Building a robot and making it smart

Author: Marios Xenos
Summary of the Activity Plan

Make an autonomous system (vehicle) that disposes garbage at a dump

Type of Activity: Workshop Curriculum Aligned: Not aligned
Subject:
  • Technology
Curriculum and Country:
Language: English
Domains
Science: 0
Business: 0
Technology: 10
Engineering: 6
Mathematics: 2
Arts: 2
Societal Issues: 5
Life Skills: 10
OBJECTIVES AND SKILLS

Subject Related:

- Introducing basic robotic characteristics and build an autonomous vehicle.

Skills Learning Outcomes:

  • Programming in LEGO programming environment, assembling LEGO sensor and motors
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
  • Taking and exchanging roles in a group. Communicate with other groups to find solutions
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Teamwork
    • Problem Solving
  • Identifying an authentic problem, make assumptions, test possible solutions, choose the best solution, communicate with other “makers”.
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Collaboration
    • Creativity
    • Teamwork
    • Critical Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    ARTIFACTS

    Digital artifacts: Lego programming environment

    Robotic artifacts: a simple vehicle with LEGO Mindstorms NXT

    WHO? WHERE? HOW LONG?

    Gender: boys

    Age Group: 10 - 14 Years

    Class Size: small

    (Ideal) Group Size: no

    (Ideal) Grouping Suggestions: gender

    Special needs and abilities:

    Other:

    Lego programming environment is in English. English is not native language for participants

    Environment: indoor

    Style of room: Students in front of computers with one lego NXT kit available for each group and online platform for discussion

    Sessions: 3

    Session Duration: 2 h 30

    Total Duration: 7 h 30

    INTERACTIONS

    Actions:

    • Exchange ideas
    • Dialogue
    • Negotiation
    • Debate

    Relationships:

    • Collaborative
    • Competitive

    Roles in the group:

    • Pre-defined roles
    • Emergent roles

    Support by the tutor(s):

    • Intervene
    • Monitor
    • Facilitate
    TECHNOLOGY
    Technology Used:
    • Dash & Dot
    • Robotic Dreams
    • MOSS
    • LEGO Mindstorms

    Price per Kit: €151 - €300

    Technology Needed: Computers

    LEARNING AND TEACHING

    Teaching Methods:

    No Teaching Methods
    HOW TO
    PHASE 1: INTRODUCTION, ASSEMBLAGE, EXPERIMENTATION
    Description: Children are engaged in discussion about robotics and how a robot could help to deal with environmental issues e.g. in a recycle facility. Students are introduced to available parts and motors. They are assembling a vehicle - robot following online instructions. They are writing their first program bringing the vehicle into life and make it to move on a virtual rectangular on the floor. The length of each side is 1 meter and students trying to keep the robot in the desired length. The aim here is to get familiar with basic programming structures and in particular with “sequential programming”. They are facing two real issues: a) How the real distance on the floor is related to distance parameter on the program b) How a robot can turn 90 degrees as it cannot understand “degrees” by default.
    Duration: 150 minutes
    Type: Introductory , Reflection , Experimentation , Construction
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related: Introducing basic robotic characteristics and build an autonomous vehicle.
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Programming in LEGO programming environment, assembling LEGO sensor and motors , Taking and exchanging roles in a group. Communicate with other groups to find solutions , Identifying an authentic problem, make assumptions, test possible solutions, choose the best solution, communicate with other “makers”.
    PHASE 2: COMMUNICATION WITH REAL WORLD (INTRODUTING SENSORS)
    Description: Students are engaged in discussion about impressions, expectations and difficulties they faced so far. They are asked to put a colored marker on the vehicle in a way that marks the route on the floor. The marked shape on the floor challenges the students to improve the movement of the robot. They also have to solve a construction issue in order to have the marker stable and functional. Subsequently, they discuss how a marked path could be useful for a real robot in environmental issues. Then, they are asked to assemble and connect an ultrasonic sensor on the robot in a way it can detect objects in front of it. Tutor gives them a predefined program with a simple loop. The program includes one “move” block that makes robot moves until it detects an object. They have to modify the program in such a way that the robot moves until detect an obstacle at 20cm away and then it turns and moves away. In this phase, students are facing two new issues: a) Robot detects the obstacle in different distances each time it runs the program. It is needed to find the reason for this “malfunction” b) How can they measure or calculate the distance that robot covers and set the proper parameters on the program?
    Duration: 150 minutes
    Type: Introductory , Exploration , Experimentation , Construction
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related: Introducing basic robotic characteristics and build an autonomous vehicle.
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Programming in LEGO programming environment, assembling LEGO sensor and motors , Taking and exchanging roles in a group. Communicate with other groups to find solutions , Identifying an authentic problem, make assumptions, test possible solutions, choose the best solution, communicate with other “makers”.
    PHASE 3: ENHANCING THE “SMARTNESS” OF THE ROBOT
    Description: Students upgrade their programs in order the vehicle avoid any obstacle by turning the vehicle and continue in different direction. Then, they place again markers on the robot and try to paint on the floor using their hands or bodies as an obstacle. Subsequently, they asked to build an additional frame in order to hold a ball as the vehicle moves around. Then they have to program the robot to move forward for specific distance, then turn and climb on a ramp until the ball falls down on a basket at the end of the ramp. In this final phase they are asked to make their robots really “smart”; not just avoid an obstacle and stop. Now they have to use their experience to program the robot to move with precision and stop. At the end of the ramp there is a wall in order students themselves take the final decision how to make the robot stop at the correct spot. They can program the distance or they can use ultrasonic sensor to detect the wall. In this phase, students work in their groups, discuss the available solutions and decide which one should follow. They may have to improve the construction in order the sensor not to interfere with the movement and sense the ramp wall correctly. At the end of this phase students discuss in classroom the difficulties, the different solutions, the limitations that may have found in every step. They also fill in the evaluation questionnaire and tutor interviews the focus group.
    Duration: 150 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Exploration , Experimentation , Construction
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related: Introducing basic robotic characteristics and build an autonomous vehicle.
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Programming in LEGO programming environment, assembling LEGO sensor and motors , Taking and exchanging roles in a group. Communicate with other groups to find solutions , Identifying an authentic problem, make assumptions, test possible solutions, choose the best solution, communicate with other “makers”.
    ASSESSMENTS

    PHASE 3: ENHANCING THE “SMARTNESS” OF THE ROBOT: Students upgrade their programs in order the vehicle avoid any obstacle by turning the vehicle and continue in different direction. Then, they place again markers on the robot and try to paint on the floor using their hands or bodies as an obstacle. Subsequently, they asked to build an additional frame in order to hold a ball as the vehicle moves around. Then they have to program the robot to move forward for specific distance, then turn and climb on a ramp until the ball falls down on a basket at the end of the ramp. In this final phase they are asked to make their robots really “smart”; not just avoid an obstacle and stop. Now they have to use their experience to program the robot to move with precision and stop. At the end of the ramp there is a wall in order students themselves take the final decision how to make the robot stop at the correct spot. They can program the distance or they can use ultrasonic sensor to detect the wall. In this phase, students work in their groups, discuss the available solutions and decide which one should follow. They may have to improve the construction in order the sensor not to interfere with the movement and sense the ramp wall correctly. At the end of this phase students discuss in classroom the difficulties, the different solutions, the limitations that may have found in every step. They also fill in the evaluation questionnaire and tutor interviews the focus group.

    ATTACHMENTS / SUPPORTING MATERIALS
    FEEDBACK

    There is no Feedback yet.

    Views: 28
    Author: Christina
    Where does this fit in the ER4STEM Framework?