Interactive lesson – SENSORS

Interactive lesson is a multimedia online app that helps to introduce students to basic concepts of robotics before starting to code.


How does an interactive lesson work?

Interactive lesson is a multimedia online app that helps to introduce students to basic concepts of robotics before starting to code. Students connect robot controller to computer and with a help of an interactive presentation varius functions of the robot are activated.


The topic of this interactive lesson is SENSORS and their role in robots. Sensors are modules that can recieve different kind of signals form robot surroundings. We will discuss sensors from LOFI Robot CODEBOX Starter kit.


Teacher prepares LOFI Brain controllers for students or the students do this themselves during lesson. Each sensor has to be connected to specified INPUT.

1. Connect sensors listed below PAY ATTENTION TO NUMBERS OF PORTS:

  • Button -> INPUT1
  • Potentiometer -> INPUT2
  • Light sensor -> INPUT3
  • Distance sensor to dedicated DISTANCE socket

2. Connect LOFI Brain controller to the computer USB port

3. Connect LOFI brain controller with CHROME web browser using LOFI Robot Extension


  • Intruduction – 5 minutes
  • Preparing the sensors, connecting to computer and web browser – 5 minutes
  • Main part – interactive presentation- 30 minutes
  • Summary and evaluation – 5 minutes

Teacher comments – interactive lesson

Points below list an example comments that teacher can provide to explain each slide deeply and encourage discussion with students.

1. Introduction

2. What senses does human have? – QUIZ

Dzięki zmysłom ludzie i inne organizmy żywe mogą odbierać sygnały z otaczającego ich świata. Czy wiecie, jakie ludzie mają zmysły i co dzięki nim mogą rozpoznawać?

With senses humans and other living species can receive signals from their surroundings. Do you know what senses does humane have? What can he perceive with them?


Students type names of five human senses in the orange field.

Correct answers:

  • 1. Eyesight
  • 2. Hearing
  • 3. Smell
  • 4. Taste
  • 5. Touch

After finding out five basic senses we discuss with students if they are sure that there is nothing more? In fact human has more senses with which he can experience the environment – we can sense balance, temperature, pain.

3. Senses of a robot

Robots have similar “senses” as humans, we call theses SENSORS. Sensors might be similar to basic human senses but they might be also very different and specialised in a way beyond human capabilities ( detecting magnetic field, seeing in infrared, measuring distance with ultrasonic waves). Lets try to match typical sensors to senses they might substitute.


Match robot sensors with senses they might substitute.

Correct answers


4. Sensors from CODEBOX Kit

We will use these sensor in this lesson.

  • Button
  • Potentiometer
  • Light sensor
  • Distance sensor

Ask students if they recognise each of these sensors at their workplace and remind them to check again if they are connected properly connected to LOFI Brain controller.

5. Button

Our first sensor to test is a BUTTON

Ask students if they know any machine or electronic product that has buttons, can they few functions that a button can provide?


Lesson contains 3 interactive options of example button usage:

  • 1. On/Off switch – we can use a button to turn on or off any device, e.g. a lamp
  • 2. Doorbell – we changed the program and now our button act as a doorbell
  • 3. Game controller – next change in our program and no the button is a game controller
PAY ATTENTION Remind students of an important fact – we have used the same button and only a change in software was resulting in a complete makeover of it`s function. When you are programmer you can decide what is the function of the sensor you use – it is a subject of your idea not a preset imperative

6. Potentiometer

Potentiometer is a rotary knob that lets us control any parameter in a smooth manner.


Lesson contains 3 options for potentiometer functions:

  • 1. Controlling brightness of a lamp
  • 2. Controlling volume of a radio (sound!)
  • 3. Controlling speed of a motor
PAY ATTENTION Once again remind your students that it was our decision (and change in software) that applied specific function to a potentiometer

Light sensor

Light sensor measures amount of light (from sun or a flashlight) that falls on it`s built-in photoresistor (that is this small red dot with zigzag on top).

Background color of this slide changes in relation to the amount of light measured by the sensor – the less light, the darker background. As the text color is white you have to cover the sensor with your hand to make the text distinguishable from the background.


Slide contains one interactive presentation – lamp that turns on when it is dark.

Distance sensor

Distance sensor uses ultrasonic sound waves to measure distance to the objects in front of it. This sensor works similar to echolocation skills of dolphins, whales and bats.

Sensor has two probes – one is a sound emitter and the second one is a microphone that detects echo of emitted signal. Depending on the delay between sound peak emission and detecting it`s echo we can calculate the distance to the object which reflects the signal.


Slide contains two presentations:

  • Parking meter – we can find it in cars, it helps you to park in narrow street conditions.
  • Automatic gate – detects a person approaching it and opens the door in this example it is set to 20cm

9. Summary

At the end of the lesson lets evaluate what we have learnt with a short discussion and a little test.

Example questions:

  • Why robot sensors are similar to human senses? – Sensors allow robot to receive signals from the environment, thanks to sensors robot knows what is around it.
  • Is function of a sensor predefined? – NO – we can modify output of a sensor bo creating SOFTWARE
  • What sensor would you use to build a robot that can avoid obstacles – DISTANCE SENSOR


Students solve a simple test with three questions. When they check correct answers in reward they can play a game – control a robot with button (shooting) and potentiometer (moving left and right)

Correct answers

  • Waves emitted by distance sensor – ULTRASONIC
  • Human hasMORE THAN FIVE senses
  • Best sensor for volume control is a POTENTIOMETER