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Those Crazy Robots - Day 2

Discovery Experience 3 – Those Crazy Robots The students will understand how sensors work by incorporating them on a Lego Robot.

Day 2: Introduction to Programming

Materials Needed:

  1. Built Lego robot
  2. Mindstorm program
  3. 5 soda bottles
  4. 5 strings approximately 4 ft long
  5. 5 pencils

Note:  For help in programming, here are two good options
1.    LEGO Minstorm tutorials in LEGO Mindstorm help options
2.    Go to HESTEC and scroll to the bottom of the website for the beginner and advanced tutorials

Also, a good resource is Classroom Activities for the Busy Teacher: NXT by Damien Kee, pp. 37-42.  Can be bought online at Domabotics


nb10Part I: Programming introduction:

  1. Teacher takes two volunteers
    1. Puts them back-to-back
    2. Ties the string around their waist
    3. A second string with a pencil tied to it is tied to the middle of the long string
    4. A bottle is placed below the hanging pencil
    5. Students then try to get the pencil in the soda can by squatting and coordinating their movements together
  2. After watching the volunteers, students are to write directions for how to get the string in the bottle
  3. Half the class prepares to try the experiment, having one person chosen at random to read their directions. The other half watches and fixes their code.
  4. The second half, who have not gone yet, prepare the experiment while the first half changes their directions.
  5. Class discussion: Did you have to change your directions? Most likely, the answer is yes. If so, why? Most likely because they were not specific enough or wrong. If the pencil did not go in the first time, what should your directions do? Tell them to start over and try again until it works.

Part II: Moving the robot

  1. Show a simple program for having the Lego robot go forward three rotations.
  2. Put students in groups of three:
    1. programmer (working on computer)
    2. Mathematician (figures out how many rotations)
    3. technician (handles the robot).
  3. All students contribute to the programming and calculating. Students switch roles for each chore
  4. In groups of three, have students program their robots to go certain distances.:
    1. If one rotation = 5 cm, have them program their robots to go 15 cm (in rotations)
    2. If 1 meter = 100 cm, have them program the robot to go (in rotations)
    3. If 2.5 cm is about one inch, have them program the robot to go 6 inches

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Robot Image Rotator

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Contact Info

  • Kathleen Letsky, Curriculum Specialist
  • Nathan Patia, STEM Specialist
  • Salvador Cabusi, Technology Specialist
  • Robot Invasion
  • Krause Family Foundation
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Tel: 808.778.1265

The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha

  • ‘Alana Ke Aloha places relationship at the heart of all learning.  We create and support projects that engage participants’ imagination, collaboration, and problem solving toward a healthy planet.
  • The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 27-1531421) registered (01/21/2010) in the State of Hawai‘i.