Programmable Robots

Virtual Lab Tour

Maya Staresinic, our programmable robot guru, explains how programmable robots can be utilized to create rich learning experiences in any makerspace!

Introduction to Programmable Robots

Programmable robots are a technology that you are able to program in order to make your robot interact with you or its surrounding environment. There are a variety of ways you can make your robot ‘go’, whether through coding (block coding, typed coding, etc.), through push-button commands, or by drawing a path for your robot to follow. Using many devices such as laptops, desktop computers, iPads, tablets or smartphones, you are given full reign of your robot’s movements. Programmable robots appeal to a wide range of ages, grade levels, and subjects.

Types of Programmable Robots

Sphero

Sphero is a programmable robot that moves and lights up. It connects students to the world of programming and robotics in a simple and fun way.

Other Sphero Models: BB8, Ollie, SPRK 2.0, SPRK+, SPRK mini

Other Robots 

  • Dash & Dot
  • Ozobot
  • Beebot

Curriculum Connections: Primary (Grades 1 – 3)

Grade 1

Mathematics

  • Measurement
    • Estimate, measure, and describe length, area, mass, capacity, time, and temperature, using non-standard units of the same size
  • Patterning and Algebra
    • Identify, describe, extend and create repeating patterns
  • Data Management and Probability
    • Describe the likelihood that everyday events will happen
  • Number Sense and Numeration
    • Solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of single-digit whole numbers, using a variety of strategies

Science

  • Understanding Matter and Energy
    • Investigate how different kinds of energy are used in daily life

Grade 2

Mathematics

  • Measurement
    • Compare, describe, and order objects, using attributes measured in non-standard units and standard units.
  • Patterning and Algebra
    • Identify, describe, extend, and create repeating patterns, growing patterns, and shrinking patterns

Arts

  • Visual Arts
    • Creating and Presenting: apply to creative process to produce a variety of two- and three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate feelings, ideas and understanding

Grade 3

Mathematics

  • Measurement
    • Compare, describe, and order objects, using attributes measured in standard units

Science

  • Understanding Matter and Energy
    • Investigate devices that use forces to create controlled movement
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how forces cause movement and changes in movement

Curriculum Connections: Junior (Grades 4 – 6)

Grade 4

Mathematics

  • Number Sense and Numeration
    • Demonstrate an understanding of proportional reasoning by investigating whole-number unit rates
  • Geometry and Spatial Sense
    • Identify quadrilaterals and three-dimensional figures and classify them by their geometric properties, and compare various angles to benchmarks
  • Patterning and Algebra
    • Describe, extend, and create a variety of numeric and geometric patterns, make predictions related to the patterns, and investigate repeating patterns involving reflections

Science

  • Understanding Matter and Energy
    • Investigate the characteristics and properties of light and sound
    • Demonstrate an Understanding of light and sound as forms of energy that have specific characteristics and properties

Grade 5

Mathematics

  • Measurement
    • Determine the relationships among units and measurable attributes, including the area of a rectangle and the volume of a rectangular prism
  • Geometry and Spatial Sense
    • Identify and classify two dimensional shapes by side and angle properties, and compare and sort three-dimensional figures

Science

  • Understanding Earth and Space Systems
    • Demonstrate and understanding of the various forms and sources of energy and the ways in which energy can be transformed and conserved

 Grade 6

Mathematics

  • Measurement
    • Determine the relationships among units and measurable attributes, including the area of a parallelogram, the area of a triangle, and the volume of a triangular prism
  • Geometry and Spatial Sense
    • Classify and construct polygons and angles
  • Patterning and Algebra
    • Describe and represent relationships in growing and shrinking patterns (where the terms are whole numbers), and investigate repeating patterns involving rotations

Science

  • Understanding Matter and Energy
    • Investigate the characteristics of static and current energy
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the principals of electrical energy and its transformation into and from other forms of energy

Curriculum Connections: Intermediate (Grades 7 – 10)

Grade 7

Mathematics

  • Measurement
    • Report on research into real-life applications of area measurements;
  • Geometry and Spatial Sense
    • Construct related lines, and classify triangles, quadrilaterals, and prisms
    • Develop an understanding of similarity, and distinguish similarity and congruence
  • Patterning and Algebra
    • Model real-life linear relationships graphically and algebraically, and solve simple algebraic equations using a variety of strategies, including inspection and guess and check

Science

  • Understand Structures and Mechanisms
    • Analyse personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that need to be considered in designing and building structures and devices

