KS1 / FP How do robots work?

Exploring the component parts of a robot.


  • Identify the component parts of a robot
  • Build a robot using e.g Cubelets

You might find it useful to do the lesson on sensors before you do this lesson

  1. Explain to the class that all robots need an input device – something that gathers information from its environment such as a sensor. Robots also need a ‘thinking’ component to process the input and make decisions about how the robot will respond.  Robots will also have an ‘output’ component which may be a motor so that the robot can move or a light or a buzzer etc.
  2. Use a set of Cubelets, if you have them,  to illustrate each component.  All the black blocks are input devices – different blocks have different sensors which can detect distance from a solid object or temperature etc.  The red blocks are the ‘thinking’ blocks and the transparent blocks are the outputs blocks.  If they are connected together, with a battery cube to provide power, then you will have made a working robot.
  3. Once the children have experimented with different combinations of blocks set them a design task. A simple one to start is to talk about modern vehicles which have reversing sensors that detect other cars or walls and beep loudly to warn the driver that they are in danger of hitting something.  Challenge children to construct a robot that will detect a wall and move away or warn the driver in some way.  Another problem could be to construct a lighthouse using the turntable and light which can detect ships approaching.
  4. If you do not have Cubelets, try substituting the Human Robot game here.



jen hughes

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