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FloBot Guide

Inputs and Outputs

Along the top of the screen are the outputs from the sensors of your robot -- range sensors, light sensors and switches. Along the bottom of the screen are the inputs to the actuators -- the motors, servos and lights.

img/flowdiag.png

Your task is to join them up to make the robot change its outputs in response to changes on its inputs. In other words, to make it do interesting stuff.

Connecting Things

To connect an output to an input, click on either end and drag to the destination. A curved line will appear to show you the connection, and if that connection is allowed the line will turn green.

Outputs can be connected to multiple inputs, but each input can only be connected to a single output. If you try to connect multiple outputs to a single input, the older connections will be removed. To remove all connections from an input, click on it to start a new connection and then leave the new connection unconnected.

Note

Try it out! First click on "Range Sensor" and drag a connection down to "Left Motor". Now drag another connection down to "Right Motor". Turn the robot on and watch what it does. What behaviour is it displaying?

Try connecting things differently, and see how the robot behaves!

Constants

Constants let you introduce your own numbers into the robot -- they have no inputs and a single output. They are "constant" in that they always have the same value unless you change it: unlike sensor outputs, they don't change on their own. To change their value, click on them. Constants can have values between -327 and +327.

Note

Try connecting a constant to the "Light". Turn the constant up and down and admire the flashing lights.

Components

Flobot would be pretty boring if all you could do was connect outputs to inputs directly. Thankfully, there's lots of components you can put between the outputs and inputs. Each component has multiple inputs and outputs of its own, and changes the signals as they flow from sensors to actuators.

img/flowdiag2.png

The << button at top right opens a panel which lets you select components. To use them, drag them out into the main flow diagram. To dispose of them, disconnect all their connections and then drag them back into the panel or corner.

Note

Find the subtractor. Connect the "Range Sensor" to the "+" input of the subtractor, and the output of the subtractor to each motor. Find a constant, and connect it to the "-" input of the subtractor. Set the constant value to 5.

How has the robots behaviour changed? How far away is it when it stops moving? What does it do if you move your hand towards it?

... TBC ...