Fish Population Sorter

The students at Canyon Meadows School were worried that the larger fish in their Fish in School (FinS) tank would eat the smaller ones. Our robotics project was to create a prototype that would find a fish, test to see if it was large or small and then count the large ones and the smaller ones. We added a "scooper" that would activate whenever it found a large fish to scoop it into a different tank. This is much like the Fish Counter and Sorter project for grade 3 but in this project, the robot moves and finds the fish using a search pattern (something the newer, NXT robot can do but was difficult for the older RCX robot).

The robot had to keep track and display the two tallies of the fish on the screen and update them whenever it found another fish. At the top of the board (right) there was always a small fish as a control and to make sure the robot was lined up correctly. 

The students had to use variables to keep track of the different fish and increment the variable depending on the size of the fish. They used MyBlocks to keep the program organized. Here is a part of one program. Here you can see how the robot tells if it is a big fish or a little fish. If the robot finds a fish, it moves a bit further and if it sees black, it is a big fish and it goes to the BigFish MyBlock. If it sees white, it executes the top branch of the fork.

Kit: