standard LEGO Components

Gary R. Mayer, Jerry B. Weinberg, and Xudong Yu

A number of universities are using inexpensive robotic platforms to teach artificial intelligence and robotics courses — for examples, see the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, vol. 10, no. 2, June 2003 (Weinberg and Yu 2003). The LEGO Mindstorms set is one of the most popular platforms. This set is frequently chosen for its low cost and ease of use. However, most of the work being done with it is in teaching reactive robotic architectures. Other, more expensive platforms are used for the deliberative and hybrid robotic architectures. This paper explains how an off-the-shelf LEGO Mindstorms kit can be used to teach deliberative navigation, including path planning and mapping.

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