- 30 Jun 2017
A note for the teacher about adding this attachment on a robot. As always because we don't know your students, we are trying to have a balance between providing all the building instructions that they could follow or leaving them to experiment with their own constructions. So, we have an example for a double attachment and depending on the level of your students they could just start with our attachments or as in the previous tasks that we've said they could try to come up with their own attachments, so that's something that we should leave to you. And depending on the students you should direct them whether they should build our attachment if you lack the time for example or you could afford to leave them to experiment and to come up with their own single attachment, mirror attachment, connected together with two motors. Then our goal is to make them think how could we add this whole attachment to a robot. It doesn't matter what the robot is you can just build a very simple robot with just four wheels and it doesn't have to be something special and then you should try to direct the students to add this attachment to the robot. What will happen then is that the robot will be off balance.
Since this attachment is at the front of the robot and if the robot is kind of small the balance of the robot will be somewhere at the front of the robot and the whole robot will fall. And you should be careful for this and the way you'd try to direct them to solve this is to tell them to move part of the way at the back of the robot. And in this way they would balance the attachment and this would be a difficult exercise for them to find the way to balance the attachment. Even if they manage to balance the attachment at the front of the robot when they grab the Hexballs or the other objects that you are using in your class what will happen is that the robot again will fall again. And this is something that's expected. And that's the point in time that you could discuss with them the balance of the robot and that they should somehow place some weight at the back of the robot. Like different tires or different bricks or anything you have in your classroom. So that you could balance your robot. Then we'll go for programming the robot. When programming we always start with a very simple task. And the first task that you should do with the students and the way they are described in the course is that they should first program the attachment to just grab a single object. And that's it. And after they have this they should try to move with this attachment so they transfer a part. The next part of the program is about the robot. So, the first part of the program is just for the attachment and the second part is for the robot and then the third part is for the attachment and the robot working together. So, the students should place the objects somewhere. And for placing the objects they should do two things. First, they should release the attachment and then move with the robot back. And this divides the whole problem in three simple steps. First, grab and when grabbing just start from here. Depending on your students of course you don't have to start from way out in the classroom and then search for the balls. Just start with the objects the Hexballs prepared. Just grab them. Second part of the program - move with them. And third part of the program - leave them and move back. And these are the three steps in the programming. Now it could take a few tries and it should take some time, probably 20-30 minutes. And just leave them to experiment with programming to move the motors, to grab the Hexballs, move, leave the Hexballs.