Real world problem solving
Learn about computers and real world problem solving.
This lesson includes:
- a video to help you understand algorithms
- a video to help you understand problem solving
- three activities to try out
By learning how to code people can create programs that will help solve all sorts of problems.
Before the coding starts, people have to analyse the problem they are trying to solve.
Watch this film to understand how algorithms are used to break down problems.
Programming a delivery robot
Lots of work goes into analysing real world problems before the coding starts.
Many companies are researching into how to use autonomous vehicles to safely deliver our packages.
This film breaks down how one tech company Starship Technologies used computational thinking to create a robot to solve this problem.
The robot is designed to make last-mile home deliveries of small items and Dev discovers how it interacts with pedestrians, avoids obstacles, and keeps its cargo safe.
The designers focussed on four essential questions in developing the robot:
How does the robot plan its journey? It uses GPS satellites and uses algorithms to plan a route using pavements and avoiding hazards like road-works and busy pedestrian areas.
How does it react to obstacles? It has sensors to detect its environment - 9 cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors.
How does it keep the cargo safe? For safety the cargo can only be unlocked by a smartphone code. It also has an alarm and GPS tag. It also has a human operator at base who is alerted of any problems.
How does it co-exist with people? Lots of time was put into developing a vehicle that looks friendly and non-threatening. It can also only go at a maximum speed of 4 mph.
Watch more films about how computer science is used to tackle real world problems in the series Computer Science: Problem Solved
Learn more about real world Solution Development with this interactive quiz from SAM Learning.
Reducing energy usage in the home saves money, increases energy security and reduces the need to burn unsustainable fossil fuels. The first step in doing this is monitoring how much energy is used each day.
Explore this coding challenge and more computing projects from IET