Thursday, May 15, 2008

Learning from robotics

My students are completing a culminating assignment for the Temperature-measuring robot project in which they simply have to write what they learned from the experience. The following is a partial list, but all of it is fascinating and inspiring. I love how some of the learning is specific to programming and engineering and some is about how to confront problems in general, what to do when you are frustrated:
  • I learned that making the robot take a temperature overy second is way too often. The water cools very slowly. You end up with about 700 temperature readings if you make it take the temperature every second.
  • I learned that it is extremely difficult to make sure you have the correct program in Microworlds.
  • We learned that data that appears on Microworlds can also be exported to create a graph on microsoft Excel.
  • I learned how to convert celsius to fahrenheit on the computer which can be very useful.
  • It was fun but hard.
  • I learned that you cannot put loop and the program’s name together or else your system will crash.
  • Robotics was really fun, and I learned a lot of things.
  • One of the most valuable lessons I learned from making the temperature recording robot is that you must be patient and try again.
  • We also learned that there are many ways to tell the RCX to export its data into Excel.
  • I learned from making a robot that in order to make a successful robot the base must be sturdy. Without a sturdy base the whole robot breaks off.
  • A little enthusiam works to in order to make it a great project!
  • I learned how to use the loop command, the “athisway” and “athatway” commands, and I also improved my skills at making graphs on Microsoft Excel.
  • I have learned from this project how to program a light senser, how to use a temperature senser, and to create a pully wheel.
  • I had never worked with a temperature thermometer before and it was interesting to work with.
  • When programming the temerature recording robot you need to have the thermometer firmly stuck on to the robot so when it quickly jerks down into the cup it does not fall off.
  • I learned how to program the robot to take the temperature of the hot water, and how to send the temperatures through the RCX to the computer.
  • I have learned that when making a program you have to make sure that you have not made any mistakes in the program.
  • Making the robot that records temperatures is very hard and people who make it will encounter many problems.
  • I learned that you can never do too many things at once because we tried to drive the robot and do it mechnically at the same time. This is hard and it is almost impossible.
  • It was really interesting watching how the tempratures would constantly be changing throughout 10 minutes.
  • I think that the most interesting thing that we learned, to me, was how to convert the tempratures into the graph on Excel.
  • I learned how to use a gear to move a temperature sensor up and down into a cup.
  • It takes a lot of patience to program and make the robot record the temperatures. You have to do it many times and there are many things that can go wrong.
  • Also, I learned that you must make sure that you do not get someone else’s signal because it really messes up your temperature experiment.
  • Overall, I learned many programming, organizing and engineering methods and skills over the course of this experiment.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...


Did you hear about this? I thought you might be interested...

Eric G.