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Course Info

  • Course Number / Code:
  • 6.186 (January (IAP) 2005) 
  • Course Title:
  • Mobile Autonomous Systems Laboratory 
  • Course Level:
  • Undergraduate 
  • Offered by :
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Massachusetts, United States  
  • Department:
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 
  • Course Instructor(s):
  • Dr. Philip Greenspun
    Prof. Harold Abelson 
  • Course Introduction:

  • 6.186 Mobile Autonomous Systems Laboratory

    January (IAP) 2005

    Course Highlights

    This course features extensive contest documentation in the study materials section. Team papers, together with team portraits and their respective robot portraits, are also provided in the projects section. This course is offered during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), which is a special 4-week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month.

    Course Description

    MASLab (Mobile Autonomous System Laboratory), also known as 6.186, is a robotics contest. The contest takes place during MIT's Independent Activities Period and participants earn 6 units of P/F credit and 6 Engineering Design Points. Teams of three to four students have less than a month to build and program sophisticated robots which must explore an unknown playing field and perform a series of tasks.

    MASLab provides a significantly more difficult robotics problem than many other university-level robotics contests. Although students know the general size, shape, and color of the floors and walls, the students do not know the exact layout of the playing field. In addition, MASLab robots are completely autonomous, or in other words, the robots operate, calculate, and plan without human intervention. Finally, MASLab is one of the few robotics contests in the country to use a vision based robotics problem.

    Technical Requirements

    File decompression software, such as Winzip® or StuffIt®, is required to open the .zip files found on this course site.

    Java® plug-in software is required to run the Java® .jar files in this section.


This course content is a redistribution of MIT Open Courses. Access to the course materials is free to all users.

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