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Teacher Toolbox icon Teacher Toolbox - The Purpose of this Section

This Apply section will help students understand how robots are used in the real world. Begin the section by asking students to identify some present-day uses and benefits of robots. Students may have formed some misconceptions about how robots are used in society. List the students’ answers in the classroom so they can be referenced after the reading. The Apply section also discusses how to start a VEX Robotics competition team and the different roles that students can have on a competition team.

These Apply pages can be worked through as a class.

  • Together, read the Apply page “Italy’s Trash Robot.”

  • Facilitate a class discussion on the topic.

  • Together, read the page “Competition with a Purpose!”

  • Facilitate a class discussion on the topic.

If you have time available in class or as homework, Extend Your Learning sections provide other options to get students thinking about how robotics is used throughout their lives.

Italy’s Trash Robot

Today’s robots have the ability to do tasks that humans both do not want to do. In Italy’s case, the politics of picking up trash landed cities with trash pile ups and ultimately a less clean area to live. The Trash Robot works by arriving a home, asking for a personal ID number that identifies both the user and then asking if the trash is organic, recyclable or waste. Using this robot both helps make trash clean up efficient but also tracks how much trash is being collected through Italian cities. The Trash Robot takes the trash in its belly to a dump site, where no human would want to travel to. Using technology like the Trash Robot, gives humans the ability to use robots to complete tasks that humans do not want to do and cannot do as efficiently.

In the 21st century, engineers are continuing to develop robots to complete tasks that benefit humans in many ways. These advancements have led robots to become widely used in our communities.

There are many benefits for using robots:

  • They are capable of lifting heavy loads without injury.

  • They are more precise in their movements.

  • They can produce more products in a shorter amount of time.

  • They can work at a constant speed with no breaks.

  • They can perform tasks that are dangerous to humans.

  • They can work in hazardous conditions, such as poor lighting, toxic chemicals, or tight spaces.

Extend Your Learning icon Extend Your Learning

Robots are becoming more accessible with the technology advances available. More and more industries are using robots to be more efficient, cost-saving, and safe. To get students thinking about robots in the world around them, ask them to research how robotics is used in one type of industry (Examples include, but not limited to: banking, military, manufacturing, shipping, or medical.) Students should be prepared to share their findings with the class.