Computing KS1 / KS2: Programming a robotic toy car

A primary school class codes a set of instructions to tell a robotic toy car to drive to a specific location on a town plan.

They will use just three instructions – FORWARD, TURN 90 DEGREES RIGHT, TURN 90 DEGREES LEFT – to get the car to its destination without hitting any shops.

They try it on the classroom floor first, then recreate the town plan on their computers using Logo.

They write the series of instructions to tell the car what to do.

They test their code, looking for problems that need to be debugged, before downloading it onto the toy car.

The code has several errors in it, and needs to be debugged again, but finally they succeed in getting the car to the correct destination.

This clip is from the series Cracking the Code.

Teacher Notes

This could be used as an introduction to designing and writing simple programs for robots.

Could also be used as an example of detecting and correcting errors in algorithms and programs.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Computing at KS1 and KS2 in England and Northern Ireland, Design and Technology KS2 in Wales and Computing Science and ICT at Second Level in Scotland.

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