Robot Control Teaching with a State Machine-based Design Method

Ilya Levin*, Eli Kolberg, Yoram Reich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mechatronics design provides an excellent project-based learning activity in engineering education. It weaves together the Computer, Mechanics, and Electrical Engineering Curriculums, forming one of the key issues in all of them. This paper proposes a design method for control of a robot that can be used as a core part of a mechatronics course. This method includes: a) a universal formal notation including the concepts of ASM (Algorithmic State Machine) and FSM (Finite State Machine), as a basic aspect of designing a mechatronics control system, and b) an interactive learning environment developed on the basis of the formal notation. In this paper, both of the above components are presented in the context of a specific mechatronics design course based on a mobile robot contest. The proposed approach a) decreases the gap between theoretical and practical skills of students in mechatronics thus leading to a better robot design with a better contest-related performance; b) improves the real robot performance; and c) opens up a way to enrich mechatronics lessons by increasing the number of possible tasks and projects in a class.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


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