Materials List: Robots on Ice Engineering Challenge

Note: See the teacher note under the Procedure section for alternatives to the equipment listed below.

Each group needs:

  • 1 remote-controlled robot, such as an Edison robot; available for $49 at (purchase in bulk to reduce the single robot cost), which requires 4 AAA batteries
  • 1 smartphone with a camera and an app to connect its video feed to a second device at “mission control center,” such as Livestream, Skype or FaceTime
  • LEGO parts, to attach a video camera to the robot, perhaps ~20 assorted bricks, such as from this $35 supply of LEGO bricks and other parts from; or use other available building materials; note that Edison robots have LEGO studs and holes so LEGO bricks and pegs can be easily attached
  • 1 computer, tablet, or a second smartphone to serve as a “mission control center;” must be able to display the Livestream, Skype or FaceTime video feed
  • light source for the robot, to illuminate the live feed video image so that students can see where the robot is going inside the dark maze; for example, a smartphone flashlight
  • Mission Preparation Log, one per student
  • Mission Reflection, one per student
  • Maze Map, one per team; the teacher needs to modify in advance to make the map outline match the classroom maze
  • Mission Data Log, one per team; the teacher needs to modify in advance to make sure this handout has images (or descriptions) of the “aliens” or “signs of life” placed in the classroom maze so students know what to look for
  • 1 dry erase marker
  • 1 clear plastic sheet protector, to hold an 8.5 x 11-inch piece of paper; such as from a box of 100 from Office Depot at;jsessionid=0000CO5rQKkGdKWQWn3M_3JfgeE:17h4h7ceo

To share with the entire class:

  • 1 maze for the robots, to simulate an unknown Europa landscape; created in the classroom in advance using simple, available materials such as 3 large tables, tape and plastic tablecloths with ~ 10 boxes and foil pans used as obstacles under the tables; refer to the Maze Preparation Instructions & Photos
  • ~10 “aliens” or “signs of life” to place inside the maze, such as any kind of “alien life form” stickers, paper cut-outs or drawings
  • (optional) tape, to help secure cameras to robots
  • timer, to time 5 minutes