The boys were set different tasks throughout their workshop to complete a series of Mars Missions. Working in pairs they had to show creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and resilience in order to find solutions to the challenges. They soon learned that there was no one particular correct answer and it was fascinating seeing the variety of solutions each group found.
The first task was to follow some instructions to build their robot out of the Lego Mindstorms robotics kit. Once the robot was built, they then had to connect the robot to the iPads. Bluetooth technology made the process really easy for the boys and allowed them to control the robots wirelessly.
When they could communicate with the robot through the software, their first major task was to create a programme that would move the robot a precise distance. The 70cm target proved more difficult than the boys first thought but, with a little trial and error, the boys were successful by varying the power given to the wheels, the number of rotations completed by the wheels, or the time the robot was moving for.
The next task stretched the boys further. Having mastered the ability to control the robot to perform a precise movement, they were then asked to program the robot to navigate around an obstacle in the quickest and most efficient method.
Some boys tried turning the robot on its axis to make 90 degree turns in collaboration with repetition created through loops. Others used coding to create a curve around the box, changing the amount of power going to different motors to create the turn.
The last challenge was to include a sensor which was able to stop the robot when it detected an obstacle less than 30cm away.
Each group had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to gain an insight into the world of robotics.