Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Migrating Robot


The rotation of the liquid core of the Earth creates the Earth’s magnetic field. An ordinary compass will try to align itself with this field, showing us which direction is north. The Earth’s magnetic field, which ranges from 0.03 to 0.06 milliTesla (mT), is much weaker than the magnetic field near a normal permanent bar magnet. Ships, airplanes and hikers use compasses to determine the direction they are traveling. Birds, bats, sea turtles, and some fish are able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and use it to help them find their way when they migrate long distances every year. In this project, you will build a robot that can determine which direction is north and then migrate in that direction.


In this project, you will design and build a mobile robot to replicate a migrating animal. Your robot should be able to start from any initial position, rotate around to orient itself in a northward-facing direction, and then move forward for approximately one meter.

Sensors and Equipment

This project/activity features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You will also need NXT Sensor Adapter and a LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics system.

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for STEM 2 with Vernier and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT »

STEM 2 with Vernier and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT

See other experiments from the lab book.

2First-Class Levers
3Audio Assistant
6String Tension Tester
7Gas Pressure
8Yeast in Action
9Grip Strength
10Cartesian Diver
12Lemon Battery
13Battery Tester
14Solar Cells
15Solar Tracker
16Mapping a Magnetic Field
18Migrating Robot
19Magnet Finder
20Mine Sweeper

Project/activity 18 from STEM 2 with Vernier and LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Lab Book

<em>STEM 2 with Vernier and LEGO<sup>®</sup> MINDSTORMS<sup>®</sup> NXT</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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