(Click to change area.)
So … what is a robot?
Canadian Space Agency Robot DEXTER
DEXTER is the robot for the
International Space Station. Like a repairman,
DEXTER fixes parts outside the Space Station that need to be repaired. You
could use this animation and the colouring book to introduce the topic of Robots.
How do you recognise a robot?
Printable PDF version of the information below
Robots have 4 elements in common:
A central processor:
The central processing unit is the brains of the operations. It is responsible for interpreting the commands given to the robot and is responsible for controlling all the other functions.
A body that hosts its electronics or is used for transportation:
This system is responsible for the movement of the robotic system. Some robots are fixed like those on the floor of manufacturing facilities, others have wheels or legs and feet to move them around.
It executes programs (instructions):
The central processor does the work of understanding the program which is a set of instructions and controlling all the other functions.
It has sensors:
The sensors gather information about the world around them so the robot can act on that information without constant human intervention. Touch, heat, light, speed, sound sensing systems can all be part of a robotic system. A special version of this kind of sensor is a vision system. WeDo robots can use a motion and a tilt sensor.
Are there robots in your environment?
- Darkness sensing toasters
- Electric range
- Automatic coffee pot
- Aeroplane on automatic pilot
- Vending machines
- Space Craft
- Home heating and cooling systems (Furnace and Air Conditioner)
Ideas for discovering the characteristics of a robot and of programming with the students
- Games like Simon says to illustrate giving instructions
- Play " Instruct the robot ", a game in which one students gives detailed step by step instructions for another student to go from point A to point B.
- Find pictures of robots and not robots and sort them while discussing the reasons for each decision.
|Instruct the Robot. A simple "instruct the Robot" game to initiate students to the concept of programming as a set of instructions.|
|Jeu de la manette et du robot . By the RÉCIT National du Préscolaire. This game also initiates students to the concept of programming and of the importance of each instruction given.|
A set of pictures of "Robots and not robots" as well as icons for sorting that can be used with or without a white board. Available in the Kindergarten Professional Community Resources. Login with your LEARN usename and password or Click here to become a member.
- BEFORE: gather information of what the children know about robots (circle time discussion, drawings, etc.). This gives a baseline to see change over time. You might write what they say on large chart paper and keep it to use as a comparison point at the end of the project.
- DURING: throughout the process, focus on observation of key competencies you planned to target. Also use every occasion for reflecting (Contemplate in the language of the 4Cs) on what they did, how they did it, how they worked together, how they prepared their program, and anything else in the process.
- AFTER: After the children have built and programmed their WeDo robots, ask them to tell what they know now that they didn’t know before. You could also ask each one to say what they didn’t know before: “I didn’t know that a microwave was a robot” and why they now know it’s a robot: “It has a sensor and a program”. If you used the LES " Do We Need Robots or do Robots Need US?" ask the the students to answer the question and explain their answer.