The great thing about educational robotics is its comprehensiveness. Working in teams on a project creates the perfect opportunity for kids to develop crucial abilities, such as motor skills, mental operations and social skills like communication and collaboration. It is also an eclectic field of study, integrating the knowledge of various domains like mathematics, physics, mechanics, programming. Those benefits make robotics a great addition to any STEM curriculum.
However at RoboCAMP we believe that robotics can be integrated into any core subject – what matters here is the context in which we set up the task. With that in mind we decided to combine robotics and Earth sciences in a fun project for children aged 6 to 9 – robotic Gorilla.
The Gorilla lesson is divided into four steps:
- robot building and exploring,
- programming (LEGO WeDo Software or Scratch),
- and play-time.
Our gorilla is cute and friendly, loved especially by the youngest students. The construction consists of a walking gorilla figure and a banana branch with a hidden tilt sensor. The idea is to make the gorilla walk and make sounds by waving the banana branch. A detailed step-by-step instruction will guide your students through the whole building process.
This project is great a activity for children aged 6 to 9. For younger kids we suggest using LEGO WeDo Software.
1. Say “hi” to your new Gorilla buddy
A lesson with robotic Gorilla is a great chance to introduce your students to this amazing species. It brings the great opportunity to discuss various topics in class – from the biology of primates and evolution, through gorillas’ distribution in the world and their communication skills, to their conservation and ecology.
2. Building time
At this part use a step-by-step building instruction below. The gorilla is build using a standard LEGO Education WeDo 9580 set. To navigate through the instruction use + and – buttons on the bottom bar. If you get stuck, click an arrow button for a hint.
How does it work?
This is getting exciting! Before we start programming let’s focus on the robot’s design. This part explains how all the electronic and mechanical elements work together. Find the motor, tilt sensor, hub and gears in your model. Try to figure out what are they used for.
3. It’s alive!
Not literally of course. But don’t worry – we can still make the Gorilla walk and recognize the sensor’s movement. Take a look at the instruction below to program the Gorilla using Scratch software.
4. Finally, time to play
Enjoy the fully functioning Gorilla robot! And don’t forget to have fun!
We hope that you like this project. Let us know and leave a comment – we’d love some feedback!
The Gorilla lesson is a part of RoboCAMP’s SafariCAMP lesson plan containing 12 nature-themed projects. If you want to see more, visit check this link..