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Driving Outside the Lines

Experiment #C6 from Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles


During this activity, students learn to navigate their mBot using dead reckoning; in other words, using time to measure and predict distance traveled and degrees turned. Students calculate the driving speed and turning rate of their mBots. They then use those values to create a program for mBot that allows mBot to drive in a path the shape of the letter M. Additionally, students learn how to use mBlock “timer” block in place of a “wait” block.


  • Practice writing, running, and troubleshooting mBot code.
  • Determine the driving speed and turning rate of mBot.
  • Apply the relationship, distance = rate × time, to determine how long to run the motors in order to make mBot move a given distance.
  • Practice writing subroutines to simplify code.
  • Learn how to use the “timer” block in place of the “wait” block.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #C6 of Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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