Safety and signalling

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Lesson overview

In the fifth lesson of this unit of work, your class will learn about how technology and people interact. They will learn about signalling movement and giving warnings with light and sound. Students will use code to control their robot car’s LEDs and buzzer to produce lights and sounds for a variety of different scenarios.

They will then combine an input — the ultrasonic sensor — and an output — the LEDs and buzzer — to create a proximity sensor. Finally, they will discuss the other sensors and signals they think would be useful for their robots and autonomous vehicles in real life.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand what we mean by signalling and why it is needed to keep people safe
  • Discuss the best ways for robots to signal to humans
  • Understand, describe and control LEDs and buzzers
  • Integrate inputs (ultrasonic sensor) to outputs (LEDs or buzzer)
  • Debug programs
  • Identify and share problems encountered with solutions

Lesson steps

  1. Video opener (5 mins)
    Introduction to safe cities and driverless cars. Today’s challenge is to signal your robot cars’ movements and point out hazards using lights and sound.
  2. Classroom discussion (10 mins)
    Students will discuss the video and talk about the variety of ways computers and humans ‘talk’ to each other.
  3. Make (25 mins)
    Introduction to the LEDs and buzzer hardware and how to control them with code. They should be able to signal movements with light and noise, then create a proximity warning using the ultrasonic sensor.
  4. Test (10 mins)
    Test the robot works as expected. What have you learned from the other groups’ approach to signalling?
  5. Reflect (10 mins)
    Students will reflect on their learning, including problems they had and how they solved them.

Equipment required (per group)

  • mBot with remote
  • Laptop or tablet with mBlock
  • Materials to serve as obstacles
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