SnowBot Challenge

Please find a PDF of this page HERE.

Task Description

The SnowBot Challenge is to design and program a SnowBot that can clear all the snow from the driveway (e.g., a designated space). The robot does not require any sensors. Students are challenged to design and create their own wedge for plowing the snow.

Encourage students to show their SnowBot to the rest of the class and explain how the program works.

Instructions for Students

Design and program a SnowBot that can clear all the snow from the driveway (e.g., a designated space).
Challenge: What is the fewest programming blocks you can use to clear the space?

Materials Needed

  • Cotton balls or small pompoms 
  • Tape for the floor to mark down a space, or turn the polygon vinyl mats upside down
  • Basic EV3 Robot without sensors

Set up

Tape a rectangular shape on the floor, approximately 1 m x 1 m. Alternatively, use the vinyl polygon mats turned upside down.
Distribute the cotton balls or the pompoms on the mat.

Key Understandings

  • Relates length (or width) of the enclosed area to robot’s wheel rotations by estimating measurement and movement
  • Relates the robot turns into wheel rotations by estimating measurement and movement
  • Translates measurements into programming code to move a robot a specific distance and turn a specific angle
  • Requires multiplicative and proportional thinking

Design Notes

On our first attempt, we noticed that the snow was getting under the wheels and putting our SnowBot off course (see video). We speculated that maybe the wedge needed to be wider. We modified the wedge and it worked beautifully (see the final design in action).

Here is our program:

The robot travels forward before a zig zag pattern is repeated 3 times. 


© 2020 Dr. Krista Francis & Stefan Rothschuh