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Bee-Bots

A Bee-Bot is a programmable floor robot. Students enter instructions to move forward or backward in 15 cm steps or to turn right or left. When they press the <Go> button, the robot moves as instructed.

Students can learn how the Bee-Bot works by experimenting on the floor. You can also make a map of a 'treasure island' like the one below, with squares of side 15 cm superimposed on it. Then students can be challenged to program a Bee-Bot to navigate its way from one place to another.

A map of a treasure island divided up into a 4 by 4 grid.

Navigate your Bee-Bot around a treasure island.

To draw patterns, place the Bee-Bot on a large blank sheet of paper and insert a pencil in the place provided. Here are some possible challenges.

  • Program the robot to draw a small square and return to its starting position. What is the pattern in the instructions?
  • Draw a larger square. What is the unit of repeat now?
  • Draw a rectangle and describe the pattern of instructions.
  • What other interesting patterns can you make? For example:
    • Draw a staircase:
       \(\uparrow  \rightarrow  \uparrow  \leftarrow\)
    • Draw a spiral:
      \(\uparrow  \rightarrow  \uparrow  \rightarrow  \uparrow  \uparrow  \rightarrow  \uparrow  \uparrow  \rightarrow  \uparrow  \uparrow  \uparrow  \rightarrow  \uparrow  \uparrow  \uparrow  \rightarrow\)

Always encourage students to imagine the Bee-Bot’s movements before programming it and do not be surprised if students make many errors at the start.

Further ideas on how Bee-Bots can be used in the classroom can be found at Education Queensland's Learning Place.