- From Summer 1999 Smith Alumnae Quaterly, p. 22:
The recent announcement that three women are heading the
exploration of Mars by a robotic spacecraft should surely dispel
any lingering stereotypes about women and science. For women who
pursue their passion for scientific research, the opportunities
and rewards today are enormous.
- A few administrative issues. "Work-on-your-own" lab, one
evening a week, under TA's supervisions. Tuesday or Wednesday
nights, 7-10. Discuss options. Office hours, discuss options: Th
4-5? 5-6? Tu 10:30-11:30?
- Format of the lab: all gather in B01 at 7:00 for an overview
of the lab. Then with your lab partner pick up your kit and go to
the same table each time. When done, put back the kit
on the same shelf each time. All gather in B01 for wrap-up
session at 9:45 (or earlier, if so told by Ileana).
- How lab reports will be prepared: web pages with robot
images. Show SSSP
' daily reports. Remember: these are
13-14-15 year olds who have never done web pages before! So you
can do it, too - even if you do not know yet how!!!
- Cleaning up class accounts:
- It is not a breach of security, you are indeed using the
class accounts previously used by other students: the summer
- The accounts were meant to be used only for class purposes,
so there shouldn't be any "personal" email that you've been
accidentally given access to. You should just go ahead and delete
it, then start using the class accounts.
- The summer students were completely inexperienced with Unix,
and we were afraid they might forget their passwords. Therefore,
they were not told how to change them. Also, we wanted to have
access to their project pages, to show them to you as
- If you know Unix and pine, remove all email from summer
students. You may keep the lab reports for a while, if you want
to use them as a model of what can be done. Otherwise, just
delete them! (We saved them elsewhere meanwhile).
- If you do not know, please ask Ileana, Jessi or Shana how to
do it. Or, wait until next week, when you will be taught the
basics of Unix needed for these projects and you will be able to
do it yourself.
- Students who didn't get their Unix accounts(grendel), see
Ileana. Remember NOT to change the password yet. Remember
to send Ileana an email from whatever account you are regularly
to get on Ileana's e-mailing-list for the class. A "tutorial" on
Unix and pine will be presented in Lab 2, so do not worry if you
do not know yet what to do with your class account.
- Getting started with Lego robots.
- Using the CD-ROM from the Mindstorms kit:
- Do the Tutorial, Part 1. 30-45 minutes.
- Assemble the RSX. Put batteries.
- Add motors and sensors.
- Start the RSX. Run programs in the 5 program slots.
- 10 min break around 8:30.
- Assemble Robo 1, the first robot in the book. 1 hr.
- When done, take a short break (5 minutes), then
do the Tutorial, Part 2 and Programming the RSX, Training center.
45-60 min. Along the way:
- Assemble Pathfinder 1 and use it with the tutorial 1 hr.
- Basic programming.
- Turning on and off motors.
- Adding sensor watchers.
- If done: do some other robot project from the book (your choice!).
Try to match it with one of the pre-defined programs. Or try some simple,
basic programs of your own.
- Do not worry if you do not manage to do everything that is on
this list. The first lab is designed for all levels of
backgrounds and previous knowledge with computers. After I'll get
feedback from you, I will design labs that would match more
- Wrap-up at 9:45. Questions. Lessons learned. Discuss Homework
Preview of next week's lab.
First "lab-report". By email, for practice.
- Send an email to Ileana at
email@example.com), describing in an informal way, in about
half a page or so, what you did in lab today. I want to hear
especially about what you couln't do, didn't have time to do, was
too fast, was too much, you didn't know how to do, you feel I
should have explained you more about that particular topic, you
want to ask because your lab partner seemed to know it,
- This homework is graded: 100 points if you send the email and
do a thorough job at touching or exceeding the points listed above.
Zero points if you do not do it :-)
- Due: Friday Sept. 10, by midnight. Warning: I intend to
have Friday night as the deadline for most of the
lab reports. Please give me feedback (in the hwk1 email) about
this. I'd rather not extend it, because a few days after the lab
was completed, you'd have forgotten what you did. I want your
feedback, nonetheless :-)
- Optional recommended reading: Robokitty.
Last updated Sept.9, 1999.