Activities for students

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Middle School

  • Teleoperation: Use the ControllerGUI to drive the robot around; use the RawCam viewer to see the world from the robot's point of view.
  • Sound effects: In the ControllerGUI, go to File Access > Play Sound and let students try the different sound files.
  • Talking robot: In the ControllerGUI, go to Framework Demos > Interaction > Text to Speech and let students experiment with making the robot talk. After starting the demo, type "msg Hi there" in the Tekkotsu console (terminal window) to speak those words.
  • Obstacle course: Set up an obstacle course or maze using cardboard boxes, empty soda cans, and similar objects, and have students use the Walk Control to navigate the robot through the obstacle course. For a more realistic (and harder) task: make them rely on the RawCam display instead of looking directly at the robot.
  • Robot soccer: Use the Walk Control to try to push a ball into a goal. (You can make a goal by turning a cardboard box on its side.) If you have multiple robots, you can have an attacker and a defender.

High School

  • Easy intros: All of the middle school activities above can be used with high school students.
  • Color perception: how does the robot see the world?
    • Use the SegCam viewer to explore how the robot classifies colors. What effect does changing the room lighting have?
    • Check the article on ASUS camera settings and play with the camera parameters to see how they affect the robot's vision.
    • Try this demo: Framework Demos > Vision > SeeShapes; show the robot some lines (use colored masking tape) and ellipses (use balls or easter egg halves).
  • Building and navigating virtual worlds:
    • Show students how to use the Mirage simulator (see Running Mirage) and navigate through a world using the Mirage keyboard commands (see Mirage Command Summary).
    • Show students how to drive a robot around in a Mirage virtual world. Explore the different worlds available in Tekkotsu/tools/mirage/worlds.
    • Introduce students to the Mirage world builder tools (see Mirage worlds) and show them how to make their own worlds.
  • State machine projects: these projects can be done using only the built-in node classes, so students don't have to write any C++ code.
    • Combination lock: the user has to press a sequence of four buttons in a specific order to unlock the lock, e.g., green-yellow-yellow-green. (On the Create, the Play and Advance buttons serve as green and yellow, respectively.) If they press a wrong button, the robot howls at the end of the four button sequence and they have to start over.
    • Red light, green light: the robot acts as the traffic light in this game, randomly calling out "red light" or "green light" after a variable interval. Use random transitions (=RND=>) to build a state machine, with a collection of timeout transitions =T(n)=> to provide delays.


These activities are for students taking an undergraduate robotics course. (Please send suggestions to Dave Touretzky.)