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Have one person be the programmer and another person be the robot.
If there are more people, they can act is judges. Have them listen to
the instructions and watch the robot. If one of them doesn't follow
the rules, the judges can make a loud buzzer sound.
Pick a task the robot can perform. Use your imagination and location
to create tasks. It could be:
- turn on the lights in this room,
- walk around a piece of furniture,
- deliver a book to a table on the other side of the room, or
- move into another room by opening a closed door.
The programmer gives verbal commands for the robot to follow. The
commands must be specific and not include any decisions by the robot.
For example, 'raise your arm' requires the robot to decide which direction
and how high. A better command would be 'raise your arm in front of
you so that it is at shoulder height and parallel to the floor.
If the robot needs to move forward, provide it with a estimate of the
number of steps ( 'move forward 5 steps').
Here are some examples of good programming commands
- turn right 90 degrees
- move backwards 3 steps
- take one step to the right
Here are some examples of commands that would causes the judges to make
loud buzzer noises.
- raise your arm and turn on the lights
- walk until I say stop
- go into the next room
The whole idea with the rules is to get the players to break the commands
into simple steps where the person giving the command just gives one command at
a time. Of course there are robots that use more complicated
programming. But using simple, one-step commands make it easier for kids to understand how to think like programmer.