To help us better understand how the simulator works, we'll be building a virtual LEGO MINDSTORMS vacuum cleaner.

The goal of the vacuum challenge is to clean up the room in the best possible time. There are thirty loose LEGO pieces scattered across the floor of the vacuum project, so we'll want to clean up this mess before someone steps on a brick.

Working on this project will give us an opportunity to see how the various pieces of the Virtual Robotics Toolkit come together including:

  • How to start, stop, and pause the simulator.

  • How to make simple changes to the default robot so that it can complete the vacuum challenge.

  • How to import our own LDraw model.

  • And lastly, how to control our virtual creation using the LEGO programming environment.

The next article gives some examples of some real-life robot vacuums that are in use throughout the world.