Robot Treasure Hunt
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Robot Treasure Hunt

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Members of the OU Robotics Outreach Group have been running hands on school and community workshops using the Lego Mindstorms robot invention system. Typically, these activities have been based......

Members of the OU Robotics Outreach Group have been running hands on school and community workshops using the Lego Mindstorms robot invention system. Typically, these activities have been based around remote control activities using prebuilt robots, programming workshops using prebuilt robots or hybrid workshops involving simple robot construction and programming tasks.
In this presentation, we describe a new activity format - a robot construction activity using a preprogrammed robot controller capable of solving a situated task based on the popular RoboCupJunior robot rescue challenge.

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  • Specifications, Features & Review of VEXplorer RC Robotic Construction System

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    Specifications, Features & Review of VEXplorer RC Robotic Construction System

    http://timepassonline.blogspot.com/2008/12/vexplorer-rc-robotic-construction.html
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  • Abstract For the last four years, members of the OU Robotics Outreach Group have been running hands on school and community workshops using the Lego Mindstorms robot invention system. Typically, these activities have been based around remote control activities using prebuilt robots, programming workshops using prebuilt robots or hybrid workshops involving simple robot construction and programming tasks. In this presentation, we describe a new activity format - a robot construction activity using a preprogrammed robot controller capable of solving a situated task based on the popular RoboCupJunior robot rescue challenge. Participants are required to construct a mobile robot around the controller according to a minimal specification that identifies all necessary electrical connections and also hints at an appropriate sensor placement. In piloting this activity, the preprogrammed controller required participants to calibrate the single sensor used in the challenge, which provided an opportunity for a small scale scientific investigation activity. We also explore ways in which automatic calibration routines can be reduced introduced to simplify the task (and reduce the time/expertise required to complete it). An appealing feature of the challenge type addressed by the preprogrammed controller (edge following with obstacle resolution) is the ability to use the same problem format in a wide variety of contextualised scenarios. For example, we discuss how the same robot control programme can be used to run essentially the same activity but with a different backstory, such as a robot rescue challenge or a robot treasure hunt. The support and instructional materials required to run the activity and the amount of (teacher) training required to deliver it are minimal compared to robot challenges involving a programming component. The need for programming workstations (ideally one PC per group of up to 4 participants) is also avoided. Finally, we explore the potential for activites based on other preprogrammed tasks and the factors that make any one control programme reusable in several different activity contexts.

Transcript

  • 1. Creative hands-on robot activities using pre-programmed controllers Tony Hirst & Jon Rosewell
  • 2. Background
    • Hands-on robotics activities at public events
    • Schools competitions
    • Hands-on activities in schools
  • 3. Themed Activities
    • Science Festivals
  • 4. Themed Activities
    • Kre8 Workshops
  • 5. Themed Challenges
    • RoboCup Junior Dance
  • 6. Themed Team Challenges
    • RoboCup Junior Football
    • RoboCup Junior Rescue
  • 7. Themed Team Challenges
    • RoboCup Junior Dance
  • 8. Why Themes and Teams?
    • Vygotsky
      • Social Situatedness: “the idea that the development of individual intelligence requires a social (and cultural) embedding”
      • Zone of Proximal Development: “the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers”
  • 9. Why Hands-On?
    • Papert
    • Constructionism
      • “ people learn with particular effectiveness when they engaged in constructing personally meaningful artefacts“
  • 10. The OU-ROG Philosophy
  • 11. The Problem of Resource
    • Robot kit
    • Computers
    • Software
    • Time
    • Knowledge/Skills of Mechanisms and Programming
      • Pupils/students
      • Teachers
  • 12. …or to put it another way
    • Programming often makes life difficult…
      • Availability of computers
      • Suitable programming environment
      • Syntactic and control structure knowledge
      • Debugging
    • …especially if you only have an hour…
  • 13. The Solution?
    • Pre-programmed robots
      • One computer (for downloading program)
      • Prewritten program
      • Some constraints on robot design
        • Sensor/motor configuration
    • Optional requirement to calibrate robot sensors
  • 14. The Task
    • A enhanced edge follower…
    • Variants already exist in several themed events
      • Robocup Junior rescue
      • RoboJoust
      • RobotFashion Show
  • 15. The Challenge, Technically
    • To construct a robot that will follow the edge of a black line on a white background and detect pieces of silver foil placed at various points along the line.
    • The robot controller is preprogrammed and requires participants to construct a robot in compliance with a partial specification.
    • The robot controller requires the sensors to be calibrated before each run.
  • 16. The Challenge, Actually
    • Robot Treasure Island
    • To build a robot that can find the treasure that was been dropped by a band of evil pirates as they made a path through the island’s jungle undergrowth.
  • 17. In Use
    • Technology Challenge Days, Isle of Wight
      • Year 8: 1 hr 40 minute activity (optional ramp up to the pirate ship)
      • Year 6: 50 minute activity
    • Science Week, Fenny House PRU, Milton Keynes
      • Years 10-12(?): 50 minute activity
  • 18. More Information
    • http://robofesta.open.ac.uk
    • [email_address]
  • 19. OU Robotics Outreach Group Faculty of Technology The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
    • robofesta.open.ac.uk