Course: Motion and Math
5: I Don't Want to Fall

  • 6-8 grade
  • Intermediate

Lesson Description:

In this lesson, the students are making the NAO robot stop or start dancing using its sensors?


Standards Covered


Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.


Reason abstractly and quantitatively.


Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.


Model with mathematics.

image description

Lesson Modules

Teaching Tips:


Problem of the Day:
How do I make NAO stop or start dancing using its sensors? 

  • Fail-safe
  • parallel Processing
  • Diagram Box
Students will be able to...
Use one of the robot’s sensors as a fail-safe switch to stop the robot mid dance. 

Students will investigate the engineering principles of failsafe switches and appropriate naming / description techniques.

Learning Overview:
  1. Intro: Students will follow NAO in a dance
  2. Problem Solving: Students will explore how to make a diagram box. 
  3. Creative Time: - Students will use what they learned about diagram boxes to create a fail-safe switch 
  4. Reflection: The class will discuss what they learned and show off their creations.
Before the Lesson:
Load lesson5_1 Choregraphe file onto one of the robots. Give the robot at least 2 feet on all sides to do his dance. Clear a space for students to gather and watch the NAO. They will be mirroring NAO’s movements, so be sure to leave enough space for them to move!

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Get the students to stand arms-distance apart. Have the students follow NAO in a dance.



First, wash your hands. Make this a daily routine. The robots are white and get dirty easily.


You will be mirroring NAO's movements, so be sure to clear a space for everyone. Listen carefully what your teacher will explain and follow the direction.


Teaching Tips:



Introduction (5 minutes)
Demonstrate the utility of a fail-safe button using the lesson4_2 Choregraphe file. In this file any of the three head sensors will stop the dance. The NAO will not do any risky behavior in this dance. However, if you touch any of the head sensors the NAO will stop dancing and sit down. Have the students fill out the “New Word!”.

Student Discovery (5 minutes)
Pose the problem of the day to the students. Then have them fill out the “Make a Plan!” section. This is a complex problem and we want students to break it apart. They need to know how to 

  1. Stop an action once it starts. 
  2.  Stop a looped action once it starts 

Discussion (5 minutes)
Discuss the students’ “Make a Plan” responses. Show them how to make a diagram box in Choregraphe. Also show them how to add descriptions. Filling in the “Descriptions” page is optional. You can assign this to advanced students.



Listen to your teacher explain what a fail-safe button is then fill in the boxes below. 

Question 1: Fail-sale button, what is it?
In your own words, explain what a fail-safe button is. 

Question 2: Fail-sale button, why do I need it?
How will adding a fail-safe button to your dance help you? 

Question 3: Fail-sale button, real world example
Provide an example of a fail-safe button that you see outside of school.

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"I want NAO to stop dancing when I touch his head!"

Question 4: What do I know?
What do you already know about programming the robot that could help you solve this problem? 

Question 5: What do I need to find out?
 What do you need to learn in order to solve this problem? 

Question 6: Draw a picture
Draw a picture of what you want NAO to do. 

Question 7: Relevant boxes
Look for Choregraphe Boxes that might be helpful in solving this problem.

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In Choregraphe when you make a Timeline or Diagram box, you should always edit the description in the Edit Box pop-up window. Good descriptions tell you what the box does without going into too much detail. When you hover your mouse over that box, the description pops up in the tool-tip 

Question 8: Which of the following descriptions is the best? Why?

Question 9: Write a good description for a diagram box that contains the main dance.

Question 10: Write a good description for a timeline box that makes Nao move his arms like he is doing a jumping jack.

Teaching Tips:


For advanced students, challenge them to use a tactile sensor to start the dance as well. 

Plan (10 minutes)
Have the students break into their dance groups. They will use this time to plan the robot’s arm movements. They will fill out the “My Dance!” section. 

Implement (15 minutes) 
Students will work with their groups on one computer to program their planned movements. They must test their motion on the virtual robot before they are allowed to test it on the real robot. Be sure to sketch the program in the corresponding space provided. 


Question 1: 
What movements are dangerous for NAO?

Question 2:
Explain why the fail-safe button needs to be easy to reach.

Question 3:
Which sensor are you going to use as your fail-safe button?

Question 4:
Sketch out your full dance program in the space below. Circle the portions you added today!
** drawing tool here

Teaching Tips:

Reflection (10 minutes)
Have the students fill out the “Reflect” activity. Give them 2 minutes to journal silently. Then have them volunteer their responses to help stem a discussion.

After the Lesson:
  1. Transfer the students’ Choregraphe files onto the thumb drive and delete the file from the computer.
  2. Pack up the NAO’s, computers and router.

Question 1: What did I make NAO do today?

Question 2: NAO did something that I didn't expect. How do I move forward?

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After the Lesson
  1. Transfer your Choregraphe files onto the thumb drive from your teacher and delete the file from the computer.
  2. Help your teacher packing up the NAO robot computers and router with an extreme care.