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Make It Smarter and Adaptable

Design, build and program a robotic creature that can sense light and dark conditions and respond with different behaviors.

Engineering STEAM Robotics Technology

LESSON PLAN

CONNECT (30 MINUTES)

Use this video to:

  • Connect students to real-life robots that demonstrate intelligent behaviour interacting with people or performing tasks usually done by humans
  • Consider how robots think; how they know where they are and what they need to do
  • Inspire students to create their own robots that think and respond to their environment

Make It Smarter Discussion

  1. Look at the tasks the robots are performing. Choose one example and describe what the robot needs to be able to sense and then plan and act in response.
    This question challenges students to observe and describe how the robot behaves and consider how the robot thinks.
  2. What senses do humans have and why are they important to us?
    Humans have the sense of touch, smell, taste, vision, hearing and also a sense of balance (vestibular system). These senses help us survive in our world.
  3. How many humanlike senses do you see the robots demonstrating?
    Answers may vary, but some examples are: The balancing robot behaves in a similar way to our inner ear (vestibular system); the robot tracking the red ball behaves in a similar way to our vision and ability to focus.

Design Brief
Design, build, and program a robotic creature that can:

  • Sense light and dark conditions in the environment
  • Respond with different behaviors in each condition

And a system that:

  • Graphs the robotic creature’s behaviour and environmental conditions

Brainstorm
Encourage an active brainstorming process so that students develop their conceptual understanding. For example, encourage them to:

  • Review the Robots In Action videos showing robots for inspiration
  • Investigate the Key Concepts Sensors and Sensing project
  • Build some of the examples from Building Ideas and explore how they work
  • Personalize their robot (e.g., describe the daily life of the creature: is it active at night or during the day?).

Building Ideas:

Select the Best Solution
Describe the solution that you have agreed to build and program.

Think about examples from your brainstorming discussion. Then explain why you chose this solution for the design brief. Encourage students to describe why they have chosen this solution. That way, when students are reviewing and revising, they will have specific information to use to evaluate their solution and decide whether or not it was effective.

CONSTRUCT (30 MINUTES)

Build and Program
Start building and programming your solution!

As you work on your solution, make sure students keep track of:

  1. Describe one part of your design that worked especially well.
  2. Describe one design change that you had to make.
  3. What will you try next?

Students can use images, video, text, sound, or weblinks to document their work.

CONTEMPLATE (30 MINUTES)

Graph and Analyze
Graph Programming is a nice environment for learning about sensor input and how it can control output, because it provides more options for controlling behaviour than a simple Wait block and it doesn’t require using Loops and Switches.

Test and Analyze
How well does your solution satisfy the design brief?
Use a table to record data. Name the columns and rows, such as Trial Number, Robot Behavior, and Observations.

Review and Revise
Take a moment to reflect on your robot solution.

  • What other behaviors can you add to the robot to make it more realistic?
  • How is your robot’s behavior like a living creature?
  • How is it different?
  • Did the robots behave as expected? Why or why not?
  • Describe two ways you could improve your robot.

Encourage students to look back at the design brief and at their own brainstorming notes and test data.

Communicate
Here are some ideas to suggest to students:

  • Create a video of your project, especially your final presentation and your robot’s performance.
  • Explain some important features of your software program.
  • Produce a building guide for your model by taking a series of photographs as you deconstruct it.
  • Include an image of your program with comments.
  • Add a team photograph

Evaluate Design and NGSS Goals
You can use the included rubrics to evaluate skills progression of Design Engineering Projects.

  • Students can review their design goals as well as their use of some NGSS practices using the provided rubric. Students can rate their level of work by adding a mark below the Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum column.
  • You may also choose to use the rubric to rate each team or student yourself.

CONTINUE (30 MINUTES)

Communicate
Here are some ideas to suggest to students:

  • Create a video of your project, especially your final presentation and your robot’s performance.
  • Explain some important features of your software program.
  • Produce a building guide for your model by taking a series of photographs as you deconstruct it.
  • Include an image of your program with comments.
  • Add a team photograph

Evaluate Design and NGSS Goals
You can use the included rubrics to evaluate skills progression of Design Engineering Projects.

  • Students can review their design goals as well as their use of some NGSS practices using the provided rubric. Students can rate their level of work by adding a mark below the Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum column.
  • You may also choose to use the rubric to rate each team or student yourself.

SAMPLE SOLUTION OVERVIEW

The Flower Example Solution is one example of many possible solutions for the Make It Smarter and Adaptable project.

Sample Solution Building Ideas
This Flower Example Solution combines these Building Ideas: Jaw, Tail and Color Sensor 1.

Two copies of the Tail are built to make leaves for the Flower. A Touch Sensor is also added to the Example Solution.
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Sample Solution Program

This program shows one way to add Touch Sensor feedback along with the Color Sensor.

This program:

  • Resets Medium Motor Rotation Sensor A to zero
  • Waits until the Color Sensor measures the ambient light to be more than 67%
  • Turns on the Medium Motor to open the Jaw
  • Waits for a quarter of a second
  • Waits until the Touch Sensor is bumped (pressed and released)
  • Turns on the Medium Motor to close the Jaw quickly to catch the prey
  • Waits for one second to digest the prey
  • Turns on the Medium Motor to open the Jaw again
  • Waits for the Color Sensor to measure ambient light to be less than or equal to 67%
  • Turns on the Medium Motor to close the Jaw slowly

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE CODE
(4 KB, REQUIRES EV3 LAB SOFTWARE)

TEACHER SUPPORT

KEY OBJECTIVES

Students will:
• Understand that sensors measure physical phenomena
• Understand that sensor data can be viewed in real time or uploaded into a graph environment
• Write a program that uses sensor data to control an output based on changes in light sensor input
• Understand that a graph program uses sensor data input to control outputs such as sounds, images, text and motor movement

THINGS YOU’LL NEED

LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set
LEGO® MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Lab or EV3 Programming

Prerequisites
Students should know how to create and download a program, and how to program a motor. They should also be familiar with Data Logging.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

COMPATIBILITY

This lesson works on the following operating systems:

EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS

Common Core Science
Practices
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8
Cross-cutting Concepts
2.7
Core Ideas: Physical Science
3.PS.4
Core Ideas: Engineering, Technology and Application of Sciences
3.ETS.1

Common Core Mathematics
Practices
1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5

ITEEA Standards for Technological Literacy
Design
8, 9, 10
Abilities for a Technological World
11, 13
The Designed World
16

ISTE National Education Technology Standards
1a, 1b, 1c, 2b, 2d, 3a, 3d, 4a, 4b, 4c, 6a, 6c, 6d

STUDENT MATERIAL

STUDENT WORKSHEET

Download, view or share the student worksheet, either as a an online HTML page or a printable PDF

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