ER4STEM Workshops – Robot Elevator

Author: Patrik Harner , Andreas Fenk , Julian Angel-Fernandez
Summary of the Activity Plan

As the result of the workshop, the children get a completed mechanical construction, where a Thymio lifts via deflection pulleys a mass or some other subjects. First, Participants will undergo some exercises to learn how to control Thymio. After this basic introduction, the children will get the prepared construction, which they should use to reach the given task. The lift has several limitations that participants should discover to limit the physical movement of the system, which will avoid damages to it. The first one is the maximum and minimum height that the elevator can reach. The second is the maximum speed that could be used to make the movement and still reach the desired point. It is important to remember that there is a delay on the stop command in high speeds. The completion of the activity involves the following steps: explore the given setup, and determine the maximum and minimum height they can go. Furthermore, there will be executed different concepts to control the present system.

Type of Activity: Workshop Curriculum Aligned: Not aligned
Subject:
  • Other:
Curriculum and Country:
Language: English
Domains
Science: 4
Business: 0
Technology: 10
Engineering: 10
Mathematics: 3
Arts: 2
Societal Issues: 0
Life Skills: 0
OBJECTIVES AND SKILLS

Subject Related:

No Subject Related Items

Skills Learning Outcomes:

  • Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism
  • Skills to be fostered:

  • Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions
  • Skills to be fostered:

  • Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used
  • Skills to be fostered:

    • Problem Solving
  • Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego
  • Skills to be fostered:

  • Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones
  • Skills to be fostered:

  • Understand how to use Thymio
  • Skills to be fostered:

    ARTIFACTS

    Digital artifacts: Source code, videos, presentations

    Robotic artifacts: Source code, videos, presentations

    WHO? WHERE? HOW LONG?

    Gender: both

    Age Group: 6 - 18 Years

    Class Size: large

    (Ideal) Group Size: 2

    (Ideal) Grouping Suggestions: ability

    Special needs and abilities:

    Other:

    Some students are deaf

    Environment: lab

    Style of room:

    Sessions: 2

    Session Duration: 2 h 30

    Total Duration: 5h00

    INTERACTIONS

    Actions:

    • Exchange ideas
    • Dialogue
    • Negotiation

    Relationships:

    • Collaborative

    Roles in the group:

    • Emergent roles

    Support by the tutor(s):

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

    Price per Kit: €101 - €150

    Technology Needed: Computers

    LEARNING AND TEACHING

    Teaching Methods:

