Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles

In Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities Module students learn to successfully program mBot to mimic many self-driving car actions.

Exclusive Vernier STEM Activities: Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities Module is included with your purchase of an mBot.
Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities Module
Grade Levels
Recommended for Middle School and High School
Authors
  • David Vernier
  • Josh Ence
  • Michele Perrin

Description

Self-driving vehicles are a hot topic that combines diverse issues ranging from engineering to federal regulations. While it may be years before you have a self-driving car in your driveway, you can use mBot in your classroom today!

With our Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities Module STEM activities you and your students will successfully learn to program mBot to mimic many self-driving car actions, including automatic lane changes and autonomous parking. As students progress through the activities they build upon their basic coding and troubleshooting skills.

Included with Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities Module

  • Nine guided activities aligned with CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards
  • Getting Started with mBot user guide
  • Student instructions
  • Instructor information guide with troubleshooting tips and suggested extensions
  • Sample program code
  • A generous site license—buy one module and duplicate the activities for your class

Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities Module is free when you buy an mBot from Vernier. This module may also be purchased individually for $15.

Activities

  1. Driving mBot

    In this initial activity, students recreate the functionality of Mode A–Manual Drive of the Default Program. Students are given a quick introduction to mBlock programing as they create their first program. Students learn how to control mBot with the IR Remote Control as well as how to turn on the LEDs. In the following activities in this module, students reuse and build upon these programs.

  2. Avoiding Obstacles

    In this activity, students recreate the functionality of Mode B–Obstacle Avoidance of the Default Program. Students learn how to read data from the Ultrasonic Sensor in order to measure a distance, control the frequency of a sound from the mBot Buzzer, and trigger the program to autonomously avoid obstacles. Students frequently use the Ultrasonic Sensor in other activities, so we highly recommend doing this activity before attempting later activities.

  3. Guided Navigation

    In this activity, students recreate the functionality of Mode C–Line Following of the Default Program. Students learn how to read data from the Line-Follower Sensor and use that data to guide mBot’s motion. During this activity, students build and try two different types of line-following programs in addition to testing mBot on courses of varying design.

  4. Safety Features

    During this activity, students explore two safety features found in many modern vehicles, Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking. Students replicate these safety features with mBot taking advantage of the Ultrasonic Sensor. Additionally, students use the Line-Follower Sensor in an obstacle-avoidance program, which makes it possible for mBot to detect cliffs and respond accordingly. To simulate safety features during nighttime driving, students learn to use the Light Sensor to control the speed of mBot.

  5. Cruise Control

    During this activity, students explore one of the more popular safety features found in cars today, cruise control. Students use the Ultrasonic Sensor and the Line-Follower Sensor simultaneously to simulate Adaptive Cruise Control. Students also learn how to use subroutines to simplify their programs.

  6. Driving Outside the Lines

    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.

  7. Security and Emergency Systems

    In this activity, students simulate various security and emergency systems using different sensors and devices on mBot:

    • A car alarm (triggered by the Line-Follower Sensor)
    • A security system (requires a “keyless entry” code be entered on the IR Remote Control)
    • The sirens and warning lights on an emergency vehicle (using the Buzzer and the LEDs)

    Students also learn to use mBlock’s “timer” block to control code execution.

  8. Parking and mBot-mBot Communication

    During this activity, students practice their mBot programming skills by guiding mBot through various parking scenarios, including finding a parking space, parallel parking, and perpendicular parking. Additionally, students learn how to use the IR transmitter and receiver (built into mCore) to send and receive messages from one mBot to another. Students use mBot-to-mBot communication to simulate a traffic light and to prevent head-on collisions between mBots.

  9. Changing Lanes

    During this activity, students create programs that lead mBot through lane changes on a line-following course with two lanes. At first, lane changes are initiated by button presses on the IRRemote Control. Later, students add code to allow for automatic lane changes when obstacles or slow-moving objects are detected. For the final Challenge Extension, students program mBot to change lanes when a slower-moving object is detected and then automatically return to the original lane after 5 seconds.

Preview Activity

Preview “Driving mBot” from Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities Module. The preview includes student instructions, instructor information guide, sample program code, and more.

Ordering Information

  • All prices are for U.S. educators.
  • This module is included with a purchase of an mBot.
NameOrder CodePriceQuantity
Coding with mBot: Self-Driving Vehicles Activities ModuleMBOT-MSDV-E$15

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