Difficulty: intermediate
Lesson Type: curriculum
Subject: computer-science
Grade Level:
  • 6-8

Authors: Chi-Hung Tseng, CAVE Education Gi-Ming Liu, Tamkang University Wen-You Lu, Southern Taiwan University

Abstract: Robots have proved effective in support of play-based teaching activities, especially at the primary education level. With the rapid improvement of the smart phone, we found many useful functions which robots can benefit from smart phones. For instance, robot can know where it is and where it is going from the information of the smart phones GPS sensor; it can also realize its motion through the orientation sensor; Moreover, with the help of the large touch screen on the phone, user can easily view various kind of robots information on the screen; Finally, robot can take advantage of the camera as its eyes for object tracking. All these features can be implemented with Android devices and LEGO NXT robots. At the same time, we realized that it is not practical to teach users become a skilled Java programmer, which is the official programming language of Android development. Thanks for App Inventor provided by Google, it is a graphical programming environment on the base of Google Application Engine. User with relatively no programming skills can easily build up there smart phone apps in the first run, therefore App Inventor gains worldwide received from elementary to high school teachers and non-computer-science related college student who intend to design smart phone applications. This topic is going to briefly discuss about the combination of robots and mobile phone applications in primary Education Level and as well how graphical programming environment is employed to improve students learning performance.