Lego Mindstorms Robot

Lego Mindstorms NXT is a programmable robotics kit designed and created by Lego. We have built a torso only humanoid robot to be used in clinical settings for treating children with Autism. The robot can be remotely controlled using a Lego controller block. It can also receive commands via Bluetooth.

Research Objectives

  • How can a humanoid robot assist in treating children with Autism in clinical settings?
  • Can a toy-look-like humanoid robot (loosely resemble a human) help develop autistic children's capabilities in joint attention?
  • How can a therapist “program” the robot in preparation for clinical sessions using a skill/behavior based interactive learning interface?
  • What interface techniques help the therapists interact with the robot to better treat children with Autism?
  • How does the use of different sensors affect the efficacy of the robot in therapy?

Robot Specifications


Existing Sensors:

  • My understanding is that it does not have any sensors at this moment.

Possible Sensors (could be in lego blocks, or external sensors):

  • Range Sensor: Infrared proximity sensor to detect object distances.
  • Visual Sensor: A small web cam (or stereo) that enables computer vision algorithms to identify patterns.
  • Audio Sensor: (single or multiple directional microphones): Allows audio signals detection from different directions. Possibly voice commands.
  • Touch Sensor: Detects touches from the user. Could be on the belly, back, or on the head.
  • Position Sensor (wii remotes): Detects locations of the operator's elbows, wrists, etc. The therapist will be holding the wii remotes.
  • Motion Sensor (wii remote): Detects the direction of movement from the operator.


Existing Actuators:

  • Arm movements: Up, down. 1-DOF for elbow joint and 2-DOF for shoulder joint.

Possible Actuators:

  • Speaker: make sounds or speech


  • Processing can be done solely on the NXT processor built into the robot
  • Processing can also be done on a remote computer via Bluetooth


  • Bluetooth communication from remote computer to the controller Lego block
  • Bluetooth communication from handheld LEGO block to controller LEGO block

Robot Skills/Behaviors

Existing skills/behaviors

  • Arm movements: Arm up/down, extend. Resting arms on tabletop.

Possible skills/behaviors

  • Gestures: Wave, knock on table
  • Cognitive behaviors: Imitate
  • Movements: Reach out
  • Sounds: Make sounds/noises, speak
  • Emotions: Excited (arms up and waving quickly), bored (arms resting on tabletop not moving)
  • Cognitive behaviors: find face, learn to identify objects, identify direction of sound source
  • Social behaviors: Knock on table to get attention.

Desired skills/behaviors

(Please add here…)

ar/legomindstorm-robot.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/26 15:05 by ryancha
Back to top
CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International = chi`s home Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki do yourself a favour and use a real browser - get firefox!! Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0