Vorpal Hexapod Activity: Hexapod Artist

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In this activity you will write a Scratch program to make Vorpal draw or paint.

Contents

Required Items

  • A marker, or a paint brush with a small container of paint. If using paint, the container should be wide and fairly flat (like a mayonaise jar lid) and should be taped down to the surface so it can't spill easily
  • Shipping tape or any tape that works well with cardboard.
  • A large sheet of paper. This could be made of four or more sheets of ordinary printer paper, or use something like a roll of butcher paper.

Activity Procedure

  • Tape a sheet of paper to the desk or floor.
  • Tape a marker or paint brush on one of Vorpal's front legs. Either the left or right front leg will work.
  • Start Vorpal in a position of your choice (mark the starting leg positions) in the center of the paper.
  • Write a Scratch program to cause Vorpal to draw something interesting. There are several ways to do this:
    • The teacher could suggest a specific subject, such as a cat.
    • The teacher could suggest a category for the subject, such as "any kind of fruit".
    • Groups could decide among themselves what they're attempting to draw.
    • It could even be abstract, in that case try to use math functions in Scratch to design something cool.
  • After spending some time developing your program, each team will run their program on a fresh piece of paper.
  • The teacher may decide to award First, Second, or Third places, or other awards like "Most Creative", "Most Lifelike", etc.

Hints

  • This is far, far harder with paint than a marker, so you may want to do one contest with markers first before moving on to paint.
  • To use paint, you're much better off keeping the robot's feet planted in one place, and use body swivels and other motions that leave most feet on the ground to dip the brush in the paint container.
  • It is possible of course to have more than one color of paint!

Variations

  • Put two different color markers on the robot, one on the left front leg, one on the right front leg.
  • Put markers on every "foot" and have the robot actually walk on the tips of the markers to paint. This will mean it is painting whenever it's walking, see what you can do with that concept!