As micro:bits have become more popular in the classroom, so have our k8 robots. k8 is a modular robotics kit powered by micro:bit. The k8 robot is designed to introduce students to coding and design thinking concepts.
Over the past two years, since k8 was released, we have seen many creative ways educators are using k8 in the classroom. We've listed some of our favourite uses of k8 below. Whether you have a k8 robot already, or you're just interested in coding and robotics in the classroom, these examples are sure to provide some inspiration!
1. Hands-on robot assembly
Unlike some other 'pre-built' coding robots on the market, k8 comes disassembled and requires users to build their robot before it can be coded. Allowing students to build their own robot is a great way to engage them with hands-on activities in the classroom. Assembling the robot also gives students a sense of pride and ownership when they can say "I built and coded my own robot". Check out this example of a student who had an awesome time assembling their k8 robots!
2. Introduction to coding & robotics
The core goal behind using k8 is to introduce students to robotics and get them excited about coding. Coding with k8 is a great way for students to interact with their code in the real world. It allows them to see their programming results and iterate on their code. Beyond the primary coding and robotics education, k8 also teaches students problem-solving and design thinking skills.
Success! Gr 4 leaders @staugustinewcd with @MsKnopinska show tenacity when exploring how to independently code their K8 robot with @InkSmith3D and @microbit_edu thanks to @jmuellerprof for the resources! pic.twitter.com/PWWsyfnmWG— Mrs. Rodgers (@MrsRodgerswcdsb) June 20, 2019
3. Driving with k8
Once students have built and assembled their k8 robots, the first thing they'll want to do is code their robot to get it moving. k8 is equipped with two DC motors that allow the robot to drive, turn and reverse. These are the most basic commands that will get students coding right away and seeing instant results.
4. Explore perimeter and area in math
After students have mastered the basic driving commands, some educators have explored using k8 to map out specific paths for measuring perimeter and area in math. This is a great way to create a visual representation for students to understand these concepts.
5. Draw shapes to measure diameter and circumference
Just like example #4, k8 can also be used to draw circles. Simply attached a marker to k8 and code the robot to drive in circles or squares. Students can use these shapes to measure area and perimeter like we previously mentioned or even circumference and radius.
6. Use sonar to navigate obstacles
k8's Sonar sensors give it the ability to detect nearby objects, perfect for navigating obstacle courses. Creating an obstacle course for your k8 robot is a great way to exercise those problem-solving and design thinking skills. Students will need to program their robot to detect objects and then decide how k8 should respond to avoid obstacles.
7. Design a maze for k8 to line-follow
There are three Infrared sensors located on the bottom of k8 that allow the robot to detect black and white surfaces. When coded properly, these sensors can be used to make k8 follow a path. Whether it's lines on the gymnasium floor or a custom electrical tape track, students are sure to have a great time creating a track for their k8 robots.
We’ve named our @eduK8canada robots. Meet Cookies. Next challenge for these @JJBowlen_ECSD students is to program the ultrasonic sensor. After that, a remote control. Then... well you are going to have to wait and see. pic.twitter.com/CG5A4Sfr3H— Filiplic (@MrFiliplic) April 10, 2019
8. Use Bluetooth to remote control
One of the many great features of the micro:bit is its ability to communicate with one another using Bluetooth. This means that students can program two micro:bits to act as a remote control for their k8 robots. Coding a remote control k8 adds a whole new level of engagement and a world of new opportunities for robot activities!
We coded one Microbit to be the controller and the other to drive the robot. Instant remote controlled robot!! Thanks @InkSmith3D I want 10 more now. @stulowe80 @AmandaGTeach pic.twitter.com/qCGbRVI7gt— Maltais (@MrMaltais) January 30, 2020
9. Create engaging group activities
While one k8 robot is great, two k8 robots is even better! Having multiple robots in one classroom means students can engage in all sorts of group activities and competitions. One of our favourite examples of friendly competition with k8 robots is this robot 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos' game. Students coded their micro:bits to remote control their k8 robots in order to collect candy from the playing field.
10. Synchronize your k8 robot army
If you're lucky enough to have more than a few k8 robots in your collection, you can use the Bluetooth feature to send commands to your small robot army. With all of the k8 robots on the same Bluetooth channel, you can synchronize them to do all sorts of movements!