Nikolaus Zen Prusinski (

DA42-N822SA Left Crosswind Departure KUGN
Curiosity Tours Mars
Boeing 777 at Delta Sim Center
Helming Paprika Lake Michigan
UWM Stargazing Deck 14" Telescope

Robotics & Coding

Coding is the language of the future. As a university student, I have been finding little time to participate in the FIRST FTC robotics arena. I've been involved with FIRST Robotics since Fourth Grade. Today, I'm exploring a wider scope academically, being involved with research in astrophysics and neurophysiology.


In high school, I tested through the programming classes (via the AP Computer Science A test). It turns out that the FTC competition was using the same language as the AP test, Java. That being said, I'm finding some of the newer languages like Swift and Python more user-friendly and applicable than Java. I still participate and Mentor (Java) programming coding solutions for several teams in southeast Wisconsin, which remains fun. The last FTC season was a blast, but in the near future I'm going to be focusing more on Python as this is primarily used in astrophysics today. Feel free to puruse my old FTC codes below:

 FTC Coding Examples . . .


Zen42; simple Tetrix bot used in the 2013 FTC Block Party competitions. The links below are code Zen42 - 6914-Bproduced for educational purposes, shared here for anyone using RobotC; these are typical frames for a robot using the multiport sensor SMUX, with ported Gyro, IR, US, and Light sensors, along with two stop switches/touch sensors for the lifting arm. Gimbaled claw with one servo to close and hold blocks. The first link is designed for use directly with a Bluetooth connection; the second link is the same code for on the competition field using the Field Control System or WIFI through the Samantha module.

Zen42 Teleop w/o FCS v112214 | Zen42 Teleop for FCS v112214

Here's the autonomous action link on YouTube, showing the results of sensor use.


Zen42 on Mecanum WheelsZen42 decked out with Mecanum wheels for testing purposes circa 122014. These wheels provide x & y directional control vectoring, with anything in between when the motive code is written correctly. In this YouTube video we demonstrate only the X and Y axes with fixed speeds for lateral (Y) movements. Imagine what these wheel combinations will do to robotics when everyone starts using them? Zen42 Tele-Op only RobotC Code (PDF). SuperDroidRobots provides PDF link to mounting and directional vectors. We have a local PDF copy of same.


Zen42 2015Here are more details of the above FTC Sensor only platform robot using RobotC on an NXT brick. This year we use the Directional Gyro, Ultra Sonic, Inferred Seeker and Light Sensor, mounted for testing and framing code  to later apply to any competition (finished) robot. View one of the longest routes, from this years FIRST FTC Cascade Effect challenge, where the final bot would perform a mechanical function where you see pauses. View here at YouTube, with the autonomous program PDF copy or text copy. Finally, here's the Tele-op program PDF and text copies. Note the initializeRobot and waitForStart statements are commented out and need to be removed for Wi-Fi multi-robot competitions.  These copies haven't been line by line commented, unfortunately - but will be updated soon. Driver files (load sequence) and subfolder locations are very important and noted within the program. Drivers do limit our use to run on RobotC version 3.60, not the latest version.



While in sixth (6th) grade (middle school) our Robotics Coach coordinated this Community University Project which allowed me to design, build, and modify the above unit for part of Dr. Na Jin Seo's Research Lab at UWM. This project went on and off for two years until all the bugs were caught and removed; the "Towerbot" stimulator above is now used within the data collection loop in active biometric study. This was my first robotic assignment at the University Research level.


Robot in Use

Volunteer above, in position to test "Towerbot" stimulator with Brain Wave Data Collection sensor cap. I used an NXT2 Brick, mainly Lego parts and RobotC for it's operation strictly, which had a mechanical parallel optic sensor circuit board which provided the data on stimulation strokes; all mechanical and brain data collection was managed by Kishor Lakshminarayanan, a UWM PhD student, on three other computers, mostly using variants of Labview's software products.



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