By Alexandre Alapetite on 2008-11-21; updated on 2009-04-14

Mobile laptop computer robot 2

I am presenting on this page the second version of a robot carrying laptop computers and powered by Lego Mindstorms NXT.

For some background introduction, see the first version of the mobile robot.



[“Robot with mobile laptop”]
The idea is again to have a mobile robot powered by Lego Mindstorms NXT robot and carrying a laptop computer.

The general idea was to reduce the time needed to build a mobile robot prototype, easily reproducible, while having a cheap and robust platform to experiment some human-computer and human-robot interaction.

This time, the chassis is hand-made, while the rest is in Lego.


2008-11-18: The version presented is equiped with double motors (1 brick and 2 motors per wheel), but this is not necessary if there is not too much load to carry.


The mobile robot carrying the max load of 10 Kg:

“Mobile laptop computer 2” driving around:


The robot alone weights 1.9 Kg in its double version (2 bricks, 4 motors), and it is able to carry up to 10 Kg. With a medium load, its speed is about 0.5 m/s (1.8 km/h).

Photos of the robot

[Without laptop] [Below]


The chassis has costed ~27€, and in addition of the Lego NXT parts (brick, motors) which cost 180€ (times 2 for double motors), there was for ~30€ of other Lego (wheels, long axes, etc.), for a total of ~300€ (or 540€ for the version with double motors).

Gaze interaction

This robotic platform has been used to experiment gaze interaction control; that is to say to pilot hands-free with the eyes only. The robot goes to the area where the pilot looks on the screen equipped with an eye-tracker:

[Eye-tracker] [Gaze control]
Gaze control in action. (The eye-tracker is just below the screen)

Read more on the gaze-interface to control this robot on Martin Tall’s blog, from the IT University of Copenhagen.
Research publication:

Martin Tall, Alexandre Alapetite, Javier San Agustin, Henrik H.T Skovsgaard, John Paulin Hansen, Dan Witzner Hansen, Emilie Møllenbach, 2009
“Gaze-controlled driving”
In the proceedings extended abstracts of CHI’2009, 27th Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Boston, USA, pages 4387-4392, doi:10.1145/1520340.1520671

Gaze control interface tested with the mouse:

Media coverage

This prototype was shown on the news of Danish national television (DR1) on 2008-11-21 from 21:21 to 21:23. The robot even succeeded in carrying the television camera!

Interview on DR1:


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