|Name of Activity||Basic Programming|
|Keywords||touch sensor, ultrasonic sensor, sound sensor, light sensor, simple programming, introduction to NXT, introduction to Mindstorms, introduction to programming|
|Grade Level||4, 5, 6, 7, 8|
|Time||1 Hour Total|
|Brief Description||Students complete a simple series of programming challenges to familiarize themselves with Mindstorms programming.|
|Lesson Objectives:||For students to become more competent programmers|
|Materials Needed:||computers with Mindstorms, whiteboard/chalkboard, a list of simple challenges OPTIONAL: pre-built cars|
|Preparation and Set Up:||1. Decide what functions of the NXT will be most useful for your class. Do you want them to know how do use a particular sensor? How to steer the robot? How to make the NXT make noises? Then, create a list of ~8 challenges that target these areas of Mindstorm programming (see our example under “References”). Create the challenges so that harder challenges only require the students to change 1 or 2 parts of their program. That way they will see the direct connection between the change they made and the robot’s actions. They will also feel accomplished if they are able to complete more challenges.
2. You may have the students pre-build a car, but the activity can also be done by programming other things (e.g. an NXT arm)
|Extensions:||This activity can be adapted for various skill levels by simply making the challenges more difficult or adding more difficult ones at the end of the list|
|Previous Activity (if applicable)||Introductory building|
|References||Our list of touch sensor challenges|
|Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)||Introduciton to Mindstorms, Introduction to NXT Robotics|
|Name of Activity||Same End, Two Ways of Getting There.|
|Author||Matt’s mini group|
|Keywords||NXT, Ultrasonic sensor, light sensor, understanding how they work|
|Grade Level||4, 5|
|Time||2 Hours Total|
|Brief Description||Understanding how sensors really work and use different sensors to accomplish the same goal.|
|Lesson Objectives:||To understand how the ultrasonic sensor works. Use two sensors to accomplish same goal.|
|Materials Needed:||Already built NXT car, bouncy ball to demonstrate ultrasonic sensor, flashlight maybe to demonstrate how the light sensor senses both reflected and ambient light and the difference between the two.|
|Preparation and Set Up:||Already built car and a thorough understanding of how the sensors truly work.|
|Necessary Background||Understand how the sensors are able to accurately sense whatever it is they sense.|
|Procedure||In order to understand how untrasonic sensors work, children can throw a bouncy ball against a wall from different distances and see how it takes longer to come back to them when they are farther and less time when they are closer. In order to understand how the light sensor works, they should pull up the real time reading of the light sensor on the brick and hold it up to different lightings and see how the reading changes and test how it is different when sensing reflection as opposed to ambient light and use these readings to set the threshold to put in the program. A flashlight can also be held up to a piece of paper at different distances and see how the intensity changes. The challenge will then be to have a car go back and forth between two walls using the ultrasonic sensor on one side and the light sensor on the other side.|
|Extensions:||Use a different sensor as well to accomplish the same goal if a group is far ahead.|
|Previous Activity (if applicable)||Basic programming knowledge and basic sensor usage.|
|Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)||NXT|
|Name of Activity||Introduction to Sensors-Ultrasonic Sensor|
|Author||Danish Bhatti, Kenny Westermann|
|Keywords||NXT Robotics, Sensors, Ultrasonic Sensor, Datalogging|
|Time||1 Hour Total|
|Brief Description||An introduction to robotics would be incomplete without imparting a basic understanding of how robots perceive their environment and react to it. We did this activity to add more dimensions to the functionalities of the robots that our class made. Up till now the robots could not function with respect to external stimuli and performed only simple tasks.
Once we put sensors into the equation, robotics suddenly became much more engaging for the students since their creations started displaying a sense of awareness as compared to the mindless drones that they were before.
At the start of the lesson, we began by trying to show the class how animals in nature perceive their environments. We also discussed how humans use their eyes ears and touch to understand different aspects of our environment. Then we worked on relating this concept to robots and NXT robots in particular. How the sensors corresponded to some of the key senses of the human body, how the NXT brick functioned as the Brain and how motors resembled muscles in their role as actuators.
Then we moved on to talk about the ultrasonic sensor and its functions. We also spent some time teaching the class how they could incorporate the sensors into their mindstorms programs. In the previous lesson we had introduced the wait-for command so the class was very quick to catch on.
We gave the class some time to install the sensors on their robots and then we simply put up a checklist of tasks we wanted the class to have their robots perform–tasks that had at least one part which relied on the use of the ultrasonic sensor. e.g: If anything comes closer to the robot than 20cm, have the robot panic and run backwards at full speed for 2 seconds.
|Lesson Objectives:||Understanding the concept of a sensor.
Where sensors are found in the natural world.
How does the Ultrasonic sensor work?
How to write a program that can make use of ultrasonic sensorsor sensors in general?
Altering the design of your robot to ensure optimum placement for the sensor.
|Materials Needed:||NXT Kit
Computers w/ NXT software
|Preparation and Set Up:||None|
|Necessary Background||Experience making NXT robots that rely on sensors.|
|Procedure||1-What are Sensors? 2-Where can we find them in the real world? 3-What is an ultrasonic sensor and how does it work? 4-Adding the sensor to the robot. 5-Programming it. 6-Testing the machine 7-Optimization|
|Name of Activity||NXT Alarm|
|Keywords||alarm, sensor, security, NXT, proximity, ultrasonic sensor|
|Grade Level||4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+|
|Time||1 Hour Total|
|Brief Description||Build and program a security system using an NXT. The alarm should be triggered by the proximity (ultrasonic) sensor.|
|Lesson Objectives:||- To learn about programming using the proximity sensor.
- To apply programming to real life problems.
|Materials Needed:||One NXT brick per group
One or more proximity sensor per group
Assortment of pieces to attach proximity sensor
Computers running MINDSTORMS NXT software
|Preparation and Set Up:||Set up computers running NXT Software.
Arrange students in groups of two.
Distribute necessary materials.
|Necessary Background||Programming is used in real life situations. Programming is used in a wide variety of devices to enhance our lives in terms of safety, ease, entertainment, transportation, etc. This activity is a good example of a way that programming can be used in the real world.|
|Extensions:||Use multiple sensors to trigger the alarm. Have a different response for each
Build an NXT alarm clock or timer.
Attach the NXT alarm to a diary or box. Build something to keep people from opening the diary/box.
Program the NXT so that a user needs to enter a security code to turn off the alarm.