Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Carlotta Berry

Second Advisor

Mark Yoder

Third Advisor

David Fisher


The goal of this thesis is to design a modular educational robotics platform to improve the limitation of current educational robotics platforms, such as limited pins, single programming language, and single programming device. This platform uses an SPI bus for modularity and to solve the problem of limited pins on current educational robot platforms. A Raspberry Pi, which runs a 32bit Embedded Linux System, has been used to build the central control for this educational robotics platform to enable it to use different programming languages and to be programmed by different devices. The modules and libraries for stepper motors and IR sensors have been built for this robot, and the example projects, basic control, obstacle avoidance, and wall following, show that this educational robotics platform can be used as a platform for basic artificial intelligence design. This thesis also shows how to design a custom module, which enables users to design their own modules and put them into their robot projects.


This thesis would not have been possible without the guidance and help of many individuals who gave their valuable assistance in preparation and completion of my projects. First, thanks to my thesis advisor, Dr. Carlotta A. Berry, for her inspiration and encouragement and her steadfast support. Second, thanks to Jack Shrader and Gary Meyer, for their support with technology and help in implementing the robot. Third, thanks to my committee members, Dr. Mark Yoder and Dr. David S. Fisher, for their suggestions to improve my work. Finally, thanks to my family and friends for their support and for giving me the strength to complete this thesis. 3