Make a Smart Toy

Version 1

    SmartToy.png

    Created by Oliver Chen, Cheryl Daisin, Shammi Jayaraj, Dustin Byars, Sruti Chigullapalli, Luke Filose, Romanna Flores on August 30, 2014; last modified by Tom Seaman on September 25, 2015.

     

    Unit Summary

    Smart phone.  Smart watch.  Smart TV.  Why not a smart toy?  In this hands-on unit plan, students will use the Intel® Galileo 2 board and a PC to create a smart toy capable of interacting with humans.  They’ll learn how to put together and program the toy to react to different inputs and situations.  This unit plan is suitable for students with no previous experience with programming or with Galileo, but can also be enjoyed by those who know some programming or have some experience with Arduino or Galileo.

     

    At a Glance

    • Grade: 6-8, 9-12
    • Subjects:  Science, technology & engineering, visual arts
    • Topics:  Computers, electronics
    • Higher-order thinking skills:  Analysis, experimental Inquiry
    • Key Learnings:  Coding, making, design thinking, types and uses of electronic components
    • Content type:  Unit plan
    • Time needed:  4-6 hours, or 6-7 one-hour sessions
    • Prerequisites:  No prior knowledge or experience is necessary to complete the activities.  If students have some experience with Galileo and/or Arduino, the start-up steps will require about half the time.
    • License:  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY SA).  Read about the license and what you can do with this material here.

     

    Learning Outcomes

    • Students gain a hands-on understanding of some of the basic concepts of coding and computer hardware.
    • Students gain experience with scientific inquiry thought processes.
    • Students get a glimpse of the type of work engineers and computer scientists do.

     

    Things You Need

    We suggest students work in groups of 3-4.  This list represents what is needed for a single workstation (ie. a single group).

    • The Intel® Galileo 2 board
    • The Galileo’s power cable
    • A USB cable
    • A Grove Starter Kit Plus – Intel IoT Edition for Intel Galileo Gen 2 and Edison
      • See figure 1 below for the list of items we'll be using from the kit
    • A PC (with the Galileo IDE)

    SmartToyFigure1.png

     

    Standards Alignment

    This unit is aligned to Common Core National and Next Generation Science Standards.

    • Engineering Design: define design problem, generate solutions, carry out tests and analyze resulting data
      • o3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2, 3-5-ETS1-3
      • MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3, MS-ETS1-4
    • ELA/Literacy: conduct short research projects, build knowledge through investigation
      • W.5.7
      • WHST.6-8..7
    • Mathematics: operations and algebraic thinking; reason abstractly and quantitatively
      • 3.0A
      • MP.2

     

    Inquiry Process

    The unit encourages students to engage in scientific inquiry.  In each activity, they will be challenged to figure out how the sketch (computer program) works and interacts with the inputs and outputs.  They will explore their own ideas to make changes to the program to have the desired effect, and then see if their ideas work.  If it does not work, they must investigate why not and try another approach.

     

    Instructional Procedures


    Introduce the Key Concepts

    The unit encourages students to engage in scientific inquiry.  In each activity, they will be challenged to figure out how the sketch (computer program) works and interacts with the inputs and outputs.  They will explore their own ideas to make changes to the program to have the desired effect, and then see if their ideas work.  If it does not work, they must investigate why not and try another approach.

     

    You can also connect other types of devices to allow the computer to output something.  This might be a display to show information from the computer, or speaker to provide a sound from the computer.  It could be a simple light that the computer turns on and off based on something it’s doing, or a signal that tells a motor how fast to run.

     

    With so many options for connecting inputs, connecting outputs, and instructing the computer how to think and act, the possibilities for creating cool things are truly endless.

    Instruct students to unpack the Grove Starter Kit Plus - Intel IoT Edition for Intel Galileo Gen 2 and Edison.  Allow the students to explore the kit and identify its pieces.  Have them use the diagram in figure 1 to set aside the pieces they will need from the kit for the activity.

     

    Explain that in the following activities, they’ll be connecting some inputs and outputs as well as running some programs to create a smart toy that can interact with humans.  They’ll be challenged to build the toy, and then use their ingenuity to change how the toy responds to human behavior.  In short, they’ll be doing the kinds of things that engineers who build the computers they use, and the smart-phone games they play.

     

    Set-up for the Activity

    Note about set-up:  You may elect to allow the students to connect up their Galileo boards, or you may elect to perform this set-up yourself prior to the start of class. The set-up involves connecting the Galileo to the PCs the students will be using, as well as pre-loading the Arduino (Galileo Gen 2 version) IDE onto the PCs.

     

    If the students will be performing the set-up themselves, allow for 15-20 minutes to the amount of time required for the first session.  In addition, make sure the students are responsible and take care to follow the instructions below very carefully as performing the steps in the wrong order can result in permanent damage to the Galileo board.

     

    Step-by-step instructions for connecting Galileo are found here:

    https://software.intel.com/en-us/iot/library/galileo-getting-started.

     

    Within the step-by-step instructions, when prompted to choose a development environment, choose Arduino.  Have the students proceed all the way through the getting started exercise to the point where they blink the LED on the Galileo board. This affirms the set-up was done correctly.  If they cannot blink the LED, have them start over and/or seek your help.

