Educational hands-on testbed using Lego robot for learning guidance, navigation, and control

The aim of this paper is to propose an educational hands-on testbed using inexpensive systems composed of a Lego Mindstorms NXT robot and a webcam and easy-to-deal-with tools especially for learning and testing guidance, navigation, and control as well as search and obstacle mapping, however the extendibility and applicability of the proposed approach is not limited to only the educational purpose. In order to provide navigation information of the Lego robot in an indoor environment, an vision navigation system is proposed based on a colour marker detection robust to brightness change and an Extended Kalman filter. Furthermore, a spiral-like search, a command-to-line-of-sight guidance, a motor control, and two-dimensional Splinegon approximation are applied to sensing and mapping of a complex-shaped obstacle. The experimental result shows that the proposed testbed can be viewed as an efficient tool for the education of image processing and estimation as well as guidance, navigation, and control with a minimum burden of time and cost. © 2011 IFAC.