Back to Course

Summer 2002

Robotic Autonomy Institution


#1: Java/Ego - First, you need to learn, as a team, how to use our Java programming environment. So, we have two simple Java assignments to get you to sit down and start programming.

Second, you must make your TrikeBot unique.

For more detail: Challenge 1.pdf

#2: Dead Reckon/Dance - First, show the accuracy you can achieve for turning and moving a desired distance using open loop programming.

Second, apply those functions to exhibit a dance for your TrikeBot—set to the music of your choice.

For more detail: Challenge 2.pdf

#3: Touch-Free/Wander - Use your new rangefinder and back EMF sensors to write autonomous trikebot programs. Demonstrate it moving quickly to a goal without your physical intervention.

Second, show its ability to wander around both stationary and moving objects, like other TrikeBots!

For more detail: Challenge 3.pdf

#4:Explorer/GoHome - With CMUcam attached, your trikebots are capable of "telepresence." Use this ability to navigate through an alien landscape. Since remote communication is hard, use the minimum commands to take a picture of an alien life form.

Next, show your ability to guide your TrikeBot home from an unknown location.

For more detail: Challenge 4.pdf

#5: Ducklings/JoggingCompanion - The CMUcam allows you to demonstrate autonomy and even more exciting forms of robotic interaction such as visual tracking and following. Demonstrate this interaction by having your TrikeBot follow a Mother Duck.

Next, invent a robotic companion that follows you as you walk or jog around a course.

For more detail: Challenge 5.pdf

#6: Mobot/Security Patrol - Your talents as a robonaut have developed to such a degree that you are now ready for advanced challenges! First, you'll take on the CMU West version of the famous Mobot line-following contest that happens back in Pittsburgh.

Next, your TrikeBots will be on patrol, protecting your station from the notorious Orange Illah.

For more detail: Challenge 6.pdf

#7: The Game/Dress Rehearsal - The final challenge will require you to work together tightly with your TrikeBot—as if it was an extension of yourself! First, you'll take part in The Game. The rules have yet to be disclosed!

Next, you'll hold a dress rehearsal of your exhibition to work out all the kinks.

For more detail: Challenge 7.pdf

The Students

The Teams:

The Instructors

Illah Nourbakhsh
Ajinkya Bhave
John D'Ignazio
Neeti Malhotra
Andres Perez-Bergquist



For a break from their diligent work, and to broaden their knowledge of the world of robotics, Robotic Autonomy students attend a weekly lecture series.

New Code:

Robonauts plan on keeping each other updated with their new code related to TrikeBot advancements. To continue and build their community, they have made their programs open source and available for download.


#1: Capture the Flag - You now can control your TrikeBot as if it were an expensive remote-control car. It is time to demonstrate this joystick operation and some serious teamwork. Show off your TrikeBot by challenging another team for one-on-one competition. Every team will play at least twice.

For more detail: Contest 1.pdf

#2: Robot Theater/Soccer - You can now program smart buttons on your interface to make customized motions for your robot for complex and interesting tasks. Create a scripted performance with roles for your team and your TrikeBot. To take a break from all the drama, you’ll also create custom buttons to be able to have your robot play soccer!

For more detail: Contest 2.pdf

#3: Escape/Musical Chairs - It is time for your Trikebot's first few steps as an autonomous robot. Create a program enabling your Trikebot to escape from one obstacle-filled side of the atrium to the other. You will compete head-to-head with other autonomous robots. Then, it's time for some robotic musical chairs.

For more detail: Contest 3.pdf

#4: Bomb Squad/Color Touch-Free - With the study and practice you've had you can demonstrate well-rehearsed teleoperation as an elite bomb squad. Also, a new version of Touch- Free will test your use of the CMUcam to cue the robot in a game of robot-on-robot strategy.

For more detail: Contest 4.pdf

#5: Navigator/Exhibition - Demonstrate your rapidly expanding CMUcam experience with autonomous navigation solutions of your own. Then, start taking your TrikeBots in directions you want to go by designing an exhibition and showing it to the public.

For more detail: Contest 5.pdf

#6: MazeWorld/Exhibition 2.0 - Test your successful line-following solution with three other teams as you negotiate a maze to score points. You'll also demonstrate the progess you've made on your exhibitions designed to “wow” the public.

For more detail: Contest 6.pdf

#7: Exhibition/Graduation - Robonauts demon-strate their coursework and receive a pass to the world of robotics. See the Graduation Page for more information.

The Trikebot

TrikeBot Detail about the TrikeBot


CMU Assistant Professor Illah Nourbakhsh worked with TrikeBot designer Tom Hsiu and Acroname's Steve Richards to create a low cost but robust robot for the Robotic Autonomy course. Click here for more information about the Trikebot.



Visit for further exploration of robotics and robotic education. Explore and enjoy!