     

    Install the Grove Library and Sketches

    Follow the simple instructions in the Teacher's Presentation to install the Grove Library and Sketches on the PC. There are instructions for both Windows and Mac.

     

    Activity 1: Smart Toy — Tickle It

    This activity will allow students to create a smart toy, or in this case a ticklish pet, that feels tickled when both sensors are touched, but feels nothing when one or the other sensor is touched independently.

     

    Share with the class the steps and diagrams as laid out in the Smart Toy Teacher’s Presentation (attached) to help them build the circuit and load the sketch.

     

    Have students play the game.  They will try to touch one or both sensors to see what the “smart pet” will do.

     

    If they encounter problems, have them retrace their steps to ensure they performed them all correctly.  If they cannot figure out what’s wrong, share with them the troubleshooting tips page of the Teacher’s Presentation.

     

    Activity 2: Smart Toy — Scare It

    This activity will allow students to reconfigure their smart toy so that shielding a light sensor will change the output displayed on the LCD.

     

    Share with the class the steps and diagram in teacher’s presentation, showing how to build the circuit and load the sketch.

     

    Have students to play the game.  They will try to block light from the light sensor to see what the “smart pet” will do.

     

    As always, if they encounter problems, have them retrace their steps to ensure they performed them all correctly.  If they cannot figure out what’s wrong, share with them the troubleshooting tips page of the Teacher’s Presentation.

     

    For an additional challenge after students get the Smart Toy working properly and can scare it, see if they can figure out what to change in the sketch to make it easier to scare?  How about nearly impossible to scare?  (Hint:  Light sensor value can read between 1 to 1023.)

     

    Activity 3: Smart Toy — Ask It

    Using the same configuration as Activity 2, this activity will allow students to ask questions of the smart toy and receive the smart toy’s answers on the LCD display – like the classic toy, Magic 8 Ball.

     

    Share with the class the photo in the teacher’s presentation, showing the correct set-up.  Have them check that the circuit is the way they want it, and load the sketch.

     

    Have students play the game.  They will ask the Smart Pet a question, and listen for the smart pet’s answer.

     

    Additional Challenge:  Have the students modify the sketch to change the sayings to current phrases.  Did it work?

     

    As always, if they encounter problems, have them retrace their steps to ensure they performed them all correctly.  If they cannot figure out what’s wrong, share with them the troubleshooting tips page of the Teacher’s Presentation.

     

    Activity 4: Smart Toy — Bop It

    This activity will allow students to reconfigure their smart toy to enable a player to interact with sound, touch, and dial sensors in time with commands displayed on the LCD.

     

    Share with the class the steps and diagram in teacher’s presentation, showing how to build the circuit and load the sketch.

     

    Have students play the game.  They will touch the touch sensor to start a new game.  Follow instructions to Twist, Touch, or Clap in sequence.

     

    For an additional challenge, have students modify the code to reduce time progressively to increase the difficulty.

     

    Activity 5: Smart Toy — Pick It

    This activity will allow students to reconfigure their smart toy to be a lock that must be picked.  Students must interact with sound, touch, and dial sensors in time with commands displayed on the LCD.

     

    Share with the class the steps and diagram in teacher’s presentation, showing how to build the circuit and load the sketch.

     

    Have students play the game.  They will twist dial to find the random number that picks the lock.

     

    For an additional challenge, have students add more dials to make it a multi tumbler lock.

     

    Activity 6: Smart Toy — Secure It

    This activity will allow students to reconfigure to create a security alarm.

     

    Share with the class the steps and diagram in teacher’s presentation, showing how to build the circuit and load the sketch.

     

    Have students play the game.  Students touch the sensor to trigger the Star Wars theme as an Alarm.

     

    For an additional challenge, have students add more sensors to make alarm more sophisticated.

     

    Conclude the Unit

    Lead the class in a discussion about the unit.  Several directions are possible:  using the Intel® Galileo board and the same set of sensors and output devices, what are some other types of smart toys you could create?  Can the class think of any interesting ideas for new wearable technology?  What kinds of careers are available to people who enjoy this kind of activities?

     

    Differential Instruction

     

    Resource Student

    • Allow more time as needed
    • Skip the challenge sections and focus on building the toys and discussion how each works.

     

    Gifted Student

    • Give students additional challenges that force them to go deeper into modifying the sketches
    • Have student use the Arduino programming language and try writing their own sketches from scratch

     

    English Language Learner

    • Pair the student with a peer in groups
    • Allow more time on the visuals in the presentations
    • Provide the student with Internet access and relevant sites in the student's first language beforehand

     

    Additional Resources

    For an introduction to the benefits of teaching making and coding, and tips for bringing hands-on activities to your classroom, see Gary Stager’s paper, “Guide to Creating and Inventing with Technology in the Classroom.”

     

    Additional Credits

    Additional credit and thanks are owed to the following individuals:

    Nicholas Q. Nguyen, Aaron P. Lindsey, and Jarius S. Tillman for authoring the code for the Bop It! activity; Brian T. Waugh, Stephen M. Quadro, and Tim Duong for authoring the code for the Pick It! activity; and Alice Lin, Jeffrey J. Yeh, and Josephine A. Juang for authoring the code for the Star Wars Security activity.

    Students use the Intel® Galileo board and a PC to create a smart toy capable of interacting with humans. No programming experience required.