In last week's Mindstorms workshop we put together robots and ran a simple demo computer program to get them to move. This week, we learned about creating our own computer programs and got to practice some ideas.
The LEGO Mindstorms software uses block programming techniques (similar to Scratch, if you’ve ever tried that out). Kids drag and drop various programming “blocks,” then adjust the settings of each block to direct their robots’ actions.
We began by learning about “Move Steering” blocks. These blocks allow you to control a robot’s motors to drive at various speeds and in different directions. At this step, the kids also learned how to download and run programs on their EV3 computer brick.
After kids were comfortable with getting their robots to move, we learned about sound blocks and display blocks. This allowed their robots to make a wide variety of sounds, from saying words to playing musical notes. They were also able to program their robots to display images on the screen. The most popular display option with this group were eyes.
Next week we’ll learn about using and programming sensors. Look out!
And now, some photos and an awesome video!
Our first time using the LEGO Mindstorms software to program our robots. Here we're learning how to make it move and steer.
Making sure everything's plugged in properly
This group programmed their robot to be a Superhero Grandma! She starts by moving very slowly with tired-looking eyes, then her eyes turn angry and she springs into action, moving quickly in a circle!
Click the picture to see a video of the robots in action!