Teaching and Learning Resources from Diane Hawkins

Kent NGfL Robolab Project
2000 - 2001


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The Police Car

Initially, the children built a buggy of their own which just kept falling apart, no matter what they did to improve the design. However, the car built from the Starter Kit impressed the children so much, that they decided to use this instead. After all, it was a car, it was robust and above all, it already had a blue light on it which they could program to flash! The children came up with this program:

We were all very excited when I discovered that the RCXs can communicate with each other. I explained this to the children, and we decided that it would be a wonderful idea to program the burglar alarm on another group's house to send a message to the police car, so that the police car would then drive up to the house with its siren going and blue light flashing! The program below is entirely the children's own work, with just the mail commands being given, as this was the first time they had been used.

This is the program which was sent to the police car:

Screenshot by kind permission of LabVIEW,a registered TradeMark of National Instruments

It reads: Start program. Clear all mail. Wait for mail. When mail is received, run these two programs at the same time:

1) Play the notes A and C and turn the light attached to port B on for two seconds. Turn the light off. Repeat this sequence indefinately.

2) Turn the motor attached to port A on at full speed for 10 seconds, then stop the motor.
The red traffic light tells the RCX that the program is complete, but does not stop any of the actions, so that even when the police car has come to a stop outside the house, the siren and light will continue to work until the RCX is turned off.

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