Before You Begin

 

In order to understand and work with robots, it helps to start with a simple, nonprogrammed system consisting of a battery, a motor that drives some sort of output device (e.g., wheels), and wires that connect the battery to the motor.  There are many battery-operated kits and models on the market that can be assembled by beginner students in a fairly short time. One that we have found particularly useful for educational purposes is a fun, cleverly designed vehicle called the Wall Hugging Mouse (manufactured by Tamiya Inc. and available through many mail order catalogs or in hobby stores). The Mouse provides students with the opportunity to build a vehicle and study how the battery, motors, switches, gears, and wiring work together to make the Mouse follow a wall on its left. Although the system is simple and easy to understand, its operation is both entertaining and instructive. As an added benefit, the Mouse has a transparent cover, so its inner parts are still visible after it has been assembled.

 

How the Wall Hugging Mouse Works

Wall Hugging Mouse Diagram

 

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