Grade 8

Mathematics

  • Geometry and Spatial Sense
    • Develop geometric relationships involving lines, triangles, and polyhedra, and solve problems involving lines and triangles
  • Patterning and Algebra
    • Model linear relationships graphically and algebraically, and solve and verify algebraic equations, using a variety of strategies, including inspection, guess and check, and using a “balance” model

Science

  • Understanding Structures and Mechanisms
    • Investigate a working system and the ways in which components of the system contribute to its desired function

Grade 9 (Academic)

Mathematics

  • Linear Relations
    • Apply data-management techniques to investigate relationships between two variables
  • Measurement and Geometry
    • Determine, through investigation, the optimal values of various measurements;

Science

  • Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration
    • Demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating
    • Identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have made contributions to those fields.
  • Physics – The Characteristics of Electricity
    • Investigate, through inquiry, various aspects of electricity, including the properties of static and current electricity, and the quantitative relationships between potential difference, current, and resistance in electrical circuits
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of static and current electricity

Grade 9 (Applied)

Mathematics

  • Linear Relations
    • Apply data-management techniques to investigate relationships between two variables
      • Pose problems, identify variables, and formulate hypotheses associated with relationships between two variables
    • Measurement and Geometry
      • Determine, through investigation, the optimal values of various measurements of rectangles

Science

  • Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration
    • Demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating
    • Identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have made contributions to those field

Grade 10 (Academic)

Science

  • Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration
    • Demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating
    • Identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have made contributions to those field

Grade 10 (Applied)

Mathematics

  • Measurement and Trigonometry
    • Use their knowledge of ratio and proportion to investigate similar triangles and solve problems related to similarity

Science

  • Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration
    • Demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating
    • Identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have made contributions to those fields

Curriculum Connections: Senior (Grades 11 – 12)

Grade 11

Science: Physics (University Prep)

  • Kinematics
    • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, uniform and non-uniform linear motion, and solve related problems
    • Demonstrate an understanding of uniform and non-uniform linear motion, in one and two dimensions
  • Forces
    • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, net force, acceleration, and mass, and solve related problems
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between changes in velocity and unbalanced forces in one dimension
  • Energy and Society
    • Investigate energy transformations and the law of conservation of energy, and solve related problems
    • Demonstrate an understanding of work, efficiency, power, gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy, nuclear energy, and thermal energy and its transfer (heat).

Grade 12

Science: Physics (University Prep)

  • Dynamics
    • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, forces involved in uniform circular motion and motion in a plane, and solve related problems

Grade 12

Science: Physics (College Prep)

  • Motion and Its Application
    • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the linear uniform and non-uniform motion of objects, and solve related problems
    • Demonstrate an understanding of different kinds of motion and the relationships between speed, acceleration, displacement, and distance
  • Mechanical Systems
    • Investigate forces, torque, work, coefficients of friction, simple machines, and mechanical advantage, and interpret related data

Industry Connections

With the rise of industries like technology, there are many industrial connections that can be made and linked to programmable robots and coding. Displaying these industrial connections to our students will better help them put their learning into context, link their learning to real-world applications, and answer the question: “why are we doing this?” Robots can be found in many sectors across the country, from health care to customer service. By allowing our students to engage with programmable robots while in the safety of our schools, we are setting them up for success once they enter the real world. Learning how robots move, how they are programmed, and how they interact with the environment around them will give students the necessary skills to succeed in our ever-changing world.

Example Industrial Connections:

Manufacturing

  • Automotive – Robots are used to manufacture cars.
  • Packaging – Many plants use robots to make their packing process faster and to not use as much manpower.

Health Care

  • Robots assist with procedures and/or surgeries.
  • They allow doctors to operate with precision.

Space Sector of Canada

  • When travelling up to space, astronauts use various robotic equipment to essentially make their lives easier.
  • Programming the spaceship to travel a certain distance, to a certain location, for a certain amount of time.

Machinery

  • Factories use machines/robots that make the process of creating materials, consumables, parts, and objects more efficient.

Robots are found in our everyday lives! Chances are you are somewhere in the vicinity of a robot right now!

References

Kurkovsky, S. (2013). Mobile Computing and Robotics in One Course: Why Not? Retrieved from http://www.cs.ccsu.edu/~stan/research/cseducation/iticse2013.pdf

Timberdoodle Co. (2016) SPRK Lessons. Retrieved from http://www.timberdoodle.com/Articles.asp?ID=387