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LEGO Mindstorms Robots as a Teaching Tool in Agricultural Education

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  033134,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.14071) @2003
Authors:   Tony E. Grift, Alan C. Hansen
Keywords:   LEGO, Mindstorms, Robot, Automation, Agriculture, Vehicle, Undergraduate

The objective of this paper is to convey the results of a first effort to use LEGO Mindstorms kits in an introductory course in Technical Systems Management (TSM), at the department of Agricultural Engineering of the University of Illinois.

Four groups of students built Robotic Agricultural Machines using LEGO Mindstorms kits, with Robolab as the programming environment. The projects were carried out as part of TSM 221 (Technical Systems Management), an introductory course in Power and Machinery Management. This course is the students first exposure to Agricultural Engineering after finishing their extradepartmental course load.

A survey among 14 students showed that all students were challenged by the projects and were highly satisfied with the outcomes. They all strongly agreed that the projects were effective in helping them to work in teams, apply problem-solving techniques and to boost their programming and mechanical design skills.

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