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Vorpal Hexapod Activity: Autonomous Navigation

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Required Items

  • One or more Vorpal Hexapods
  • Vorpal Ultrasonic Rangefinder attachment
  • A computer with an Internet connection for Scratch
  • A USB A to mini cord to attach the gamepad to your computer
  • Floor space, at least six feet by six feet or more
  • Some objects at least eight inches to a foot tall to use as obstacles to navigate around. The obstacles can be various widths.

Activity Procedure

  • Place obstacles in the gamespace such that there is plenty of room for Vorpal to get around them.
  • Write a Scratch program to navigate around the obstacles without bumping into them.
  • An extremely simple example program is provided. Try to make it more sophisticated so Vorpal can get from one end of the course to another without bumping into an obstacle.


  • Don't get too close to obstacles or you might bump into them too often, but turning too soon may mean you don't fit between obstacles that might not be leaving much room to walk around.


  • Domino Effect: Make the obstacles unstable (but light and nondestructive) objects, and score solutions based on how long they can walk around the obstacle area without knocking anything over.
    • Some ideas for obstacles would be shoe boxes, or obstacles you make yourself out of cardboard.
    • Make the obstacles about a foot tall, and no less than six inches wide so they are easily detectable.