The Iris 1.2 Robot Activities

We have created a map on which you can set the Iris 1.2 (there are black lines which show where the base should sit). It has a river and locations for placing various wood blocks. You can create various tasks (with interesting story lines) for the students to accomplish with regard to moving blocks around the physical space marked out by the map. (Or, better, have the students design their own tasks) Here is the map:

     Download this Map: Color (preferred)   Black&White

Use the color pdf if you have a color printer.  Cut the white left margin off of the second page of the map -- and then tape together the two pieces.  Place the Iris base where the black lines show an outline of the base.


TASK #1: Stump the other team.

Divide up the class into a number of teams. Maybe 3 students to a team. Two teams will oppose each one. The goal for Team A is to create a task that takes Teams B (their opponent) longer to perform than it will take them to accomplish the task created by Team B.


TASK #2: Solve the Farmer Problem

There is a specific activity this is perfect for.  Do you know about the "Farmer Problem"

THE FARMER PROBLEM: "A farmer owns a Fox, a Chicken and some Grain.  He has a boat (you can tape a picture of a boat with the farmer in it onto the gripper hand of the Iris 1.2 robotic arm).  The farmer must get all 3 items across the river safely.  But he can only take 1 items in the boat with him at a time (its a small boat).  That means he must leave some items on one side of the river as he crosses to the other side.  This can create problems.  He can't leave the fox and the chicken alone together, or the fox will eat the chicken.  He can't leave the chicken and  grain alone together or the chicken will eat the grain. What is the smallest number of trips the farmer can take and get all 3 across the river safely?"

The students have two challenges: (A) try to figure out the shortest number of moves back and forth across the river to get all 3 items safely to the other side.  (Students can find the solutions to this on the web, so be careful if you want them to do it on their own.)  (B) Write quality scripts to get Iris 1.2 to carry the items back and forth across the river.

You could have teams, with the winner being the shortest time to accomplish the task.  Two things will affect the speed: (1) the number of moves it takes, and (2) how quickly each script runs to move the blocks back and forth.  If one team has scripts that run very fast, they might even be able to compensate for having a strategy that takes one extra move.

EXTRA: Here is a page about the farmer problem that I created to teach cog sci students about "search" in AI -- depth-first / breadth-first, etc.  You might have a use for this in teaching your students:



TASK #3: (You create your own . . . and tell us.)

Contact David Anderson (dlandersATilstu.edu) with instructions for your activity and any info about how it worked with your students. We will post it here.



Copyright: 2011

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