The idea behind our new 14-session course (1 session weekly) is to develop a solution to the Conway Game of Life where the robots would actually play the game. Students will construct the robots by instructions and lots of imagination. Initial programs will be provided by us and modified by students. The course is for students and classes of students. It is for Computer Science, Computer History, Robotics, Math. Different programming languages will be used for after class activities and solutions to problems.
The rules of the game are really simple.
The universe of the Game of Life is an infinite two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in one of two possible states, live or dead. Every cell interacts with its neighbours, which are the cells that are directly horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent. At each step in time, the following transitions occur:
Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by underpopulation.
Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell.
Game of Life is one of the best examples in science of how a few simple rules can result in incredibly complex behaviour.
Did we grab your attention? Excellent because we have a plan to make this game even more interesting.
How? With robots, of course.
Beginners (9-10 years) to Intermediate (experience students and teachers) . Beginners can work already developed programs and experiment with them while more advanced participants would think of new ways and implementations and answer more difficult problems.
We provide the explanations in a video format, the tasks, the instructions, the programs and the challenges. Students along with their teachers (if they are in class) follow the materials. Additional instructions will be provided to teachers on how to direct the groups of studens and what additional questions to be asked.
Videos of the solutions will be uploaded by students to FLLCasts.com and they will participate in our Global competition on Robotics Game Of Life. The best solutions will be awarded. You can ask live questions, post comments, listen to the recorded videos over and over again, experiment with the programs and get immediate and accurate feedback.
We would use different programming languages, sites and simulations. For the robots we are planning on using LEGO Mindstorms EV3, but NXT should also be fine.