Makes (Lego) Sense to Me!

David Luders on Flickr

Sensors give robots the senses humans have.

In order to navigate through the world, people must take information from outside of our bodies and process it within. How do we do this? For the most part, we use our five basic senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound. Without our senses we would bump into walls, fall down stairwells, eat food that our bodies cannot process, and have no way to communicate with one another.

Robots are made of synthetic materials that do not have any built in senses. So how can robots navigate through their environments? Fortunately, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of sensors that we can buy for our robots to help them detect where they are, what’s around them, and allow them to communicate with each other as well as with us humans.

EV3 Sensors

The Legos EV3 robotics kit comes with three separate sensors as well as sensors built into the servo motors. We can use EV3 legos to build all sorts of robots. Depending on what we need our robot to accomplish, we can choose what sensors to include on it.

A fun beginning robotic project is to build a robot that follows a given path. If we know the path in advance we can program our robot to travel forward a certain distance, turn a certain number of degrees and so on. But what if we want to generalize the process so that we can place our robot on any path and be confident that the robot will not stray?


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Also In The October 2017 Issue

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Sensors give robots the senses humans have.

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