This project (2018-1-SE01-KA201-039098) has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Programming a sequence of movements for a mobile robot
Currently in production
Physical Objects
Math, Technology
10 – 13 years old
Math, Chemistry
Bee-Bots are little robots, approximately turtle-shaped (though painted to resemble friendly bees). (They are in fact based on Logo graphics turtles.) On their backs they have four direction buttons. A Bee-Bot will remember the order in which they have been pressed and when the GO button is pressed, the robot will move according to the programmed sequence. There are mats with predefined targets and paths and the pupils can be requested to create a sequence of movements which will end with the robot in the target. It is of course just as easy to use masking tape or crayon to mark out targets on the floor.
The Bee-Bots can thus be used to introduce the programming concept of a fixed sequence of steps.
Bee-Bots are the simplest device in a series of programmable mobile robots, Blue-Bots, Tuff-Bots, Pro-Bots, and InO-Bots, with increasingly more advanced functions. Pro-Bots and InO-Bots can be programmed in the Terrapin Logo dialect or the Scratch programming language. InO-Bots can react to their environment, allowing for more complex programs than just following a series of steps.
Bee-Bot is a “learning object” with the appearances of a bee, it is a small moving robot.

What is its purpose?

It allows to program a sequence of movements for it.
It’s a game conceived, designed and built for children and younger kids to direct and guide them into their first steps on programming and coding a series of commands and it lets them have fun, especially in groups while they try to solve problems.

The device is roughly the size of a mouse with black and yellow stripes; on its back we can find buttons with colours and sounds that are used for the programming.

The buttons are as follow:
• Four directional arrows (forward, backwards, turn left, turn right)
• A “GO” button (used to execute the commands step by step)
• A “STOP” button (to stop the execution of the program)
• An “X” button (to create a new program)
• A “HOUSE” button (to go back to the original position)

With Bee-Bot the children are stimulated to find new ways to use all of its abilities.

Bee-Bot moves on a “grid” (a big checkered sheet) so that each of his positions is well defined and controllable. By giving the right orders the pupils get used to choosing the orientation and the best path and subsequently to control and verify the coding.

Storytelling is an excellent tool to play with Bee-Bot.

After reading a story, for example Pinocchio, the children can work out a path for the robot to go from the house to the school, just like Pinocchio did in the book.

The programming of the sequences of movements is inputted in a grid and so they can easily give commands in order to follow different paths. By taking advantage of their fantasy, the teachers can arrange obstacle courses, a route trough the city streets or in the country, have them to find the right letter in the alphabet, discover shapes, colours, measures...etc. In this way the students will be motivated to solve in the best way possible every different challenge by teaching to Bee-Bot the various sequences that it needs to activate.

“Vista Teach Director, Sue Sorrentino, notes that students are using the same concepts as software, mechanical and electrical engineers on age appropriate basis. Once they’re hooked they go for it, she said, the younger the better!”

It is in fact the curiosity and the necessity to teach Bee-Bot the optimal path to follow that sparks in the children the desire to go on, to improve, to face new challenges. This is just the fundamentals of programming.

Bee-Bot is being used at the moment in many schools and colleges around the world, to help develop the concepts of maths, planning, logic, deduction, social skills in general. It can be used in any field.
Bee-Bot is a great learning object; anyone can use it and it encourages team working and the opportunities and potential that come with it, especially in primary school.

An online version can be used but naturally an hands-on approach is much better for the students to truly feel it and enjoy the process to the fullest.

Something that is worth mentioning is the cost, which is not trivial. The basic version is around $90,00 or more; this means that it is not a tool that can be purchased individually by parents. Its easier to see it and use it at school.

I believe that Bee-Bot is a truly enjoyable “game”, very inspiring and instructive. It has plenty of potential and by using the fantasy and the curiosity of the students it can develop their abilities in a quick and useful way.

A great choice!