Course Outline

Ticket# 34585
Spring 2017



Web Site:

Office hours:


Ronald P. Kessler (for projects)

See schedule
Lego Mindstorms Book & Programming Guide (see below).

Course Objectives

Introduction to robotics is just that...a class designed to help you learn about the future of technology and science through robotics engineering. NO PREVIOUS ROBOT OR PROGRAMMING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED OR EXPECTED. I want you to become familiar with the issues involved in creating a vehicle that is computer controlled.


Textbook: Second Edition by James Kelly (ISBN 978-1-4302-2976-6)




Your final grade in my class will be based on the total number of points you earn. I plan to give you 5-6 challenges for your robot to tackle. You will also complete in-class activities which will also count towards your grade.  I plan to give you some short quizzes, a mid-term exam and a Final Exam. Grading will be based upon the following criteria:

90%= A
80%= B
70%= C
60%= D

The total possible points in the course will be approximately as follows:

Tests         140    (2 exam @ 70)

Activities     30     (3 @ 10) These are "pre-challenges", Up & Back, Zig-Zag, & Obstacle Course

Challenges   90    (Approx. 6  @ 15)

Quizzes      120   (Approx. 4 @ 30)

TOTAL        480

Class Format

I teach this class in an interactive way. I usually introduce a topic and use the first part of class either lecturing or demonstrating stuff to you. I try use the remainder of our time letting you practice what you have learned and give you time to complete that day’s activity. It is my intention that you complete these activities in class. Unless you miss a class or run out of time, you should not have to finish activities outside of class.

I will be available before class to help you or give you extra time to work.

Class Drops & Attendance

You will be working with a partner in this class. Therefore, it is really important that you attend each week. If you miss three classes, you can be droped.

If you decide to drop this (or any) course during the semester, please drop the class yourself.  Do not depend on your instructors to handle this for you. We do our best to keep track of your status, but it is better if you make sure your records are accurate yourself. You must drop a course before the end of the 12th week of school.

Robot Rules

Even though the robots look like toys, they are expensive devices. I must insist on the following:

  • You must not share/loan/give any parts from your robot kit to another team or person. Imagine what would happen if the parts got all mixed up!

  • You must treat your bot carefully. Anyone who intentionally breaks or abuses the equipment will be dropped from the class.

  • You cannot take the robots home to work on them because they are SCC property.

  • I insist that you have a good time and learn a lot!

Accommodations for Disabilities

Students with verifiable disabilities who want to request academic accommodations are responsible for notifying their instructor and Disabled Students Programs and Service (DSPS) as early as possible in the semester.  To arrange for accommodations, contact DSPS at (714) 628-4860, (714) 639-9742 (TTY) or stop by the DSPS Center


It is possible to take a make-up exam or quiz during the semester (EXCLUDING THE FINAL) if the exam is missed due to illness or other emergency. Please contact me right away if you cannot attend class when we are having an exam so I can help you with the best solution for your situation.

Student Code of Conduct

Full details may be obtained from the SCC Student Handbook. At a minimum, I expect you to treat each other (and your instructor) politely and with respect. This includes turning off all cell phones (or muting them), participating in class, and arriving in a timely manner. Please remember that personal conversation during lecture time is distracting to your fellow students. Collaboration on a project is an exception, of course.


You are encouraged to work with other students in the class, but all work that you turn in for grading must be your own. Taking credit for another students work is plagiarism and is a violation of SCC academic policy. You will be reported for academic dishonesty. Don't let this happen to you! Remember, all work that you turn in for grading must be your original work.

Specific Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to: 

  • Students will be able to develop entry-level robotics programs using the NXT-G language, VB, & RobotC.
  • Students will have a working knowledge and understanding of how to create a machine to perform specific tasks.
  • Students will be able to install and configure the Lego Mindstorm software development system & create original software applications.


The number of projects and the points possible for exams, projects and activities are subject to change without notice. This information is intended to be an accurate overview of this course so you will know what to expect during the semester. But sometimes, we will need to modify this plan.