Teaching with Tekkotsu

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To begin teaching Tekkotsu robotics you will need: (1) a robot or robot simulator; (2) a robot lab (or virtual environment) for your robot to run around in; and (3) curriculum materials. This page will show you how to acquire all three.



Tekkotsu supports a variety of robotic platforms. The currently-recommended robot for an undergraduate robotics course is the Calliope2SP. This robot includes an iRobot Create mobile base, camera on a pan/tilt mount a 2 degree-of-freedom arm with gripper, and a netbook running Ubuntu Linux.

Robot Lab Requirements

A Tekkotsu robotics lab does not require a large number of robots, because students spend most of their time coding. They only run their code on the robot for a few minutes at a time. Thus, robots can be shared. It's also often advantageous to have students work in teams of 2 or 3. Therefore, a typical undergraduate class with 10 students can get by with as few as four robots.

The other important requirement for a robotics lab is space to set up an environment for the robots to navigate in. See the article on Maze Construction for advice on building a maze for the Create, or see this page on Robot Playpen Construction. If space for mobile robots is a problem, the planar hand/eye system might be the best choice.

Finally, it is important for students to have easy access to the lab. Robotics is time-intensive, and students will need plenty of hands-on hours to work on assignments and to experiment on their own. It is recommended that a course consist of two lectures plus a separate lab period per week, In addition, students should be able to work in the lab outside of formal lab periods. This may require granting students keycard access, or paying a lab assistant to keep the lab open for several hours a day so students can work there.

If you're using a simulated robot, you won't need a physical lab, but you will need virtual environments for your robot to run around in. Several are supplied with Tekkotsu, and it's easy to make your own. See the article on Mirage worlds.

Curriculum Materials

On this wiki you can find a list of Activities for students of various ages, and a collection of Labs for use with undergraduates.

Carnegie Mellon's Cognitive Robotics Course is available online, including the lecture notes, labs, and homeworks.

The major reference source for Tekkotsu is the online documentation, generated automatically by doxygen. This is accessible from the Tekkotsu web site by clicking on the reference link in the grey navigation bar.

Demo videos are available at the Tekkotsu Robotics Channel on YouTube.

See the Bibliography page for scholarly publications related to Tekkotsu and robotics education.

Teach your students the Ten Big Ideas in Robotics.


There is not yet a textbook specific to Tekkotsu, but Maja Mataric's Robotics Primer (MIT Press, 2007) fits well with the Create/ASUS platform and has been used by several instructors in Tekkotsu-based courses. Robin Murphy's An Introduction to AI Robotics (MIT Press, 2000) is also popular.