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?
- 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
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.
- 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
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).
Also note: Different floor surfaces affect the robot’s ability to turn (e.g., carpet vs. smooth flooring).
For programming, we suggest trying a loop similar to this one to have the robot drive in a zig zag pattern:
© 2022 Dr. Krista Francis & Stefan Rothschuh