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This article describes a mobile robot/camera system that is both simple and inexpensive enough for an undergraduate engineering student to construct. It provides an excellent first introduction to hands-on robotics, enabling the capture of small objects with the robot. It is scalable and can lead the interested student further into many diverse areas of robotics research. This system was carefully designed and arranged components so that the system can work with straightforward algorithms, off-the-shelf hardware, and minimal programming. Creating a working robot system not only introduces the beginning roboticist to many interesting problems in robotics but also creates a testbed to begin exploring them.
Date of Publication: March 2006