Robot Diaries slide show presentation at TRETC - Zee Ann Poerio

Thanks to everyone who attended our session at TRETC. We enjoyed meeting you and sharing ideas about the ARTS & BOTS program.  Thanks to everyone at CMU for your support throughout this project and special thanks to NSF for making our summer course on Educational Robotics possible.  This slide show includes the powerpoint presentation with the data from the interactive questions asked.

Mini Project Idea: Biological Systems - Rob Ruddle

Students will create a model of a biological system that demonstrates how that biological system works.  More specifically, the model should demonstrate how the system reacts when performing a certain task. Student research will be necessary. The inspiration for this project came from the demonstration we saw  yesterday in which sensors were attached to a man to create a graphical model how h is body reacts when hitting a golf ball.  this activity could also be extended by having students label systems, subsystems, and components. While sensors would be very expensive for a school district, there are plenty of youtube videos that demonstrate things in slow motion.  additionally, some might have access to high speed cameras  and will be able to create their own slow motion videos.    The difficulty I see with this project is that this will only  work for systems you can see from the outside of the body.
Rob Ruddle

Mini Project Idea: Human Environmental Interaction - Tanner Huffman

"Our world is what We make it"

Objective:  Student will develop an understanding of human interaction with the environment.  Students will explore both positive and negative impacts of human intervention.
Research - Student will research either a positive or negative effect of human involvement with the environment.  Examples include: Conservation, Lead Certification, Recycling (Positive) or Deforestation, Ozone Destruction, Water Pollution.
Action - Students will develop a basic interactive model that will change, either positively or negatively, with human presence.  Student will utilize a motion sensor to switch between two "modes" of their model; Before Humans and After Humans.

Tanner Huffman

Mini Project Idea: Electric Car Timeline - Sue Mellon

Mini Project:  InteractiveTimeline for the Electric Car    Submitted by Sue Mellon

1.       Using the timeline created by PBS (link below) as a starting point, identify five key events for this invention and create a one minute audio file for each identified event using Audacity.  The audio file should contain at least three pieces of information outside of the scope of the timeline.  Keep a record of your references for this additional information.


2.        After creating an audio file, develop a robotic icon for each event.  You will use Robot Diaries to make this interactive exhibit of your research.  This exhibit will work much like those seen in museums.  You may use the distance sensor or some other means to trigger the start of your exhibit.


Grading Rubric


1 point

2 points

3 points

1 Bonus Point


All 5 events have at least one additional fact

All 5 events have at least two additional facts

All 5 events have at least three additional facts

Exceptional Details

Creative Icon?

meets basic requirements

addition of color, detail or creative thinking

multiple additions

Exceptional Work

Use of Robot Diaries?

simple one area commands

creative combinations

triggered events


Mini-Project Ideas: Inspired by SNAKE ROBOTS at CMU - Zee Ann Poerio

At Carnegie Mellon University,  Snake Robots have been designed and engineered to perform tasks which benefit humans in many ways.  Looking to nature for inspiration, influence, and problem solving, engineers have designed some of the robots’ movements from those of real snakes.  And new “gaits” are being developed for the snake robots beyond what mother nature intended for snake locomotion. The robotic snakes are able to move through pipes, climb poles, and even thread their way through rubble after a disaster to assist in search and rescue.  Now, smaller versions are being engineering to assist with a less invasive form of heart surgery.   

My inspiration for the mini porject comes from a small snakebot that was in the lab  with a model of a human heart.  Learning that the robotic snakes were now being used in medicine reminded me of the common symbol associated with medicine - the snake entwined staff of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine and healing.

Mini-Project inspired by a visit with SNAKE ROBOTS: STAFF of ASCLEPIUS ROBOT DIARY

Student s will research snakes and using the Robot Diaries kits will create their own robotic staff of Asclepius.  Students can choose the species of snake of their choice to depict on the staff.  The robot should include two servos, and at least two lights and at least one sound effect.   The student will read his/her presentation from the point of view of the snake and coordinate the animations with their presentation which will includes the species, diet, how the snake moves, typical size and weight, and  lifespan. The snake itself should represent the snake’s true color and markings.  Additional information can include other interesting facts about snakes (not all snakes have fangs), symbolism of snakes (ex. Biblical references or snake images in ancient or modern times), a joke about snakes (What is a snake’s favorite subject?  Hiss-tory!), or a retelling of one of Aesop’s fables which include snakes.

Zee Ann Poerio

Mini Project Idea: Scientific Term Pronunciation Decoder - Terry Richards

The mini project is based on and inspired by the LISTEN Project in the CREATE Lab. The project would be designed to teach Human Anatomy and Physiology students how to pronounce common scientific or medical terms including ones most likely to be mispronounced.  This project will involve listing the common medical terms associated with each unit, determining the correct pronunciation (using a variety of resources), and finally creating a recording of each term.  This recording would be the voice of the Robot Diaries robot “Decoder” created by different groups of students.  The “Decoder” could possibly be a model of a female physician/scientist who is a specialist for the unit.  The project would be a collaborative such that the terms would be divided among groups of students and each would then listen to the others’ robot.

Classroom experience supports that the students would feel more comfortable when making their end-of-term presentations as their speech would be more accurate and professional when correct pronunciation is used.  A student’s presentation appears unrehearsed when she stumbles over the difficult-to-pronounce words.



Terry Richards


Mini Project Idea: Car Emissions - Erin Hopkins

Going Green Mini Project

For this mini-project, students must research the latest innovations in electric cars and compare them to gasoline powered cars. Students will need to compare two similar cars and their research should include the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced by each car, the cost of production for each car, the cost of maintenance for each car, and the maximum mileage obtained by a gasoline powered car with a full tank of gas versus an electric car with a full charge. Students should also research the pros and cons of each car and make an informed decision as to which car they would like to advocate. Then, students will design a model using Robot Diaries to convince their audience to side with them for or against electric cars. Students will need to present their findings and their Robot Diaries to the community and create flyers to hand out after their presentation. This project will not only teach students about economic, social, and biological issues that we face as a society, but it will create community awareness about the pros and cons of electric cars so that they may also make an informed decision about the car they drive.

Post by Erin Hopkins