Education Through Entertainment

Programmable Robot | The Stations of STEAM

Posted on Mon, Dec 19, 2016

Another terrific robotics exhibit at the STEAM Museum features a classic robot that has been teaching kids the basics of programming logic for decades.  See how effective this robot from the 1980's will be with your modern students in this quick video.  If you've never programmed a robot before, this is the best place to start!

The classic robot from the 1980's is back and in your school as part of STEAM Museum!  Take a look.

How it Works

In order to program a computer - or in this case, a robot - you have to begin to think like one.  

People can think of many things in many different ways all at the same time.  We can go from topic to topic quickly, using words and images to convey our thoughts, and we are able to still make sense of it all.  A computer cannot.  It must receive instructions in an organized way in a specific language.  The way we turn our language into instructions a computer can understand can be a little strange at first, but fortunately our programmable robot is here to help!

Mobile Ed STEAM Museum programmable robot for kids

To program this robot, you use a combination of directions and numbers.  First, you push the button for the direction you want to move the robot, then the numerical value of the move.  For going forward and backwards, the value of each number is equal to the length of the robot.  So, an entry of "Forward-3" would move the robot forward three lengths of itself.

Mobile Ed STEAM Museum programmable robot for kids

Turning is a bit more tricky, but easy enough for kids of all ages to understand.  You have to look at turning like the minute hand on an analog clock.  So, if you want to turn the robot 90 degrees to the right, a sharp right-turn, you would push the right arrow button then "15" for 15-minutes.  Imagine the minute hand sweeping from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock - the robot will turn the same!

This robot does not feature sensors or any sort of real coding, however that's not its purpose.  Its use in STEAM Museum is to introduce young minds to the way computers think, which in turn, teaches themselves how to think.

Check back again for more close looks at the various Stations of STEAM to see what you and your kids will be able to explore when you bring Mobile Ed's STEAM Museum to your school.

Ordering STEAM Museum couldn't be easier.  You can call Mobile Ed directly at 800-433-7459 or click the button below to learn more about the program.

Explore STEAM Museum


Topics: robots, science enrichment, Teaching Science, Hands On Science, making science exciting, STEAM Museum, STEAM, science experiments, robotics, programming