A Bee-Bot is a programmable floor robot. Students enter instructions to move forward or backward in 15 cm steps or to turn right or left. When they press the <Go> button, the robot moves as instructed.
Students can learn how the Bee-Bot works by experimenting on the floor. You can also make a map of a 'treasure island' like the one below, with squares of side 15 cm superimposed on it. Then students can be challenged to program a Bee-Bot to navigate its way from one place to another.
To draw patterns, place the Bee-Bot on a large blank sheet of paper and insert a pencil in the place provided. Here are some possible challenges.
- Program the robot to draw a small square and return to its starting position. What is the pattern in the instructions?
- Draw a larger square. What is the unit of repeat now?
- Draw a rectangle and describe the pattern of instructions.
- What other interesting patterns can you make? For example:
Draw a staircase:
\(\uparrow \rightarrow \uparrow \leftarrow\)
Draw a spiral:
\(\uparrow \rightarrow \uparrow \rightarrow \uparrow \uparrow \rightarrow \uparrow \uparrow \rightarrow \uparrow \uparrow \uparrow \rightarrow \uparrow \uparrow \uparrow \rightarrow\)
- Draw a staircase:
Always encourage students to imagine the Bee-Bot’s movements before programming it and do not be surprised if students make many errors at the start.
Further ideas on how Bee-Bots can be used in the classroom can be found at Education Queensland's Learning Place.