Teaching and Learning Resources from Diane Hawkins

Kent NGfL Robolab Project
2000 - 2001


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The Burglar Alarm

This developed from the work done in our first Inventor Level session with Helen Smith. I made a house out of card for a group of four year 4 girls to use as the basis for their work and asked them to think about the features of home security. We started with the idea of a doorbell which people who were genuine visitors would use. Unaided, the children attached a touch sensor to the wall of the house and programmed the RCX to play four notes when the touch sensor was pushed in. They then added a light sensor and a bulb to the front of their model and adapted their program. The light sensor detects a person approaching the house and switches the security light on. Next, the children added another light sensor at the back of the house to deter burglars from using the windows as an entry point.

Program sequence screenshot by kind permission of LabVIEW,a registered TradeMark of National Instruments

The children are now working on adding a touch sensor in the floor to act as a pressure pad, so that if someone comes in through the door while the owners are out, it would set off the burglar alarm on the house and alert a nearby police car to the break-in. Another group have already built a police car and written a program to work in tandem with the burglar alarm.


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