My Robot Friend

If you’ve ever wanted a robot, here’s your chance to have your own cup-stacking wonder! This Libratory activity requires two people, so find a friend and start programming.

If you want to study the algorithms and functions (the math) behind this game, Traveling Circuits has an explanation here. Otherwise, there are a few words you need to know in order to get started.

algorithm – a series of instructions on how to accomplish a task

coding – transforming actions into a symbolic language

debugging – finding and fixing problems in code

function – a piece of code that can be called over and over

Now that you know the words, here are the rules. Choose one robot per team. Send your “robot” to another location (and feed it cookies if you have any) while you write the algorithm to tell your robot how to build one of the stacks in the picture below.

Draw arrows like these to program your robot.

Starting with a stack of cups at zero steps, have your robot read the algorithm and follow the instructions. Do not show your robot the picture of the stack you chose, and see if they can build it following program. Just remember to make one step = half a cup.

When your robot builds the stack correctly, reward yourself (and your robot) with more cookies.


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