Quick Link to ENGR102 Module IV

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The ENGR102 Nanobot Controlled Drug Delivery Challenge is designed to introduce the concepts of robotics, programming, design, measurement, error analysis, and creativity. To complete the project successfully you will draw upon information and techniques that span many of the major engineering disciplines, including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, materials engineering, civil engineering, and environmental engineering.

The project will entail designing, building, and programming a robot to search for cancerous cells (represented by colored targets) and deliver a targeted drug to the appropriate cells to eliminate them (in this case, by pushing the appropriate colored targets). The challenge will be to design the robot in such a way that it can use the available sensors to differentiate between healthy cells and cancerous cells without real-time user input.

The project will progress through a 3 week series of fundamental modules, each advancing towards the overall goal of targeted nanobot drug delivery.


Introduction to Programming a Lego NXT Robot

This page provides an introduction to programming using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT software. The LEGO software will be supported by the ENGR102 staff for this project, and they can assist with programming technical support. For those who are uncomfortable with programming, this page provides comparisons to Maple from your CS121 course. We encourage you to read it and ask questions.

If you are an accomplished programmer, you are welcome to use alternative languages including C, C++, Python, Java, and Matlab. However, please note that while we applaud your use of more advanced programming, the ENGR 102 staff will not be able to offer support for these alternative languages.

Lego NXT Related Software

Instructions for installing software are included on the Introduction/Background information page above.

The primary place to get all of the software that you will need is the BBVista [1] page for your ENGR102 recitation. The links to the software can be found under the assignment for Week 1. Getting the software from the BBVista page will give you the fastest download and ensure that you have the latest version.

LEGO CAD software package (50MB) The CAD software download site has step-by-step instructions for installing and using MLCAD: see here. Follow the instructions for your specific operating system.

NXT Parts for MLCAD Media:Nxtparts.zip

  • Note: Some of these downloads will prompt you for a username and password before allowing access. The format is the same as when accessing IRT's software resources site.
  • Username: drexel\abc###
  • Password: Your DrexelOne password

abc### is your DrexelOne username

Task 1: Intro to NXT Robots and Programming (Week 1)

Task one is an introduction to building and programming the LEGO NXT robotics system. The goal of this module is to become familiar with the different components of the NXT system. This includes its inputs (sensors), outputs (motors, display screen), and programming environment. There are a number of increasingly difficult challenges presented, which culminate in a wall following robot.

Task 2: Line and Wall Following (Week 2)

Task two continues week one's activities, providing time to finish (and advance) the wall-following robot design. Following this, the additional task of line following is presented.
Important: During lab, all students must spend at least thirty minutes in each of the three roles: programmer, builder, designer/scribe. The role of the programmer is to write and edit code based on the designer/scribe's recommendations. The role of the builder is to make physical modifications to the robot and to relay modifications to the designer/scribe. The role of the designer/scribe is to suggest modifications to code and physical design and to record these for reporting.

Task 3: Sensors and Calibration (Week 3)

Task three examines the fundamental study of sensors including sensor characterization, limits, and experimental testing.

Task 4: Robotics Competition on Nanobot Controlled Drug Delivery (Weeks 4 - 6)

Students have 3 weeks to design, build, code a robot to compete within their recitation sections to see who has built the most effective cancer-fighting nanobot.
Special Week 5 Assignment: During class all students will be required to individually peform a simple programming task. Teams with members who cannot complete the task will not recieve full credit for the teamwork portion of the grade. It is the responsibility of all teams to allow all team members equal access to the design, building and programming tasks. Goals:

  • Expose students to potentials of nanotechnology, specifically the possibility of nanomanipulators and nanorobotics.
  • Potential uses of nanorobotics in targeted drug delivery (cancer treatment)
  • General Engineering Concepts
    • Systems with dynamic feedback
    • Controls and decision making
  • Specific Student Goals
    • Design a system to locate virtual cancer cells (colored tragets) using NXT and destroy (actuate) them.
    • System needs to detect environment to find targets
    • System needs to be able to distinguish healthy cells from diseased cells.

Task 5: Oral Presentation (Week 7)

This week in lab you will present the results of your simulated nanorobotics project to your Faculty Laboratory Instructor, your Teaching Fellow and your fellow classmates. Please see the guidelines for preparing your talk. Oral Presentation Instructions Media:Oral_Presentation_Instructions.pdf

Lego NXT Mindstorm Tutorials and Guides

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