Resource Algorithm Development for Line Follow
10th, 11th, 12th, 9th, Adult Learners
Following a line is a common activity in robotics courses. Students are challenged to put aside their knowledge of the line being followed, based on their seeing the line, and to develop an algorithm a robot can follow based on a simple sensor that can only report seeing black or white. This helps reinforce the idea that sensors and data available to machines may be different than those with which we are familiar and that we can still use that sensor data to accomplish a task. A description of how we do so might be called an algorithm.
This Google document has a series of drawings of a white line on a white background that, when in edit mode, is revealed by the cursor changing shape. Students are asked to navigate this path only knowing the status of the cursor and to describe how they did so. Each subsequent drawing becomes more complex. Unfortunately students can see the path if the click one-too-many times, so they are on the honor system not to do so.