Turtle Robots

Introduction
Public summary: 

Learn the basics of robotics by teaching simple robots to move and draw.

These turtles want to draw you shapes.
Useful information
Kit List: 

Valiant Roamer Turtle Robots
Obstacles

Packing Away: 

Into Robots box

Explanation
Explanation: 

TEACHING THE ROAMER
The Roamer moves forward and back, turns left and right, waits and makes sounds. You teach the Roamer to do this by pressing keys on the top of its body. There is a key for each of these functions, and a set of number keys.
To enter an instruction press a key, followed by a number. This tells the Roamer how far to move, how much to turn, how long to wait or what sound to make. There are three other function keys: Sense, Two-State Outputs and Stepper Motor.
ROAMER PROGRAMS
There are two types of program, the GO Program and Procedures.
The GO Program is a list of instructions carried out when you press GO.
A Procedure is a list of instructions with a name. Once you have defined the list, its name (e.g. P1) is used like any other instruction. When you enter its name in the GO Program, the Roamer will carry out the whole procedure list.
MEMORY
The Roamer has two types of memory, GO Memory and Procedure Memory.
The Roamer will remember up to 59 instructions, and its powerful programming facilities enable it to carry out hundreds of actions.
When its memory is nearly full the Roamer will sound a warning, similar to the sound you hear when you press CM.
GO MEMORY
Instructions in the GO Memory are carried out when you press GO. If you add more instructions after executing the GO Program, they will be added to the GO Program and carried out the next time you press GO.
The Roamer waits for two seconds after you press GO before executing the GO Program.
CLEARING THE GO MEMORY
Pressing CM then CM clears the GO Memory and allows you to enter a new GO Program. It does not clear the Procedure Memory.
The first time you press CM a warning is sounded. Pressing CM a second time clears the GO Memory.
If you press by mistake, press another key, or wait 10 seconds. The Roamer will then carry on with its GO Memory intact.
DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM
If you press GO after you switch on the Roamer, it will carry out the Demonstration Program. This can be used to show beginners the basic Roamer functions.
REMEMBER TO CLEAR THE DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM From THE GO MEMORY BEFORE PROGRAMMING.
FORWARD AND BACK
Pressing (forward) or (back) followed by a number from 1 to 99 tells the Roamer to move forward or back that number of units. (See UNITS OF DISTANCE AND TURN). (These examples are illustrated in the style suggested on the programming sheet).
RIGHT AND LEFT TURN
Pressing (right) or (left) followed by a number up to 999 turns the Roamer to the right (clockwise) or left (anticlockwise) that number of units. (See UNITS OF DISTANCE AND TURN).
WAIT
Pressing (W) followed by a number from 1 to 99 tells the Roamer to be still and quiet for that number of seconds.
MUSIC
The Roamer has a programmable sound facility. You need to specify how long each note will last (duration) and how high or low the note will be (pitch). To play a note, press followed by a number from 1 to 8 for its duration, and another number from 1 to 13 for its pitch. If you want a rest (silent note), enter 14 for the pitch.
UNITS
The default units are 30cm (one robot length) for movement and 1 degree for turning. They can be changed by pressing (forward) or (right) and then ([]) and a number of cms or degrees.
STOPPING
Hold any key to stop the currently executing programme.
CANCELLING
pressing (CE) cancels the last instruction from the programme.
LOOPS
Pressing repeat, (R) followed by a number then ([]) some instructions and a closing ([]) repeats the enclosed instructions as a loop. Conditional loops aren't supported.
PROCEDURES
Press (P) followed by a number to define that procedure. Then place instructions inside ([]). To use a procedure in the programme press (P) and its number and the only way to edit or delete is to redefine the procedure.
Recursion is not permitted and is implemented by procedures only being able to call procedures of strictly greater number. 99 procedures can be stored.
DEMONSTRATING
The robots are very simple to use so can be programmed with a try it approach. The sound feedback tells you what works and what doesn't and people will find out quickly what to do. You may wish to gaffa over some of the buttons, like the note and procedures to prevent them being used and increase the success of random button pressing.
The simplest aim is to set up some obstacles and ask them to navigate around the course. With sharpies one could also draw shapes on paper as an alternative.
Obviously there are also things to learn. Roamers are procedurly programmed, one can talk about how one might try and solve a problem. A natural way is to break it into sub problems, when setting out the course think of repeatable steps you can build in so they can see they solve some problems a few times. This is where a procedure comes in. This could be something like navigate around a cone and this can be called whenever it's needed to navigate around a cone.
Procedures also have other advantages. For instance if we swap all the cones for different obstacles then we only have to change the cone procedure to work for the new obstacle.
Bottom up programming - using existing knowledge to solve a new problem.
Top down programming - diving a complex problem into smaller sub problems.

Risk Assessment
Date risk assesment last checked: 
Sun, 22/07/2018
Risk assesment checked by: 
bakrill
Date risk assesment double checked: 
Tue, 24/07/2018
Risk assesment double-checked by: 
Tdwebster
Risk Assessment: 

Battery covers are missing so batteries may become loose/caught/punctures if improvised covering fails. All. Call first aider, fire department.
Batteries may react with rain due to improvised covers. All. Don't use in rain. Call first aider.
Roamers may fall off table, raised surface and hit a person. Use on the floor or have barriers on tables. Robots and people. Call first aider/mechanic.
Roamers may be trip hazard if used on floor. Don't use in thoroughfare and section off area for operation. Call first aider.

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