Classroom Activity
Tow Truck

Work and Energy
Feedback and Control Systems
Numerical Integration


  • Calculate gravitational and elastic potential energies and use these calculations to predict the work required from a robot.
  • Interpret the results of work-energy measurements, including cases with variable forces and significant amounts of friction.
  • Discuss the use of numerical integration to estimate and control the cumulative results of a process.

The activity uses the SAM Robot with a motion detector, a force sensor and the LabPro. (Since this activity requires 2 digital ports, it does not work with the CBL2.)

Author: Fred Thomas
Activity last revised: Math Machines, 2-19-2006

Participant Handout | Facilitator Notes | Details for Programmers
Calculator Programs
This activity requires the calculator program SAMTOW, SAMGO (The SAM list is also required.)