Line-following Robots

After a couple of weekends of tinkering, we finally got it working: a line-following robot (LFR) that doesn't require a microprocessor and software to control it!

We start the class with a brief overview of basic electronics and circuit building and then quickly move on to more advanced components and techniques. You'll learn everything from DC motors to optical sensors and voltage comparator circuits to transistors. This is Techsplorers, so you know that we're going to teach you how it works, and you'll learn things in this class that you won't see until you take a college engineering course.

Just wait until you see your robot race along the track, hugging the line! It's so awesome to watch it running once you get it tuned correctly. You can even build your own track for testing and modifying your LFR at home.

And this class is just the beginning!

Take the Arduino LFR class and we will show you how to replace the electronic control board with an Arduino UNO microprocessor board and teach you how to write software to control your robot. You can do anything from auto-calibrating line sensors to high-speed steering for straight sections of track -- the sky is the limit when you have a microprocessor under your command.

Then there's the grand finale: the Annual LFR Competition. Come race your robot against your fellow Techsplorers. The Annual LFR Competition is free if you've taken any LFR course in the last 12 months.

CONCEPT EXPOSURE

PRACTICAL SKILLS

Note: The project built during class is sold separately. Students will be given the opportunity to buy their robot at the end of class.

 
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Alpha Class Scores

Grand Champion: Don't Care (15.54 sec)
2016 Champion: Don't Care (15.54 sec)
2015 Champion: Zulu Rainbow (16.32 sec)
2014 Champion: The Ruler (56.9 sec)
2013 Champion: The Doctor (77.5 sec)
2012 Champion: The Great Unknown (52.54 sec)

Understanding how the circuit works is the key to knowing how to tune it correctly in order to get the best lap time around the track. Who will be the new Alpha Class LFR champion? Will it be you!?

February 28, 2016
Name Lap Time (s)
Don't Care 15.54
Opposite 23.52
Opposite 26.98
Plop 23 Jr 28.39
Whatever You Want Jr 28.40
Plop 23 Jr 31.13
Whatever You Want 33.86
Something 34.50
Money Bot 36.40
July 29, 2015
Name Lap Time (s)
Zulu Rainbow 16.32
The Unicorn 16.97
Galaxy Ant 19.64
Galaxy Ant 20.70
Zulu Rainbow 21.94
Flash 21.99
Skynet 22.20
Flash Nia 24.54
Flash Nia 25.70
Flash Nia 26.26
Skynet 29.45
Galaxy Ant 29.80
Zulu Rainbow 33.01
Skynet 35.63
Piece of Wood 37.13
Piece of Wood 46.17
July 24, 2015
Name Lap Time (s)
The Unicorn 16.33
Cheetoh 17.92
The Unicorn 19.37
Cheetoh 27.61
The Failtastic 31.53
RetroRocket 38.12
Oscillator 39.32
The Resistor 69.69
July 17, 2015
Name Lap Time (s)
Jim and the Pinapples 20.67
Al Capone's Cadillac 21.50
The Smiley Moblie 22.95
Bat Mobile 23.62
Larry 24.50
The Red Mustang 26.00
Smiling Race Car 26.03
March 15, 2015
Name Lap Time (s)
Line Bot 55.27
Leo 75.15
Line Bot 76.09
Line Bot 76.55
Indigo 80.00
Diamond 98.72
Bender 111.00
Diamond 123.72
Diamond 126.00
Indigo 129.00
Bender 133.00
July 28, 2014
Name Lap Time (s)
The Ruler 56.90
Star-Spangled Banner 58.16
Star-Spangled Banner 59.79
The Boat 61.70
The Boat 67.25
Mustang 69.81
The Swagger 74.00
Sayarim 74.86
Sayarim 79.35
Flaming Cheese Supreme 81.77
The Swagger 88.66
Mustang 90.57
Flaming Cheese Supreme 91.29
The Ruler 91.48
The Car 92.97
The Car 160.48
The Finland Chugger 201.08
July 14, 2014
Name Lap Time (s)
Prototype Moe 78.58
Flower Power 94.50
Flower Power 98.33
Soul Surfer 111.04
Thunderstorm 115.40
Blazing Beast 118.66
The Shovel 2.0 130.66
LFR 27.073 142.03
Paper Airplane 2.0 165.30
Alpha Fighter 165.64
The Griffin 203.53
The Griffin 227.91
Soul Surfer 228.73
LFR 27.072 237.47
The Heat 255.33
Blazing Beast 264.22
June 23, 2014
Name Lap Time (s)
Darth 70
Bob 76
Steve 86
The Pink Vacuum Cleaner 107
Shark Attack 114
Flamin' Cone 119
Arrowwood 121
The Blue Violin 130
Stripey 131
607 143
The Gamma Ray 151
Socrates 200
Flying Fruit 214
The Skull 239
Pitchfork 322
January 4, 2014
Name Lap Time (s)
Boltmaster 121.47
Vanquish 131.00
Crusher 179.53
The Cyclone 187.50
Tasmanian Devil 247.78
June 21, 2013
Name Lap Time (s)
The Doctor 77.50
Black Knight 90.70
Boltmaster 126.40
December 16, 2012
Name Lap Time (s)
The Great Unknown 52.54
Teenage Mutant Ninja Tar Heels 53.10
Liquid Smoke 55.44
Currently Not Working 65.66
Teenage Mutant Ninja Tar Heels 74.34
The Great Unknown 76.56
B.O.B 77.93
Wolf Strike 80.72
B.O.B 84.75
Wolf Strike 179.60