BotBrain Educational Robots use Challenge-Based learning. The first four challenges are in our Middle School cirriculum. The High School version adds the Grand Challenge. The last two are our Adventure Challenges.
A photovore is a robot designed to seek light. Students build a robot that searches for the brightest spot in the room. Shine a spot light in the center, set the robots on the edge of the circle, and the race is on. Another option with the photovore robot is to run the Flashlight Control program. This program allows you to use a flashlight as a "remote" controller. Just shine the flashlight in front of the robot, and it will follow the light. Instructions for running this challenge are in our Curricula/Lesson Plans. Equipment required: a light (and a darkened room).
Students build a robot designed to navigate through a simple maze. The robot to solve the maze in the shortest time wins. Instructions for constructing a maze are in the lesson plans. You may also purchase our BotBrain Robot Maze Environment if you prefer.
Robots are programmed to follow a black line on a white background. The path is made with electrical tape laid out in a curved path. There will be no "T's", dead ends, or crossings. Fastest bot wins. This challenge is easy to set up. Directions in our lesson plans. Just put down tape on your floor.
Students build a robot designed to make its way through a “mine field” to detonate the mines. Modified mouse traps serve as the mines. The winner is the bot which clears the most mines within the allotted time. Instructions for building a Mine Sweeping setup are in the Lesson Plans. You can also purchase the BotBrain Mine Sweeper Environment.
The Grand Challenge
The Grand Challenge is modeled after the DARPA Grand Challenge. You will have to navigate your robot across the course in the least amount of time. Just like Stanley, your robot will encounter many obstacles on the way. Your robot will know where to go by seeking out the light beacons along the course. This will be accomplished similar to the way the photovore competition was done. The course gets progressively more difficult. For the first segment, you may have to cross a platform that is two feet wide and not fall off the edges. Once you reach the first beacon, the second light beacon will be turned on, and you may have to navigate across narrow bridges, make turns, and avoid objects. Build your own setup or purchase our Grand Challenge Environment.
One time honored robot competition is the Fire Fighting Competition at Trinity College in Connecticut. Robots must make their way through a maze simulating a house and find the 'fire', a candle. Our Fire Fighting Environment lets you run or practice for, the Trinity Style challenge. Our Flame Detector and Extinguisher unit is designed to be mounted on your BotBrain robot. Run your own regional challenge or use it for a club activity.
Your team has just been given the task of exploring the surface of Io, one of the moons of Jupiter. Your robot will be controlled remotely from your ship, which is in orbit around Jupiter. Type commands into your program and send them to the robot, which will execute them. See the surface of Io only from the camera on your bot. Beware of hot lava! Collect evidence of water and/or life. A great activity for classroom or club use or even for a district wide or regional challenge. Our Planetary Exploration Environment provides everything you need to set up a large, interesting, extraterrestrial surface. Our Wireless Interface and Camera can be mounted on a robot to accept commands from the 'mother ship'.