Control Systems

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In Part 1, the instructor introduces control systems in a PowerPoint presentation. Then students begin building robots and writing a simple computer program that will run the robot in a straight line. Next students test their robots. In Part 2, the instructor presents the second part of the PowerPoint and students use closed loop controls to run the robot on straight and curved lines. In Part 3, the instructor discusses control systems' involvement in nanomanufacturing.


Students should have an introductory knowledge of nanotechnology (which can be provided by Kit 1).

Instruction Time:

Approximately three to five 50-minute periods


Middle or high school students


Students will build a stable robot and create a working computer program that can keep the robot moving on straight and curved lines.


  • National Science Education Standards:

    • Content Standard A: Abilities Necessary to do Scientific Inquiry.
    • Content Standard E: Abilities of Technological Design.
    • Content Standard G: Nature of Science.
  • Illinois State Learning Standards:

    • 11.A.3b. Conduct scientific experiments that control all but one variable.
    • 13.B.5b. Analyze and describe the processes and effects of scientific and technological breakthroughs.


  • activity guide
  • 1 evaluation
  • 30 assessments
  • CD with PowerPoint, Activity Guide, and Set-Up and Programming Guide
  • Robotics Invention System 2.0 software
  • overhead transparencies of slides
  • LEGO robotics kits
  • extra RCXs, light sensors, motors, skids, 90° angles, batteries

Teacher Needs:

  • LCD or overhead projector
  • computers

Online Documents:

This kit is available to teachers in our network. Please contact Joe Muskin () if you are interested in ordering it. Thank you.