Robot cars and smart cities

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Lesson overview

In the first lesson of this unit of work, we will introduce your class to the concept of robotics and autonomous cars. Your students will discuss what cities in the future will look like, and think about the role that robots and autonomous vehicles will play. Next, your class will work in groups to complete the main challenge of the first lesson: building the mBot, then getting it moving around the classroom with the remote control.

Learning outcomes

  • Name a benefit of smart cities
  • Describe characteristics of an autonomous vehicle
  • Compare characteristics of robots and humans
  • Construct a robot
  • Name the basic parts of the robot
  • Control a robot using a simple remote
  • Identify and share problems encountered with solutions

Lesson steps

  1. 360 video opener (5 mins)
    Introduction to smart cities and autonomous vehicles. Students get 360 insight to a driverless car to provide context for this lesson’s challenge: to build a robot vehicle.
  2. Classroom discussion (10 mins)
    Students will discuss the human responses to the three questions of autonomy. Then they will discuss additional differences between robots and humans.
  3. Make (30 mins)
    Build the mBot as per the instruction manual and guidance video.
  4. Test (10 mins)
    Test the mBot works with the remote control.
  5. Reflect (5 mins)
    Students will reflect on their learning, including problems they had and how they solved them.

Equipment required (per group)

  • mBot kit
  • Note batteries are not included in mBot kits:
    mBot requires either 4 x 1.5V AA batteries or a 3.7V DC lithium battery
    Makeblock remote control requires a CR2025 button cell battery
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