Introduction

In this activity, we will learn how to create a robot that follows a line on the ground.  It will use one light sensor to sense where the line is and then use this data to control the motors to steer the car and stay on the line.  

Light Sensors in Line Following
The light sensor measures reflected light.  White or light-colored objects reflect more light than black/dark-colored objects. The sensor takes an average of the light reflected from a small area and outputs this value. When following a line, the light sensor needs to be lined up over the edge of the line:
 

Materials

LabVIEW for LEGO MINDSTORMS
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT kit

Teaching Standards

In this lab students have the opportunity to understand the following: 
1. How to create a system that controls movement to accomplish a goal 
2. Light sensors
3. Optics
4. Proportional Control
5. Computer programming
6. Electronics and motors 
7. Dynamics
8. Team work and collaboration

We recommend linking your project's content to the nationally recognized Common Core Standards for literacy in science and math.

This lesson is part of the ROBOT CONTROL ACTIVITY SEQUENCE.  See recommended lessons below for the other activities in the sequence, or visit the Activity Sequences page on the Tufts CEEO project site.