    No Teaching Methods
    HOW TO
    Measurements with Thymio
    Description: In this exercise the children get to know the very basics of robotic: They learn that a robot can perceive its environment only through sensors that deliver a numeric value. A robot cannot interpret its environment on its own. The interpretation of the values is the programmer’s issue. To get a feeling for this matter, the children should use some of the robot’s sensors to do some measurements.
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Type: Introductory , Exploration
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Start stop event
    Description: In this exercise, the second important concept of programming robots should be learned, namely event-based programming. I.e., the robot reacts autonomously on a special event which is triggered by one of its internal functions (e.g., timer) or by one of its sensors. The children should use the five push buttons to trigger an event. The push buttons should be used to move the robot in all directions.
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Type: Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Stop at table edge
    Description: This exercise deepens the knowledge that was gained in the previous exercise. Again, the robot should act autonomously. Its sensors should be used to detect the edge of a table – the robot must not fall down.
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Type: Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Push buttons
    Description: In this exercise the children should learn how to use the robot’s push buttons. A program should be written to let Thymio react on specific push-button events. Recommendations: If you want to use the motors of thymio it is good to know that there are two types of motors (motor-left.target and motor-right.target.) Each can be controlled by its own with a push button event. As a simple entrance it is useful to implement a push button event with the top or bottom lights of thymio.
    Duration: 25 minutes
    Type: Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Horizontal sensors
    Description: This exercise should give the children a feeling for the use of the horizontal sensors. The robot should drive forwards if there was an obstacle behind it and backwards if there was an obstacle in front of it. Recommendation: For the basic VPL programing language investigate the different types of the sensor attitudes. (if the box is blackened or white)
    Duration: 25 minutes
    Type: Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    See a line
    Description: This exercise focuses on the use of the ground sensors. The sensors should detect a black line on the ground and the robot should react to it. Recommendation: Here it is important to understand the functionality of the ground sensors. (like mentioned before: in the VPL language the difference between a black and a white box for the proximity sensors)
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Type: Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    What have you done today?
    Description: Tutors give a blank sheet with the instruction to write an e-mail about the activity that they have done today, telling him/her what they have done what they have like or not and what they have learned.
    Duration: 10 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Evaluation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Set up the crane
    Description: The robot, a thread, the crane and Lego block are provided to the participants. Without given any instruction about how to connect all the parts, participants are asked to come with a solution for this and explain possible limitations and problems that could have their solution: • Young participants have to come with an example on real life where they have seen the system to justify their answer • Old participants have to explain using physical concepts or mathematical ones. Also they have to explain where their solution could be used. Participants have 10 minutes to come with a solution. Tutors remember them to consider the work done before. Once the time ends, each group present their solution and explain pros and cons. Tutors explain that this will let them to see what the others have done and reflect about their own solution. They have 5 minutes to organize their ideas and each group has 2 minutes to present and one minute of suggestions from the tutors and other participants. At the end participants must select one design to work with based on consensus. If participants do not arrive to any consensus, tutors can suggest the predefine solution. Having one system will make things easer in the following exercises.
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Exploration
    Description: Objective: Make participants understand some considerations or precautions that they must consider when they are using the crane. Now that they have come with a setup, they need to explore and find the two main limitations of the system: maximum and minimum height. To make them discover this two questions are asked: 1. Is it possible to move forward forever the robot? Why yes or not? If your answer was no, how would you solve this? 2. Is it possible to move backward forever the robot? Why yes or not? If your answer was no, how would you solve this?
    Duration: 20 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Exploration
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Control the distance
    Description: In the third task, the thymio should respond to the distance between a hand and his proximity sensors. Depending of the hand to the distance of the robot, it should move slower when approach and move faster when retracts. If no obstacle can be detected, the robot waits for further commands. The robot must be also stop when the limit is reach. If you push the center button the robot should stop respond to commands. The following questions are asked to the participants to answer before they start solving the problem: • Do your current design allows you to do this exercise? Why? If no, how would you modify it to make it work? • What considerations you must keep in mind during the implementation?
    Duration: 40 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Exploration , Experimentation
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    Story
    Description: Ask groups to collaborate with another group, this would create groups between 4 to 6 participants. Their task is to develop a story using two robots and one crane. They can work on robots appearance using paper and Lego blocks.
    Duration: 50 minutes
    Type: Reflection
    Orchestration: Group work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    What have you done today?
    Description: Tutors give a blank sheet with the instruction to write an e-mail or draw about the activity that they have done today, telling him/her what they have done what they have like or not and what they have learn.
    Duration: 10 minutes
    Type: Reflection , Evaluation
    Orchestration: Individual work
    Teaching Methods:
    Subject Related:
    Skills Learning Outcomes: Investigate why and how pulleys effect the elevating mechanism , Use of Thymio robot, proper employment of its functions , Think about solutions on how to attach the robot to the system and think about where this kind of system is used , Telling a story what the robots are doing, creating a design for the Thymio robots with Lego , Basic physical and mathematic concepts of gear ratio and pulley mechanism (e.g. bicycle gear ratios) – to the old ones , Understand how to use Thymio
    ASSESSMENTS

    What have you done today?: Tutors give a blank sheet with the instruction to write an e-mail about the activity that they have done today, telling him/her what they have done what they have like or not and what they have learned.

    Story : Ask groups to collaborate with another group, this would create groups between 4 to 6 participants. Their task is to develop a story using two robots and one crane. They can work on robots appearance using paper and Lego blocks.

    What have you done today? : Tutors give a blank sheet with the instruction to write an e-mail or draw about the activity that they have done today, telling him/her what they have done what they have like or not and what they have learn.

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    Author: tuwienER4STEM
    Where does this fit in the ER4STEM Framework?