Using LEGO RCX bricks as the platform for interdisciplinary design projects

Richard M. Goff, Mitzi R. Vernon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The activity of real world design is a collaboration of individuals from more that one discipline. To address this issue, a student interdisciplinary design project was created. For the past four years, teams of students from the freshman Engineering Design Graphics course and the sophomore Industrial Design Studio were formed. In previous years, push-pull toys were designed and constructed. For the past two spring semesters, the new LEGO Programmable RCX bricks were chosen as a medium for the interdisciplinary design project. Each team of students was charged with designing and programming an autonomous guide vehicle (using the LEGO RCX bricks and Robolab software) that would travel a minimum of 15 feet and accomplish some designated action. The site that the vehicle would traverse was also to be designed, as well as a "postscript" or added device, not to be made of LEGO that would attach to the guide vehicle and add to the mission of the autonomous vehicle. The paper first describes in detail the brief of the project given to the students. Subsequently, the paper records the process of design and path of production of the project. The diverse vehicles and sites are documented. Further, there is a discussion of the contributions of both the industrial design and engineering students - how teams defined their work ethic and division of labor. Finally the assessment process of the project is discussed. This paper serves as a visual record of an exciting and creative foundation design effort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11117-11130
Number of pages14
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2001
Event2001 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2001Jun 27 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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