Ninth Graders in Mr. Little’s class programmed robots using Python this week. They set out with one objective in mind – to successfully navigate a maze set up by Mr. Little himself. Project teams wrote their own code that set different variables in the robot, called the Finch. The Finch Robot has two motors that the students could program which allows the robot to turn right, left, forward, and backwards. The students discovered quickly that slight alterations to these variables had a huge effect, and several ran into many snags while trying to navigate the treacherous labyrinth.
“Students are taught to use programs to solve problems, play games, help us perform tedious and repetitive tasks efficiently, to store, recall and manipulate information, and to create something new,” said Mr. Little. “The Finch Robot allows students to see immediate physical results of their code and is a fun and interactive way to improve and apply their programming skills.”
The project has three levels:
- Get the Finch out manually by typing in instructions as it goes (forward, left, right, etc).
- Make the Finch’s nose change colors for each different direction it moves.
- Program the Finch to autonomously exit the maze with no instructions by using the infrared sensors to detect a wall and change its directions automatically.
Watch a video of a group completing level three of the project: