Group four catherine fahey steven falzerano nicollette fernandez eliot m fine and stefan toubia
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Group Four Catherine Fahey, Steven Falzerano , Nicollette Fernandez, Eliot M. Fine and Stefan Toubia. Programming and Robots and Centrifuges, Oh my!. Los Jefes. Darth Vader. Objective.

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Group four catherine fahey steven falzerano nicollette fernandez eliot m fine and stefan toubia

Group Four

Catherine Fahey, Steven Falzerano,

Nicollette Fernandez, Eliot M. Fine and Stefan Toubia

Programming and Robots and Centrifuges, Oh my!

Los Jefes

Darth Vader


To create a robot that follows a course laid out in black tape, make a u-turn, and return to the starting line following the tape again.  In doing so, we can learn more about Interactive C programming and the Handyboard.


  • Handyboard

  • 2 motors

  • 2 analog light sensors,

  • Lego's (this includes treads, wheels, and gears)


  • We chose:

    • Treads: because the robot was able to make the adjustments more easily, and also the robot got more traction

    • Gears: because the motors were too weak to actually move the robot

Our trial-and-error process helped us come to these conclusions.


void main(){

int lap;




        if(analog(5)<200 && analog(6)<200){


            motor(3,100); // if the light sensors read white then both motors go forward at a speed of 20


        else if(analog(5)>=200 && analog(6)<200){


            motor(3,100); // but if analog 5 reads dark (the black tape), then the robot will turn right


        else if(analog(5)<200 && analog (6)>=200){


            motor(3,-100); //but if analog 6 read dark, then the robot will turn left


        else if(lap==0 && analog(5)>=200 && analog (6)>=200){



            sleep(1.5); //the robot reads dark, then the robot will make a u-turn and head to the start line


            lap ++; //new lap, repeats above but goes to next statement when reaches start line



ao();// robot turns off once at start line again





  • Friction

    • Our original design (3 wheels: 2 with tires, 1 without), did not pick up enough friction

    • Switched to treads

      • Motors were too weak, so we had to add gears to help give more force

What is a centrifuge
What is a Centrifuge?

  • A piece of equipment that rotates about an axis

  • Uses centrifugal forces to separate substances

    • Heaviest molecules move to the bottom of the tube

  • Used in biology, chemistry, and aeronautics

    • Separate substances

    • Meselson and Stahl experiment

Set up
Set Up

  • Used: IR “Top-Hat” sensor, scotch tape and a cuvette, gears, wheels

  • Constructed:

    • Base of legos

    • Motor with gears to create an axel

    • T-shaped crossbar attached to the axel

    • One side had a cuvette the other had a counterweight

    • Tires attached to base to act as shock absorbers and supports

      *Note: need white paper behind cuvette

die Windmühle


void main(){

int speed=0;

float separation_time=5.0; // Time, seconds, that centrifuge will spin

float ramp_time=0.1; // Time, seconds, between speeds

printf ("\nHold Down Start Button to Take Readings");

while (start_button()==0) {}

while (start_button()==1) { // Top-Hat reads while button is pressed

printf ("\nAmount mixed is %d", analog(3));

sleep (0.2);


while (speed<=100) { // Speed gradually increases from 0 to 100

printf ("\nSpeed is %d",speed);

motor (1,speed);

sleep (ramp_time);



sleep (separation_time); // Centrifuge spins for specified time at 100

while (speed>0) { // Speed gradually decreases from 100 to 0

printf ("\nSpeed is %d",speed);

motor (1,speed);

sleep (ramp_time);




while (speed==0) { // Everthing shuts off and Top-Hat reads again

printf ("\nMixation = %d, Did they separate?”,analog(3));

sleep (0.2);




  • We learned:

    • From the Robot:

    • Treads are slower but they have more traction

    • Going from big gears to small gears increases speed and from small gears to big gears increases torque

    • A sturdy frame is crucial

  • Improvements:

    • Our code could have had a slower, more careful turn, so that it would not whip around

  • Improvements with the centrifuge:

    • Faster motors, more durable parts, more easily-removable cuvettes, a built-in IR sensor

    • The code did work extremely well though