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Hummingbird Robotics Introductory Lesson


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Keywords: Technology, Hummingbird Robotics, Programming
Subject(s): Technology
Grades 3 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Penn Hills Charter School, Pittsburgh, PA
Planned By: Joseph Lachendro
Original Author: Joseph Lachendro, Pittsburgh
Lesson time: about 45 minutes


Materials Needed: 22 motors • 22 vibrating motor • 22 servos (one per student but students can pair up if needed), Hummingbird Kits, Pencils, Sticky notes, Eno or Whiteboard
Learning goal(s): Students will be able to define a “robot” and understand how specific motors and servos work.

Detailed description and purpose of task(s)
7 minutes-Introduce Hummingbird Robotics
“Today we are going to learn how to build robots using the Hummingbird Kit(show kit) and Snap! which is a lot like Tynker. First, take a few minutes and think of a list of robots that you've seen before. Maybe these are robots you've seen in the movies or things you see every day."

Call on students. Add responses to the Eno/whiteboard.

Ask the question “What is a Robot?” Call on several students. Add student responses to the Eno steelcase board or whiteboard. Read a few of the responses out loud. Next, provide the actual definition of a robot from Merriam-Webster:" 1. A machine that looks like a human being 2. A device that automatically performs tasks 3. A mechanism guided by automatic controls." Talk about how the student definition and actual definition compare.


10 min.
Teacher will lead discussion and demonstration of motors and servos.
“Now that we know what a Robot is we are going to get some experience with a few pieces of a Snap! robot."
Show the motors (motor, vibration motor and servo)
• Use Eno to demonstrate a simple program for an ongoing motor then for a servo.
Ask them if they see any differences.
• Explain the difference between a servo and a motor focusing (focusing on range of motion: a servo can only move 180 degrees and a motor can move a full circle 360 degrees).
• Demonstrate how the vibration motor works. Notice that as a motor it also turns 360 degrees.
Point out that it vibrates because of the off center weight. Give the example that vibration motors are actually used in cell phones, GPS trackers and more.

15 to 17 minutes- Motor Hook up and Programming
• Have students follow along hooking up the servos and motors.
• Have the students follow along with vocal instruction explaining how to use Snap! software to program motors and servos to move to their full range.

Wrap up
5 min.
Pass out post-it notes. Ask students work in pairs to think of two robots they've seen and identify those robots as having one of the types of motors discussed. (motors • vibration motors • servos)
Give students time to work on this together and then discuss as whole group.

Follow-Up
Design Process and iteration for creating a full fledged robotic device.
Materials: Ports and Hubs, Keyboards, Power, Large Pro Monitors, LCD Monitors, Whiteboards
Other Items: 4 Hummingbird Duo Kits (teaching kits) , $1675 each, total of $6700.00