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STEM Labs
Drive Forward and Reverse

Teacher Portal

Answer the following questions in your engineering notebook after completing Activity A and B.

  1. Do you think that the Autopilot will always move the exact distance written in the project? Why or why not?

  2. If your teacher asks you to move the Autopilot 10 mm, but you can only program it to move the distance in inches, what could you do?

Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - Answers

  1. No, the Autopilot may not always move the exact value written in the code.

    1. Answers may vary but could include:

      1. Variations of Friction

        1. If the surface is very smooth, the Autopilot’s wheels may spin the amount of rotations it was programmed, but not travel as far as it should. This is similar to a car wheel on an icy surface.

        2. If the Autopilot is running on a plush carpet, the carpet may interfere with the tire rotation.

        3. Dirt and/or dust on the wheels may also cause a loss of traction.

      2. Momentum

        1. If the Autopilot traveling has enough momentum, it may coast slightly from that force, even though the motors have completed their designated rotations.

      3. Improper Build

        1. Wheels are not completely connected to the wheel axis and frame.

        2. The Autopilot may not be balanced due to its construction, materials, weight, or axis of rotation not being symmetrical. This can cause it to move forward or in reverse incorrectly.

  2. Answers may vary but could include:

    1. Using a conversion formula (students do not have to name the formula).

    2. Measuring the distance (10 mm), marking the distance, and then remeasuring the same distance in inches.