Become the programmer of the robot Opportunity on Mars and find the different ways to ensure a linear movement.

Perseverance on Mars

Middle School



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By putting themselves in the shoes of an Opportunity robot programmer on Mars, the student discovers the means to verify that a movement is rectilinear.

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Sample protocol for the student
1. The Perseverance robot, which has just landed on Mars, needs to be able to follow a straight path autonomously and without GPS
2. A rectilinear movement is the movement of a point body moving in a straight line in a given frame of reference.
3. What measuring instrument could you use to have your phone follow a straight path on the Earth?
4. Outside your home, use this measuring instrument and record a rectilinear movement of your cell phone over a distance of approximately 150 paces.
5. Analyze the graph, has your cell phone made a rectilinear movement in the terrestrial frame of reference?
6. The planet Mars does not have a magnetic field. What other sensor in your Opportunity phone could it use to move in a straight line?
7. Try this new idea. What problems are you having?
8. If this second solution breaks down do you have the idea of ​​a third instrument that could be used?
9. Try this solution and record your movements. Is this a good troubleshooting solution?
10. Document all these experiments in your notebook with your conclusions on the control of robots on the planet Mars.

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